“Promoting inclusive growth is fundamental for the future of any city. Cities will only succeed if they grow economically and create wealth for their citizens. When only a small group of people are succeeding, it’s morally wrong but also mathematically impossible for the city to succeed long term.”
– Mayor Michael Rawlings
Mayor Rawlings decided in early 2011 to run for Dallas Mayor on a platform that highlighted southern Dallas as the city’s greatest untapped resource. Following his June 2011 election, he launched GrowSouth, his signature initiative to spur economic development south of the Trinity River. He’s also fought to improve public education, combat poverty, revitalize Fair Park, develop the Trinity River corridor, elevate the city’s international profile and turn Dallas into a top destination for artists all over the world. He’s drawn headlines across the country for his bold campaign against domestic violence, Dallas Men Against Abuse. He has presided over the passage of $600 million in new city bonds to fund streets, flood protection and economic development initiatives and has twice led the City Council through the hiring process for a city manager and attorney.
During Mayor Rawlings’ time in office, Dallas has experienced impressive economic growth. Unemployment as of September 2016 had dropped to 4.2 percent. The City of Dallas property tax base in 2016 is $110.3 billion, which is higher than the previous peak in 2009 ($90.5 billion) and represents a 10.4 percent increase over 2015.
The Mayor launched the GrowSouth initiative in early 2012 with bold, long term goals. GrowSouth is a comprehensive strategy to build a foundation for sustainable growth, and outline five key projects to jumpstart growth in key areas in the next three years. The City of Dallas has presented a work plan that supports what they can accomplish as part of “GrowSouth” including short term and long term infrastructure and capital improvements that will support and enhance growth in Southern Dallas.
In 2015, after working in southern Dallas for four years, Mayor Rawlings decided to accelerate growth by adding four overlaying initiatives, known as accelerators. They are: The Mayor’s GrowSouth Advisory Council, Neighbor Up, the High Impact Landlord Initiative and the Single Family Housing Initiative. These four accelerators will further promote the growth of southern Dallas.
The initiative is on target, but enhancements are always necessary in long term plans like this. His key goals remain the same, including development of a thriving tax base in southern Dallas. However, in order to continue the momentum, Mayor Rawlings and a team of dedicated community leaders recently unveiled new strategies for GrowSouth.
View the GrowSouth film