News & Networking 2019
Chad Edwards, regional mobility and innovation officer for the Transportation & Public Works Department of the City of Fort Worth, visited our November gathering with an update on transit planning in Fort Worth. He talked about various modes of transit in Fort Worth, including TEXRail, The Dash (electric bus) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
With the cost of light rail in the multi-millions per mile, he said BRT is a more economical option that can accomplish the same goal.
Edwards also mentioned ways WPF members could become involved by visiting the transit website and taking the survey, attending some of the remaining public meetings (listed on the website) or listening to the presentation online.
Attending News & Networking in November were: (from left), Dana Burghdoff, Chad Edwards, Margaret DeMoss, Nancy Amos and Judy Harmon.
There was no News & Networking meeting in October due to the WPF Emerging Issues Symposium.
Martha Peters, Director of Public Art for the Arts Council of Fort Worth, gave an interesting presentation on the future plans for public art in Fort Worth. She discussed a strategic plan for iconic public artworks, which has identified four sites for statement artwork: downtown, the cultural district, stockyards areas and the Trinity River/Gateway Park
site. The first three are visitor-focused and the last one is more focused on residents.
In the Cultural District, the ongoing project includes the renovation and lighting of Pioneer Tower. Specific locations and art projects have not yet been named for the other three spots, as Fort Worth Public Arts is creating a team of arts professionals, community leaders, business leaders, donors and institutional partners to help guide those decisions. The Project Core Team is slated to be established by December of 2019.
Attending News & Networking in August were: (from left), Judy Harmon, Louise Appleman, Betty Rowland, Chelsea Marshall, Dana Burghdoff, Kitty Case, Sandy Kautz and Martha Peters.
Linda Fulmer, Executive Director of Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration, discussed her work towards making food sources more accessible in areas designated as food deserts. Many of these areas, some of which are in east and southeast Fort Worth, have little to no traditional grocery stores. However, through her work, Fulmer has documented non-traditional food sources including Dollar General stores and the growth of urban farming plots in southeast Fort Worth.
Attending News & Networking this month were: (clockwise from lower left) Brenda Patton, Dana Burghdoff, Karen Myers, Shantrice McWilliams-Dolphus, Carol Peters, Sandy Kautz, Betty Rowland, Nancy Amos, Kerry Neuhardt, Linda Fulmer, Kitty Case, and Michaela Cromar.
Linda Abel, President of Dementia Friendly Fort Worth, spoke with May attendees about her work in raising awareness of issues associated with dementia.
A former RN who previously worked in memory care facilities, Abel's experience helps her volunteer work with the new non-profit whose mission is to educate people in all sectors of the community about dementia, to assist them in becoming dementia friendly and to support and care for those living with dementia and their care partners.
Dementia Friendly Fort Worth describes itself as a dementia awareness and education initiative for all sectors of the community. In her role, Abel has trained countless groups, from the medical field to churches to non-profits, on working with patients with dementia. In addition, she has worked to have Fort Worth designated a Dementia Friendly City, one of three cities in Texas identified as part of Dementia Friendly America.
Joining in the informative discussion this month were: (l-r) guest speaker Linda Abel, Dana Burghdoff, Tracy Peters, Carol Peters, Pat Cheong, Nancy Amos and Sue Catterton.
Manya Shorr, Library Director for the City of Fort Worth Library, led an interesting discussion on the Fort Worth Library's strategic plan and her big visions for the library system in Fort Worth. The plan consists of 6 focus areas including arts & culture and community vitality among others. Shorr answered questions and talked generally about the state of libraries today - that they truly serve all and not just people without means, which she says is a common misconception. She said only 14% of Fort Worth residents have active library cards, a number which Shorr said should be closer to 35% .
She mentioned new, expanded hours that the 17 local, regional and central libraries are open in evenings and weekends and talked about innovative collaborations where libraries are serving residents. One of the first goals in the Strategic Plan is to increase the number of city residents with an active library card, and to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for adult programming.
Enjoying the April meeting were (clockwise) Brenda Patton, guest speaker Manya Shorr, Cindy Hanes, Betty Rowland, Leann Guzman, Dana Burghdoff, Cathy Holt, Sandy Kautz, Pat Cheong, and Kathy Lanier. Not pictured: Cathy Neece Brown.
Laura Hilgart, President/CEO, The Women's Center, presented some sobering statistics on sexual assault, and local efforts to address these issues. According to Hilgart, there was a 6% increase in hospital calls from 2017 to 2018. From January to December of 2018, there were 3,996 calls completed on the crisis hotline, an 11% increase over 2017. Hilgart attributed the "Me Too" movement to aiding the increase. However, she noted a decrease in 2018, in part due to the Kavanaugh hearing and confirmation in 2018.
The Women's Center provides programming in three service areas: rape crises and victim services, employment solutions and general counseling services. Hilgart emphasized the collaborative nature of much of their work, and praised our community for its ability to bring entities together for the common good.
March attendees included (clockwise) Karen Myers, Sandy Kautz, Betty Rowland, Dana Burghdoff, Flora Brewer, guest speaker Laura Hilgart, Ann McDonald, Pat Cheong, and Cindy Hanes.
Mary-Margaret Lemons, president of Fort Worth Housing Solutions, gave an informal presentation on the strategic plan for affordable housing in the City of Fort Worth. The vision of Fort Worth housing is to have adequate and diverse supply of housing distributed throughout the City. Lemons presented stats showing the growing need for affordable housing in Fort Worth. "Where you live matters," she said, citing the need for workers to find affordable housing closer to their place of work to avoid the high transportation costs of commuting. HUD has established income thresholds for affordable housing which equals 30% of monthly gross income. At that rate an hourly wage of $14.15 per hour would be needed for an efficiency housing unit.
Joining in the discussion were (Bottom, L-R): Susan Wilcox, Dana Burghdoff, guest speaker Mary-Margaret Lemons, Nancy Amos, Judy Harmon, Kerry Neuhardt, Pat Cheong, and Linda Pavlik.
A lively discussion was held of the obstacles women have overcome when running for elected office. Members and guests in attendance included Dana Burghdoff, Betty Rowland, Sandy Kautz, Jennifer Trevino, Carol Peters, Ann Zadeh, Tracy Scott, Michaela Cromar, Nancy Amos, Judy Harmon, and Cathy Neece Brown.
Jennifer Trevino led an interesting discussion around how to support women who are running for elected office, whether local, statewide or national. She noted the importance of setting good examples for young girls and cited the "She Votes" program through Girls, Inc. as one program that encourages voting and involvement in community. Also present for the discussion was City Councilmember Ann Zadeh who also spoke of some obstacles in her political career. Children are perceived as a hindrance for women but not men. Women are typically judged more harshly and find it harder to say no. As legislators, though, women are more likely to compromise and enact more legislation.