Dallas County Health and Human Services Opens COVID-19 Vaccination Registration Website and Announces Mass Vaccination Site

This post has been updated on January 15, 2021 to include the FAQ for the Fair Park COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site and DCHHS Vaccine Registration Hotline (see below).

Today, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) opened up a COVID-19 vaccination registration and pre-screening site for Dallas County residents in phase 1A or 1B, as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). While vaccine supply is extremely limited, DCHHS anticipates receiving additional supply in the coming weeks and months. The registration website is for vaccination eligibility only at DCHHS, and not for all providers within Dallas County.

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The City of Duncanville announces Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides as their new City Manager

The Duncanville City Council is proud to announce Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides as their new City Manager.

Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides start date is February 22, 2021.

Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides has nearly 30 years of professional experience at all levels of government. On July 10, 2017, she was appointed as City Manager for the great City of Petersburg, Virginia after previously serving as City Manager for the City of Glenn Heights, Texas.

Much of her career has been spent in Washington, DC, where she previously served as the Deputy Secretary of the State for the District of Columbia. Serving under four Mayoral Administrations, she held positions to include Chief Operating Officer for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation; Chief of Staff for the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Children, Youth, Families and Elders; and Director for the Office of Neighborhood Action and the Community Empowerment Cluster.

With a true commitment to government, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides previously served as the Assistant County Administrator for Los Alamos County, New Mexico. In that role, she managed the County’s Intergovernmental Program and Economic Development. For the City of Sunnyvale, California, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides served as the Assistant to the City Manager, where she oversaw Sunnyvale’s Intergovernmental and Legislative programs.

From 1989 to 1995, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides worked with the Central Intelligence Agency as an undergraduate intern and later as Graduate Fellow focusing on Soviet Military Issues. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides held her first local government job with the City of Fort Worth in 1988 as a summer employee.

From 1995 to 1997, she served as the Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the Governor of Maryland. From 1997 to 2002, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides worked for the City of Chicago as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Housing Authority and as Assistant Chief Information Officer for the Department of Business and Information Services.

Currently, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides serves on several intergovernmental boards to include Riverside Regional Jail Authority (Secretary Treasurer), Crater Youth Correctional Center (Chair), South Central Wastewater Authority (Vice-Chair), Petersburg Area Regional Tourism, Appomattox River Water Authority and Crater Planning District.

Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is committed to serving in the field of Public Administration and is a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Since 1988, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides has been a faithful and supportive member of the NFBPA, beginning with serving as the organization’s student representative on the national board of directors and later serving as President of the Chicago Chapter, Vice-President of the Council of Presidents, National Secretary/Treasurer, 2nd Vice-President, 1st Vice-President and ultimately serving as the 17ths National President. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a 1995 Graduate of the NFBPA’s Mentor Program and 1999 graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute. In 2017, she was awarded the Marks of Excellence Award. The Marks of Excellence Award is bestowed upon an African-American Public Administrator who has achieved extraordinary success in the field of public management. Early in her career, she was awarded the NFBPA Young Public Administrator of the Year Award. This is a nationally competitive award recognizing an administrator, under age 35, who has demonstrated an above-average commitment and success in both the profession and community.

Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a Silver Star member of the Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University in Washington, DC. She has also completed the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute, and part of the 2015 Class of Leadership Southwest. Ms. Ferrell-Benavides is married to former Dallas City Manager, Ted Benavides, and has one son Geoffry Alexander who is a student at the University of Kansas.

2020 Halloween Celebration – Spooky Chalk-Off Contest

The City of Duncanville will be hosting a Halloween Celebration event this year, however, it will not be our traditional Boo Bash event and it will be on a much smaller scale. The Duncanville Recreation Center will instead be hosting our very first Halloween Spooky Chalk-Off Contest!

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the Recreation Center – East parking lot. Each participant will be assigned an 8′ X 16′ parking space where they will create a Halloween-themed work of art … in chalk!

Space will be limited to the first 46 participants.

Registration is required for all participants.

Event Date: Saturday, October 24, 2020

Event Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Event Location: Recreation Center – East Parking Lot

Safety measures: For the safety of our participants, this event will be COVID-19 compliant and will be held outdoors allowing for 6-foot social distancing. There will be one empty parking space between each art display, masks will be required, and participants, family, and friends will be asked to remain together in their area and not mingle with others outside their group.      

Event Categories:          

  • Family – 8′ X 16′ parking space; up to 4 people – to include children ages 2 to 7.
  • Youth – 8′ X 16′ parking space; up to 4 people – ages 8 to 17.

