Phi­lan­thropist en­ters Dal­las mayor’s race

Mcbee has worked for years on home­less­ness, ed­u­ca­tion, other is­sues

The Dallas Morning News - - Metro & State - By ROBERT WILONSKY Staff Writer rwilon­[email protected]­las­

Lynn Mcbee has been called many things dur­ing her two-plus decades as one of Dal­las’ hard­est-work­ing phi­lan­thropists.

Among the monikers: a “fundrais­ing pow­er­house and vol­un­teer ex­traor­di­naire,” ac­cord­ing to D Mag­a­zine; “one of Dal­las’ most rec­og­nized faces of phi­lan­thropy,” Papercity wrote. And a “su­per-vol­un­teer,” read a head­line in The Dal­las Morn­ing News.

She is now seek­ing an­other ti­tle: mayor of Dal­las.

Late Fri­day, Mcbee con­firmed long-cir­cu­lat­ing ru­mors that she would run to

re­place a termed-out Mike


She made the de­ci­sion de­spite a big hur­dle: The 50-yearold Mcbee has long lived in High­land Park.

Mcbee said Fri­day in a brief in­ter­view that she had moved in Au­gust to down­town Dal­las.

She had to move to the city if she wanted to be the mayor; the City Char­ter re­quires may­oral can­di­dates to have lived in the city lim­its for no less than six months be­fore an elec­tion. She’ll meet that thresh­old, as the elec­tion is in May.

Her cam­paign trea­surer re­port, sub­mit­ted Fri­day to the city sec­re­tary, lists as her cur­rent res­i­dence a lux­ury apart­ment build­ing across from Klyde War­ren Park.

Mcbee said she and her hus­band of 14 years — Al­lan Mcbee, an oil and gas man — plan to sell the 1920 house they share near the Dal­las Coun­try Club.

“I moved to Dal­las to be close to down­town, to be close to my job, to be close to ev­ery­thing I love,” she said. “Now let’s talk about the key is­sues I am go­ing to try to tackle.”

Mcbee said Fri­day night that she had been con­sid­er­ing a run since June and fi­nally de­cided the time was right. She’ll face a field that al­ready in­cludes Larry Casto, most re­cently the city at­tor­ney; Regina Mon­toya, a one-time mem­ber of the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion; and Al­bert Black Jr., a for­mer chair of the Dal­las Re­gional Cham­ber. Oth­ers — in­clud­ing at least one Dal­las City Coun­cil mem­ber, a for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive and a cur­rent Dal­las ISD trustee — have also been con­tem­plat­ing runs.

“After 25 years of lots of hard work and see­ing what needs to be tack­led and do­ing all the things I be­lieved in, it was the time,” Mcbee said. “I did a lot of re­flec­tion on it, and it’s the cul­mi­na­tion of a lot of hard work and suc­cess and find­ing so­lu­tions to Dal­las’ most dif­fi­cult prob­lems — ed­u­ca­tion, home­less, a long list of things.”

Mcbee is in­ti­mately fa­mil­iar with ed­u­ca­tion and home­less­ness. She’s CEO of the Young Women’s Prepara­tory Net­work, which pro­vides Stem-based ed­u­ca­tion to girls at cam­puses through­out the state. And she’s the chair of the board at The Bridge, the down­town home­less as­sis­tance cen­ter. She also sits on the board of the Dal­las County Com­mu­nity Col­lege Dis­trict Foun­da­tion, which raises cor­po­rate and pri­vate money to fund the ed­u­ca­tion of stu­dents who other­wise wouldn’t be able to af­ford col­lege.

That’s only part of the for­mer bio­chem­istry con­sul­tant’s lengthy ré­sumé of civic work. She has been chair of the boards of the Fam­ily Place Foun­da­tion, the Dal­las Film So­ci­ety and the Dal­las His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. She also spent time on boards at the AT&T Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter, the Sal­va­tion Army, South­ern Methodist Univer­sity’s Ded­man Col­lege, the Univer­sity of Texas Col­lege of Nat­u­ral Sciences and more than a dozen oth­ers.

In 2015, she told The News that her spirit of vol­un­teerism “started when I was a young child: Sim­ply put, it’s a tra­di­tion in my fam­ily.”

Run­ning for mayor, she said Fri­day, is just “tak­ing my long record of ser­vice to the next level.”

Her cam­paign trea­surer is John Levy, who runs his fam­ily’s busi­ness, NCH Corp. A me­dia re­lease said Mcbee al­ready counts among her sup­port­ers real es­tate pro­fes­sional Lucy Billings­ley and car dealer Clay Coo­ley.

Mcbee knows her High­land Park his­tory will crop up re­peat­edly dur­ing can­di­date fo­rums and de­bate.

“With­out the 25 years of be­ing a ser­vant leader, it’s a valid ar­gu­ment,” she said. “But it’s not a valid ar­gu­ment when you’ve been giv­ing 25 years to Dal­las’ most crit­i­cal is­sues.”


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