“One Block At a Time” Vision Improving 

South Dallas Neighborhoods

Story By: Darwin Campbell

African-American News&Issues

When Dallas District 4 Councilman Dwaine Caraway took office, he had a vision – To clean up and improve neighborhoods, not only in his district, but also all of South Dallas.

Years later, that dream is becoming a reality as the vision is gaining momentum.

“One Block at a Time” has been a great success so far,” Caraway said. “I am pleased with the progress and commitment on the part of citizens who participate and support it.”

The initiative in District 4, started with the idea to gather and work with members of the community to clean up crime trouble spots and remove blight from our neighborhoods.

Caraway made good on his promise and immediately went to work to remove drug houses and drug dealers, get abandoned houses demolished and cleaned up and work actively with police to attack crime at car washes and convenience stores.
He represents Council District 4. He was elected to that position in 2007. The Council elected him to Deputy Mayor Pro Tem in 2007 and Mayor Pro Tem in 2009. In 2011, he became mayor when the previous mayor, Tom Leppert resigned.
Caraway stresses that neighborhood and civic involvement is an ongoing mission, not something that is done only when elections take place. According to him, his only motivation is to have a hands on working approach to making the district and city safer and better.

Born and raised in Dallas, he has lived in his Council District for decades, he is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and attended Texas Southern University. He is the owner of The Profile Group, an advertising and consulting company.
“People started off skeptical at first because it seemed like the job was too big and could not be done,” he said. “The more they saw, the more hope they saw and believed.”

Since the start of the program, crime and drug activity is on the decrease as the clean push continues and interest in economic development of South Dallas and southern sector areas is getting more attention.

Some of the most improved areas include the Lancaster corridor, Oak Cliff and parts of South Dallas.

“We have made a dent in the problem,” he said. “Our largest hurdle is getting more people to buy to the vision so that we can get to where we would like things to be.”

Caraway is no stranger to shaking things up in Dallas or around the country.

He is the councilman who started the “Pull em Up” campaign to get young African-American youth to not sag and pull up their pants. The law sparked national attention for his his efforts to work to teach young men self respect.
The councilman also has hosted dozens of teen summits at City Hall – all with positive themes – to make sure our youth get on a path to success and prosperity. He was also instrumental in forming the Dallas Youth Council so our young citizens maintained their voice and connection to city government

He created gun buy back programs, one jointly with Fort Worth that successfully took 300 guns off the streets of Dallas.

Grading his efforts to build pride in neighborhoods, Caraway gives the cooperative improvements an A-grade, but only a C -grade for complete progress.

“We may be pleased, but not satisfied,” he said. “There is room for improvement and I will not rest a day until the rest of the work is done.”

Caraway said he welcomes any other new ideas from residents that will help make the district improve.

“Anyone may contact my office with any concerns, ideas or suggestions they have,” he said. “Together, we can make the district a better place to live and raise our families.”


Good_Group_cb246ac65eFort Worth Stop 6: On Road to Economic 

Story By: Darwin Campbell

African-American News&Issues

After many years of prayers and planning the development of the Stop Six area has finally come. There is an active new emphasis on bringing business and progress to an area rich in history.

Business leaders,with the help of  District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivins and her predecessors have brought attention to its rich potential and value to the community. Devoyd Jennings, president of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, said the development  and revival of the Stop Six and Berry area is exciting to witness.

“We are expecting great things,” he said,. “(Councilwoman) Gyna (Bivens) has been very aggressive in taking on the economic development of Stop 6 and that is a very good thing.”

According to Historic Fort Worth Inc., Stop Six was the sixth stop on the old interurban train line that ran between Fort Worth and Dallas and was operated by the Northern Texas Traction Company. From 1902 to 1934, the electric-powered cars carried about 40 passengers each for the 90-minute trip from the Tarrant County Courthouse to Dallas. The interurban railroad provided labor force mobility between the neighborhood and the two cities.

The now predominantly African-American and Hispanic area encompasses several subdivisions that were developed in the early 20th century. Stop Six was annexed by Fort Worth in the first half of the 20th century, sometime between 1924 and 1928, through a series of annexations, the first in 1944 in the Miller Avenue area and the last in 1955 where Loop 820 is now. In 1925, Fort Worth initiated a $2,000,000 school building program to relieve overcrowding in the newly-annexed areas.


BigginsBiggins Named Board Chair at World’s 4th Busiest Airport

Story By: Darwin Campbell

African-American News&Issues

FORT WORTH- Vice Chair Lillie Biggins of Fort Worth has been named Board Chair at DFW Airport -the world’s 4th busiest airport.

She was selected when the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Board of Directors elected its new Board officers for 2014 .

It marks the second time for Biggins will serve a term as the DFW Board Chair. She has served on the DFW Airport Board since 2005. When she joined the DFW Airport Board in May 2005, she was named vice chair in March 2006 and was chair in February 2008.

She replaces Board Chairman Robert W. Hsueh, who passed away suddenly at the age of 63.

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014, DFW Airport is located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world’s fourth busiest, offering 1,800 flights per day and serving 60 million customers a year. DFW also provides nonstop service to 148 domestic and 57 international destinations.

Biggins, B.S.N., M.S.N., is a 30-year veteran of the health care industry and is the president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. She joined Texas Health Fort Worth in 1997 as vice president of operations, overseeing major departments such as Emergency Services, Trauma Services and Restorative Services. Since that time, she has responsibility for enhancing the performance of Texas Health Fort Worth with regard to cost effectiveness, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

A graduate of John Peter Smith School of Nursing, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Masters of Science from Texas Woman’s University in Denton. She held an appointment of assistant clinical professor in Hospital Administration from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas for six years and is currently adjunct faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Before working at Texas Health Fort Worth, Ms. Biggins demonstrated administrative effectiveness serving as chief nursing officer at Columbia Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth and as vice president of East Campus Operations at Plaza Medical Center of Fort Worth and has 21 years of health care experience between John Peter Smith Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

Biggins is a member of a number of professional organizations including the American College of Health Care Executives, American Organization of Nurse Executives, Texas Nurses Association, American Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau.

She also serves on the Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County Board, the American Cancer Society Board, the North Texas LEAD Advisory Board and the University of Texas at Arlington Nursing Advisory Board. She also serves on the board of directors of CareFlite.

Biggins’ service and devotion to community service has resulted in recognition by numerous agencies and associations. Some include the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce Eagle Award; Dallas Business Journal Minority Leader Award; Dallas/Fort Worth’s Great 100 Nurses; the MLCC Women in Power Making a Difference Everywhere, 2012; and Board Member of the Year from the American Heart Association to name a few.

She is the proud mother of four, and a grandmother of several beautiful grandchildren. She and her husband James live in southeast Fort Worth and are members of Sweet Home Baptist Church.

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