Material Restrictions: Only water-based chalk paints are permissible. The Recreation Center will provide a limited amount of chalk while supplies last. We encourage participants to bring their own chalk. 

Space Assignment: 46 spaces available. Each parking space is 8′ X 16′. The spots will be numbered and assigned to each participant by a Recreation Attendant. Participants will be spaced one parking space apart to adhere to social distancing.  Please note that some parking spaces may have cracks or texture variations.

Registration/Sign-up:  To register, download the fillable form and email it to fmendoza@duncanville.com or visit us at the Recreation Center – 201 James Collins Blvd., Duncanville, Texas 75116.  Check-in will begin at 10:30 am at the pavilion in the Recreation Center parking lot.  Artists may prep their spaces as early as 7 am, but art creation cannot begin until 11 am.  Any artist failing to check-in by 10:30 am will forfeit their space. You must register to participate.

Halloween Chalk-Off Registration Form

Registration Deadline:  Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Parking: All participants must park at the D.L. Hopkins Jr. Senior Center – East parking lot.

Prizes: Award winners will be selected and announced on the same day. The winner must be present to claim his/her prize at 3 pm.

Rules: 

  • Drawings must remain within the designated square area.  Drawings on buildings, trees, or any other surface are strictly prohibited.
  • This is a family-friendly Halloween event.  Artwork containing nudity, profanity, political or content deemed inappropriate by the Halloween committee will be removed and the artist will be disqualified from the contest.
  • Only artist-made templates are permissible
  • The use of flammable or offensive odors may not be used.

Failure to comply by these rules or guidelines may be grounds for dismissal.

Tips:

  • Use chalk sparingly.  Build up your layers, starting with a very light layer on the bottom.
  • Some artists prefer to lay all their undertones first.  Some prefer to work top to bottom. We recommend outlining all major elements first.
  • A big chalkboard eraser works great for laying down large areas of color.  Moving the eraser in a circular motion works best.
  • Using a paintbrush is also helpful when filling large areas.
  • If you’re a first-timer, consider using one object as the focal point of your artwork – a face, a frog, etc.  Small details are difficult to manage on a rough surface – so think BIG & DRAMATIC.
  • The more you work with chalk on concrete, the more comfortable you will become.  So, practice on the driveway at home.

Things you can bring: Blanket, chair, knee pads to stay comfy while you draw, sketches, or inspirations pieces to guide your chalk design and water and snacks to enjoy if you take a break.

Small bags of candy will be provided by the Recreation Center.

Cancellation:  In case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled with no rescheduled date.

For more information please contact the Recreation Center Front Desk at 972-780-5070 or email us at fmendoza@duncanville.com.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations for Trauma Service Area E Triggers Mandatory Capacity Reductions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 3, 2020

Trauma Service Area E (TSA E), which includes Dallas County and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, today reached seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals, as a percentage of available hospital beds, exceeded 15 percent. According to Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32 (GA-32), this makes TSA E an area with high hospitalizations and certain occupancy reductions are automatically triggered by reaching this threshold.

Businesses whose occupancy rates were increased to 75% in October through GA-32 are immediately reduced back to 50%. This includes all restaurants, retail stores, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, gyms and exercise facilities and classes, museums, and libraries in Dallas County and the other counties comprising TSA-E. A full list of affected businesses can be located at https://open.texas.gov/.  These capacity reductions do not affect businesses listed under the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance or covered by other exemptions contained in GA-32.

TSA E will remain under these restrictions until there are seven consecutive days where the percentage of COVID-19 confirmed patients in regional hospitals as a percentage of available hospital beds is at 15 percent or less.  The Texas Department of State Health Services provides additional information on GA-32 and a list of all affected counties at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/ga32/.

City of Duncanville Requests Community Input on Zoning Ordinance Update

The City of Duncanville began reviewing the zoning ordinance in February 2019 with a community open house, online survey, and stakeholder interviews. Since that time, City Council, City Staff, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the City’s consultant team have collaborated to develop a revised draft of the zoning ordinance.

The zoning ordinance establishes regulations for:

  • The land-use types that are allowed in various zoning districts;
  • The minimum lot size, width, and depth;
  • The maximum building height and minimum setbacks from property lines;
  • The minimum amount of parking required for each use type and general design requirements for parking areas;
  • The minimum amount of landscaping required for developments;
  • The placement and the maximum size and number of accessory structures that can be located on a property; and
  • The procedures for addressing nonconforming uses and structures.

