Atkins Takes Last Place in Dallas Derby

Screengrab of Council Member Tennell Atkins | Image by WFAA
Screengrab of Council Member Tennell Atkins | Image by WFAA

For the second time this year, poor ratings from his constituents have resulted in Council Member Tennell Atkins of District 8 coming in last in the Dallas Derby.

Residents of District 8 who responded to The Dallas Express‘ “Rate Your Council Member” survey gave Atkins low ratings for his effectiveness as a municipal representative. In April, Atkins fell short of his colleagues when addressing important issues such as crime reduction, homelessness, aggressive panhandling, and litter, as well as priorities like street repairs and park cleanliness.

While the four-time winner of the Dallas Derby, District 12 Council Member Cara Mendelsohn, widened her year-to-date lead over fellow members of the Dallas City Council with a score of 9.4 out of 10, Atkins earned an average score of 1 out of 10.

Atkins’ low score was bested only by his dismal showing in the February survey, in which he got an overall score of 0.9 out of 10.

In April’s survey, respondents living in this southeastern district reported that Atkins had earned a 1 out of 10 rating for his effectiveness in six categories of City service. This brings his year-to-date score since the feature began to 2.6 out of 10.

Year to date, Atkins ranks No.11 among the 14 members of the Dallas City Council, with Jesse Moreno, who represents District 2, coming in dead last with an average score of 1.7 out of 10.

Atkins’ year-to-date crime reduction score is the lowest of all six categories at 2.2 out of 10. This mirrors his recent distinction as runner-up to May’s Crime Boss, another DX-exclusive feature. Rising reports of property crime boosted his district’s Crime Score relative to other areas of Dallas.

According to data from the City’s crime analytics dashboard, theft offenses in District 8 rose by 10.2% in April 2024 compared to April 2023, largely due to spikes in motor vehicle theft and larceny.

District 8 survey respondents gave Atkins his second-lowest average score in litter reduction and overall cleanliness, awarding him 2.3 out of 10. His effectiveness was found most wanting in street repair and maintenance, with an average score of 2.5 out of 10 to date.

Respondents rated the reduction of homelessness and aggressive panhandling as the next lowest categories this year. Atkins’ effectiveness was rated an average of 2.6 and 2.7 out of 10, respectively.

Atkins’ highest-scoring category — park maintenance and cleanliness — was where his constituents thought he was most effective, with survey participants rating him 3.4 out of 10 on average.

If you are a City of Dallas resident, DX encourages you to click here to ensure you can take May’s “Rate Your Council Member” survey so your local representative knows how you feel about their performance. Also, be sure to spread the word and refer a friend who lives in Dallas so they can give their two cents.

Look here to read about how DX arrives at its Dallas Derby rankings.

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