A Dallas-based non-profit organization cleared what it described as a major hurdle earlier this week as it seeks to give voters a chance to amend the City of Dallas Charter, according to a press release.

The City’s initial count of petition signatures — of which 20,000 must be successfully matched to voter rolls for a proposed amendment to make it onto the November ballot — numbered well over 50,000 for each of the organization’s three proposed amendments.

Petition verification

That matching process, called validation of signatures, begins next.

Dallas HERO describes itself as a citizen-led, bipartisan organization. After months out on the streets of the city, the group delivered over 165,000 signatures to the City Secretary’s Office last Tuesday, June 18, according to a press release.

Those amendments are to improve public safety and make City leaders more directly accountable to the residents of Dallas, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The group’s first proposed amendment would increase the number of sworn officers in the Dallas Police Department from 3,000 to at least 4,000, for a ratio of approximately three officers per 1,000 Dallas residents.

The second hopes to increase accountability for the city manager, a position that is filled by appointment rather than election yet pays more than the U.S. presidency, by tying compensation to performance.

The third amendment would allow citizens to take government officials and staff to court if they fail to follow the laws of the City Charter, City Code, or State of Texas.

Dallas HERO’s honorary chair, Stefani Carter, addressed the Dallas City Council last Tuesday. As she spoke, the organization’s executive director, Pete Marocco, was a few floors away at City Hall, delivering the nearly 25 boxes full of petitions directly to the City Secretary’s Office.

“We believe Dallas has fallen short of prioritizing our city’s most pressing problems and has failed to solve them through policy and budget prioritization,” said Carter in a press release.

“Through this community-wide movement, our goal is to better protect all Dallas residents by putting more officers on our streets, making them among the highest paid in North Texas, and helping address the pension system deficit. These measures should boost recruiting and retention efforts,” she said.

Neither Ms. Carter nor Mr. Marocco responded with additional comment by press time.