Duncanville Celebrates African American History Month – February 2020

Article Submitted by Dr. Lavern J. HolyfieldMulticultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) Commissioner

National African American History Month highlights the contributions that African Americans have made to American history in their struggles for freedom and equality and the impact of this culture on our Nation’s history.

Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian believed it important to raise awareness of the contributions of African American civilization.  Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (later renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History – ASALH).  Through this organization, in 1925, Woodson conceived and introduced Negro History Week. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. 

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the ASALH continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

Above:  Excerpts from https://africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about/

The City of Duncanville is a diverse community with a history of African American leadership over the years.  Today, we feature some of the current African American Leaders in Duncanville.

Mark Cooks , Duncanville City Council Member District 4

Text Box: (Photo submitted by Mr. Cooks)
Mark Cooks
  1. How long have you been a resident of Duncanville?  14 years.
  2. What attracted you to the city?  I moved to Duncanville because of a new housing community that was being built. I wanted my family to be a part of a growing community just like the one I grew up in.
  3. What does African American month mean to you? Black History month has many different connotations for different people, but its importance to me comes from a place where I want to be reminded of my heritage and the many sacrifices and accomplishments made by those who have journeyed before me and to whom I am forever grateful. Black History month is a time of reflection; whether good or bad, it reminds me to continue looking forward and celebrating as our country recognizes the many contributions and the sacrifices made to afford us the liberties and the rights we enjoy today.

Patrick Harvey, Duncanville City Council Member At-Large

Text Box: (Photo submitted by Mr. Harvey)
Patrick Harvey
  1. How long have you been a resident of Duncanville? My family has lived in Duncanville since 1989.
  2. What attracted you to the city? There are many fine, quiet neighborhoods and homes with character, centrally located in the DFW Metroplex.
     
  3. What does African American history month mean to you?  African American history is essentially the story of America told from the perspective of those who have contributed mightily while waiting to experience and enjoy the fullness of the American experiment.

Cassandra Phillips, Vice President, Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees

Text Box: Ms. Phillips (right) and Board President Carla Fahey organize coats for distribution to students.
Cassandra Phillips

1.      How long have you been a resident of Duncanville?  I have been a proud and active resident of the City of Champions for 21 years.  

2.      What attracted you to the city?  While searching for our first home, location and schools were a top priority.  We ended up winning on both with a great location and exceptional schools.  

3.      What does African American history month mean to you?  For me, African American history month means a time for us to celebrate our ancestors.  A time to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices, contributions, and accomplishments of those who paved the way for us. 


The Duncanville Multicultural Social Engagement Partnership (MSEP) is a commission that serves under the City Council and is charged with:

  1. Establishing a partnership with the community to have the most engaged citizenry in America
  2. Develop an image as a family-oriented community locally and regionally
  3. Develop a brand for the community focusing on the goal of “Duncanville is the Basketball Capital of Texas” and leveraging this brand to enhance sports tourism
  4. Develop ways to engage citizens between 18-30 years of age to become more engaged in Duncanville
  5. Promote citizen participation and engagement in government; and to foster cooperative relationships among diverse citizens in order to fulfill the needs and desires and Duncanville’s diverse community

Mayor Gordon Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities’ Information Technology and Communications Committee

“Technology and communications are major issues facing cities right now, and with increased security concerns it’s more important than ever to stay on top of how these activities affect our communities,” said Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon. “I look forward to serving on the NLC ITC federal advocacy committee and working with my counterparts across the nation to advocate for solutions that are in the best interest of our cities”.

As a committee member, Gordon will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities and towns before Congress, with the administration and at home.

“NLC’s federal advocacy committees ensure policymakers in Washington understand the most pressing issues facing local communities,” said Joe Buscaino, councilmember of Los Angeles, California, and president of the National League of Cities (NLC). “I am proud to have Duncanville Mayor Barry Gordon join NLC’s Information Technology and Communications committee on behalf of his residents. Together, with a team of local officials from across the country, we will strengthen the federal-local partnership, and ultimately create stronger cities, towns and villages.”

The leadership of this year’s committee will consist of Chair Corina Lopez, Vice Mayor, San Leandro, California, Vice Chair Alix Desulme, Councilman, North Miami, Florida, and Vice Chair Joseph Goldstein, Councilmember, Marietta, Georgia.

For more information on NLC’s federal advocacy committees, visit: www.nlc.org/advocacy/committees

Novel Coronavirus: Public Awareness Regarding the Respiratory Illness

A new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was recently detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness. The 2019-nCoV outbreak began in December 2019, and Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of 2019‑nCoV infections in China, including several that resulted in death. Several additional countries have identified cases of 2019-nCoV infection including the United States.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in monitoring the developing outbreak. See the CDC website for the latest developments on 2019-nCoV, including current case counts: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

Census 2020 Student Poster Contest

Census 2020 Student Poster Contest

The Census 2020 Complete Count Committee and the City of Duncanville are sponsoring a poster contest to engage students in a discussion about the Census. The accurate counting of all people affects the entire community, and involving children in the process helps them understand the Census and its importance in our everyday lives.

Poster Contest Information

The Census 2020 Student Poster Contest is open to all Public, Private and Homeschooled students in grade categories K-5 and 6 – 12 living or attending a school in the Duncanville city limits.