The zoning map designates the zoning districts that apply to properties throughout the City. The new zoning ordinance will combine some existing districts.

The City of Duncanville will be hosting a Virtual Open House on Thursday, November 19 at 7:00 pm.  Members of the community are invited to attend this event either by registering for the Zoom event or the City’s Facebook Livestream.

Following the Virtual Open House presentation, the community is encouraged to visit https://clients.freese.com/duncanvillezoning and fill out the survey that will provide input on the draft ordinance. Alternatively, hard copies of the survey are available at City Hall. The survey is available through Thursday, December 3.

The draft ordinance is available for review on the website below.

For more information, please visit Virtual Open House or https://clients.freese.com/duncanvillezoning.

Hand Delivering Your Ballot by Mail for the November 3, 2020 General/Joint (Presidential) Election

Under the Governor’s emergency proclamation, voters may also:

  • Hand-deliver their marked ballot to the Dallas County Elections Department, 1520 Round Table Drive, Dallas, TX 75247
  • Ballots may be hand-delivered during the Election Departments hours of operation now through Election Day (November 3, 2020)
  • If delivering in person a voter must provide an acceptable form of ID upon delivery. For a list of acceptable ID’s please review the “ID FAQ’s”at https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/election-day-voting/what-do-i-need-in-order-to-vote/

EXTENDED HOURS SCHEDULE TO RETURN YOUR BALLOT BY MAIL IN OUR OFFICE

HORARIO EXTENDIDO PARA ENTREGAR SU BOLETA POR CORREO EN NUESTRA OFICINA

Bajo la proclamación de emergencia del Gobernador, los votantes pueden:

Duncanville Celebrates National Hispanic-Latino History Month – September 15, 2020 to October 15, 2020

Article Submitted by La’Trena Barrett, Commissioner
Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP)

The 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month Theme is:

Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

Reference:  https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/hispanic-heritage-month 

To learn more, view each Presidential Proclamation:

Did You Know?

  • 60.6 million – The Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2019, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 18.5% of the nation’s total population.
  • 12 – The number of states with a population of 1 million or more Hispanic residents in 2019 — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Reference: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2020/hispanic-heritage-month.html

Notable Hispanic and Latino Americans

Sonia Sotomayor, Celia Cruz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, César Chávez, Sylvia Rivera, Emma Gonzálex, Olga E. Custodio, Macario García, C. David Molina, Rita Moreno, Julia Alvarez, Roberto Clemente, Alfonso Cuarón, Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Laurie Hernandez, Jaime Escalante, Frida Kahlo, Gloria Estefan

Educational Links

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.  

Click Here to Learn More About Hispanic Heritage Month

Visit the Smithsonian Latino Center to learn more about:

  • Celebrating Influential Latinos in American History
  • Building A National Latino Gallery
  • Latino History is American History

Learn more about the Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership.

Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching for Presidential Election Last Day to Register is Monday, October 5, 2020

DALLAS, Texas – The General/Joint (Presidential) Election will occur on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. The deadline to register to vote for this election is Monday, October 5, 2020. The Dallas County Elections Department (DCED) must receive all applications no later than Monday-October 5, 2020. Anyone not registered by the deadline, will not be able to vote in the Presidential Election.

In order to accept any last minute registrations, the DCED will be open from 8:00 a.m. until midnight on Monday, October 5.

Dallas County Elections Department is asking all citizens, groups, business and community partners to encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote for this election.

On Sunday, October 4 and Monday, October 5, DCED will join forces with the Dallas Mavericks, Univision and Dallas Morning News to hold two separate mobile voter registration activities. Applicants can register to vote and update their information without having to get out of their car. Individuals can remain in their car while they fill out their voter registration application having a contactless experience.

Voter Registration Drive-Thrus

Sunday – October 4th, 2020
10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Health and Human Services Parking
Lot 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, TX 75207
Monday – October 5th, 2020
8:00 am–Midnight

Dallas County Elections Department
1520 Round Table Drive
Dallas, TX 75247

To be eligible to register to vote in Texas, a person must be:

  • A United States citizen;
  • A resident of the Texas county in which application for registration is made;
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day;
  • Not finally convicted of a felony, or, if so convicted must have (1) fully discharged the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court; or (2) been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote;
  • Not determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

Voter registration applications are available at Dallas County Tax Office locations, Post Offices and local libraries. You can also access an application from; https://www.dallascountyvotes.org/wp-content/uploads/Dallas_2020_VR17-2-1.pdf, print it, fill it out and mail it back to DCED. The application must be postmarked by October 5, 2020.