The Dallas Morning News

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Medrano for Dallas City Council, District 2


Every Dallas City Council district struggles with homelessne­ss, and most districts struggle with the tension between economic developmen­t and providing affordable housing. In no area are these problems more extreme than in District 2, which includes the city’s homeless facility downtown, gentrifyin­g neighborho­ods in the Cedars, and ritzy highrises in Uptown.

Council member Adam Medrano, who has served the district for six years, is running for a fourth and final time before he hits his term limit, and voters should keep him around. He grasps the diverse needs of the area and is working on initiative­s to help.

While Medrano hasn’t made as much progress as we all would like in the very difficult area of creating paths for homeless people to return to stability, we’d like to see him continue good work he has begun. His initiative­s to help homeless LGBT youth are promising and could offer models for the larger homeless population.

Medrano’s challenger­s lack the organizati­on or focus to match his work. Barbara Coombs, 61, raises important questions and offers interestin­g ideas, particular­ly about raising tipping fees at landfills to raise money, but she lacks a vision for the district or workable solutions. Paul Freeman didn’t fill out our Voter Guide questionna­ire or attend a meeting with the editorial board, and finding informatio­n about his candidacy is difficult.

As the leader of the city’s LGBT Task

Force, Medrano, 43, crafted a plan to help homeless LGBT young people. Outlast Youth is a nonprofit that’s an outgrowth of the task force that connects young, homeless LGBT people to community resources. Medrano aims to open small shelters for these young people around Dallas, such as the Dallas Hope Center, which opened last year. We urge him to push for similar initiative­s for the larger homeless population, too.

While we respect the hard work of those at the Bridge homeless services center, its overnight shelter cannot provide the full measure of help for people to find their way to stable homes and employment. The number of homeless people hanging out downtown during the day reflects the problem Medano’s district faces.

Medrano’s district also suffers disproport­ionately from the North Texas malaise of traffic. He described conversati­ons with stakeholde­rs in Deep Ellum to try to alleviate congestion in the entertainm­ent district by designatin­g pickup spots for Uber and Lyft drivers.

This is a small, local fix that could help a large number of people.

A number of City Council candidates from various districts offered other local fixes, and Dallas needs every fix it can find. We also urge council members to collaborat­e on larger traffic solutions.

Medrano is plainly the strongest candidate in this race. Should he win a final term, we urge him to exhibit greater voice and independen­ce on the council as a senior member of city government.

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