Poster Theme: Middle & High School Students Theme: “Count Me”

Poster Theme: Kindergarten – 5th Grade Students Theme: “Count Me Too”

Entry Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020

 

  • Posters must have a positive visual and verbal message and illustrate this year’s theme.
  • Any two-dimensional medium may be used (crayon, paint, pencil, marker, photos, etc).
  • Suggested Poster size is 11” x 17”.
  • Student’s Registration Page MUST be attached to the back of the poster to qualify. Please complete both sections.
  • No professional or copyrighted material or images.

Art, Science & Math Teachers, Guidance Counselors and Home School teachers are encouraged to use this contest as part of their curriculum. All students are urged to submit a poster. The winning posters will be used by the Duncanville Census 2020 Complete Count Committee through the campaign in various avenues to promote the mission.

Posters are judged in two categories: Best Message and Most Creative

Posters can be mailed or dropped off at City Hall at 203 E. Wheatland Road, Duncanville, before 5:00 pm on the deadline. Winners and Duncanville ISD will be notified by email and invited to a City Council meeting for recognition, date TBA. Questions about the poster contest should be directed to Athena Seaton at mailto:aseaton@duncanville.com or 972-707-3878.

 

About the Census

The Constitution mandates that the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail. This year mark the first time that citizens will be able to respond to the census online.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding goes to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.

 

2019 Duncanville State of the City

On January 16, 2020, the Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Celebrate Duncanville: State of the City event at Hilton Garden Inn. Approximately 200 attendees from various businesses and community organizations came together to celebrate Duncanville’s progress over the past year, including awarding Duncanville’s Man and Woman of the Year, as well as the Mayor’s Choice Award for two local businesses.

The State of the City presented by Mayor Barry Gordon shares community highlights and city accomplishments for the year.

State of the City Video

The Mayor’s speech and PowerPoint presentation is also available in its entirety.

Mayor’s Speech & Presentation

2019 Duncanville Man and Woman of the Year

Man of the Year was awarded to Duncanville Police Officer Doug Sisk, pictured center with Mayor Gordon and wife Marlyse.
Woman of the Year was awarded to community visionary Betty Dunn, pictured with husband Weymond.

2019 Mayor’s Choice Award: Businesses

Redbird Skateland
Quality Aspirators

Bond Update: New Fire Station No. 1

In December 2019, Core Construction Services of Texas, Inc., was selected as the Construction Manager at Risk firm to manage the preconstruction phase services and construction phase services to aid with the selection of a design team, management of the design process, preparation of the construction contract, selection of the construction contractor, and management of the construction of the new Fire Station No. 1.

  • Selection of an architectural firm to design new Fire Station No. 1 is ongoing
  • Design contract award is anticipated in March 2020
  • Land acquisition for the new fire station is ongoing

For more information regarding construction of the new Fire Station No. 1 bond project, please contact the Public Works Department at 972-780-5015.

Bond Update: Danieldale Road Corridor Study

Subsequent to the approval of a design contract for the Danieldale Road Street and Subsurface Utilities Reconstruction from South Main Street to U.S. Highway 67, City Council requested Public Works staff perform a corridor study along Danieldale Road to identify the potential for bike and pedestrian facilities.

Danieldale Road Project Location Map

Danieldale Road Project Location Map

City consultant Dunaway Associates presented their recommendations for the Danieldale Road Corridor Study during a City Council workshop held in September 2019:

Final end-state along Danieldale Road Corridor – This is what would be designed/constructed between Main Street and U.S. Highway 67 with future corridor reconstruction work along the corridor to also reflect this design:

  • 4 lanes (two each direction)
  • 12-foot shared used path in north parkway
  • 8-foot sidewalk in south parkway

Interim measure along Danieldale Road – This is what would be installed along the balance of Danieldale Road to tie into the bike lanes along Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas, to the reconstructed section of Danieldale Road between Main Street and U.S. Highway 67 and the planned four-lane road (with bike lanes) in Desoto:

  • convert outside vehicular lane to a 5-foot bike lane with 6-foot buffer
  • 4 lanes (two each direction) would remain for vehicular traffic
  • 5-foot sidewalks along north and south parkway
Conceptual Interim Measure along Danieldale Road

Conceptual Interim Measure along Danieldale Road

On November 5, 2019, City Council approved the Danieldale Road Corridor Study recommendations to convert Danieldale Road to four vehicular lanes with supporting bike and pedestrian facilities as shown in the above conceptual design.

The final design is scheduled to be complete in June 2020.  For more information regarding the Danieldale Road bond project, please contact the Public Works Department at 972-780-5015. 

Danieldale Road Final Design

Danieldale Road Final Design between Main Street and U.S. Highway 67

Bond Update: North Main Street

The City of Duncanville partnered with Dallas County in May 2019 to perform a preliminary engineering study for the North Main Street/Camp Wisdom Road intersection on a 50-50 cost basis.

N Main St Project Location Map

North Main Street Project Location Map

  • The preliminary study is ongoing with an estimated completion date of Spring 2020
  • The Main Street / Camp Wisdom intersection was submitted in October 2019 for funding as part of the Dallas County 7th Call for Projects
  • 7th Call Projects selected for funding require a 50-50 cost participation
  • Dallas County selection of 7th Call for Projects is anticipated in Spring 2020

For more information regarding the North Main Street bond project, please contact the Public Works Department at 972-780-5015.