Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson hosted a community meet and greet in East Dallas on April 1 to meet supporters and discuss his final term in office.
The Dallas Express was on hand to witness Johnson speaking to members of the community.
The event was held in an East Dallas neighborhood and was attended by community members, local business leaders, and City officials.
During the meet and greet, Mayor Johnson discussed his plans for the final years of his term, including initiatives meant to improve public safety, support more parks, bolster the city’s infrastructure, and address economic needs.
He also emphasized the importance of community engagement.
“In a lot of ways, I hope the next four years look like the last four years, which has been very successful in some very key areas. We don’t want to take our foot off the gas, so to speak, on the things that we’ve made real progress on,” Johnson said to The Dallas Express.
“When I came into office, crime was not going in the right direction, and it is going in the right direction now,” Johnson claimed.
“Dallas is not where it was when it comes to crime, and it’s not where it’s ultimately going to be,” he continued. “We’re going to be the safest major city in America at some point, and we’re working towards that.”
“Where we were when I took office was a city where crime was rising. We had a police chief that did not take reducing violent crimes seriously enough. I pushed hard to get us a new chief that does understand that violent crime is a serious problem, and he came in and implemented a violent crime plan at my urging and that plan is working,” Johnson said.
Johnson told The Dallas Express that the data the FBI collects on violent crime in every city in America shows a consecutive fall in violent crime in Dallas.
“Dallas is the only city that in every major violent crime category that they track, the crime has fallen two consecutive years, year over year, and I’m very proud of that,” Johnson claimed.
The Dallas Express reached out to the FBI but was unable to verify this claim by the time of publication.
Johnson told The Dallas Express that he also understands the need for Dallas to continue its economic growth.
“Since I’ve been in office, we’ve attracted a Fortune 500 company to Dallas every year. We’ve got AECOM that’s come. CBRE that’s come. You’ve got Goldman Sachs that’s announced an expansion, and we need to keep that up,” Johnson said.
Johnson added that he is also focused on the 2024 bond.
“The 2024 bond needs to be reflective of the people’s priorities, not the bureaucrats at City Hall’s priorities,” Johnson argued.
“I mean, there are a lot of ways bureaucrats like to spend money, and there’s what people want. The people want to spend money on public safety. We need a new police academy for our police officers. They want to see money spent on parks where they need to go with their families.”
Johnson said he wants to be able to attract families with children. He pointed to efforts to create more green spaces, such as parks with amenities that people will enjoy.
Some of Johnson’s supporters spoke to The Dallas Express at Saturday’s event.
“He’s done an excellent job here in the city,” said Sammie Berry, minister at Dallas West Church of Christ, speaking to The Dallas Express.
“We’re proud that he’s going to be able to continue as the mayor of Dallas, and we’re here to support him,” Berry said.
Berry expressed that he wants to see Johnson continue to accomplish his goals and what he has set out to do.
“I want him to continue doing what he has been doing, decreasing the crime rate, education, business — just keep doing what he has been doing. He’s done a great job in all those areas,” Berry added.
Johnson is currently running unopposed for reelection in May 2023, which will be his final term in office due to term limits.
He is the first Dallas mayor to run unopposed since 1967.
Jrmar Jefferson, who attempted to file to run against Johnson this year, has repeatedly questioned the City’s filing process and transparency. Jefferson announced his plans to sue the City over his claims last month, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.