Q&A: Peoples, Parker in June 5 runoff ballot for Fort Worth mayor

Peoples, Parker will be back on the ballot on June 5 for the mayoral runoff election. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Peoples, Parker will be back on the ballot on June 5 for the mayoral runoff election. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

Peoples, Parker will be back on the ballot on June 5 for the mayoral runoff election. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)

On June 5, Fort Worth voters can head to the polls to cast a ballot in a runoff election for the mayor's seat.

In the May 1 election, none of the 10 mayoral candidates received at least 50% of the votes, so the candidates with the two highest vote totals will proceed to the runoff election. Early voting will be May 24-30 and June 1. For times and locations of early voting, visit Tarrant County elections.

Dallas Fort Worth

Fort Worth Mayor

Deborah Peoples

Occupation: Retired

Experience: After graduating from Texas Woman's University, my first job was at the city of Fort Worth assisting residents access city services. Thus, I know how to ensure city hall is available to all citizens of Fort Worth. I also spent many years in corporate American where I supervised thousands of employees throughout the United States.

Why are you running for office?

DP: I am running for mayor of Fort Worth because I feel strongly that our city should be one. By this, I mean that our citizens deserve the best the city of Fort Worth has to offer: great city services, quick response times by first responders, and continued quality economic development.

If elected, what would be your top three priorities?

DP: Obviously, I am committed to bringing our city together by continuing to address transportation issues in our ever-growing city. I also want to see our city promote smart growth, not just growth. The city of Fort Worth must strive to lead in ensuring the best city services and public engagement.

What do you see as the city’s role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic?

DP: The city of Fort Worth must advocate for aggressive testing and encourage people to get vaccinated. We must also continue to advocate social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing all public areas regularly.

Mattie Parker

Occupation: Nonprofit executive

Experience: I have spent the last 17 years of my career not as a politician, rather behind the scenes of local, state and federal government getting results, making positive change and understanding what our city needs to move forward. Through my work, I have had a front-row seat in every challenge our city currently faces and became the go-to leader for community and business professionals, elected officials and our residents. I am an attorney, CEO and founder of an education nonprofit, former chief of staff to Mayor Betsy Price and City Council and a mother of three children.

Why are you running for office?

MP: Fort Worth is a remarkable city I am proud to call home. As the soon-to-be 12th largest city in the US, we are at a pivotal turning point in our city's history, and I believe we need strong, results-driven leadership to ensure we stay on the right trajectory. I am prepared to take our city forward while maintaining the integrity of what makes Fort Worth the community we all want to raise our families and grow our businesses in. I have spent my entire career solving problems and finding solutions. It takes principled leaders, not politicians, to provide a safer and stronger Fort Worth. I will lead with a listening ear and a united voice that speaks for neighborhoods in every part of our city. I believe in innovation. I believe in unity. I believe in listening to everyone. For all these reasons, I believe the future will be bright for Fort Worth and know I can lead us there.

If elected, what would be your top three priorities?

MP: Our neighborhoods are the heartbeat of Fort Worth. In order to protect and support them, I will deliver strong police and fire services and push back against any efforts to defund our police force. It is essential we continue our work in neighborhood revitalization with investment in critical city infrastructure and investment in our city parks and greenspace. Safe neighborhoods and strong economies go hand in hand. We must partner with nonprofits, educational experts and business leaders to ensure more students have the job training needed to succeed in today’s workforce – giving young adults real-world skills and hope for a brighter future. Additionally, Fort Worth must compete in a global economy. Together, we need to support local entrepreneurs to help grow our own businesses, while aggressively pursuing corporate relocations, securing new, high-paying jobs. To make real change happen we must have an efficient City Hall. As our next mayor, I will protect taxpayers and look for additional ways to provide property tax relief for homeowners. This requires focusing our city budget on the basic services that have the biggest impact on our lives while building a truly business-friendly climate at City Hall that enables our businesses to grow and flourish.

What do you see as the city’s role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic?

MP: A safe and smart recovery from COVID-19 is critical to ensure a healthy and prosperous community. The city’s primary responsibilities include business recovery assistance, public health evaluations and working alongside our schools to ensure our students with significant learning loss are supported and advance in their educational journey. City leaders must coordinate with every partner who has worked together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a thorough evaluation of the impact on our community. We must understand what public health changes need to be made to better protect our residents moving forward. Business recovery must continue. We need to support our small businesses and entrepreneurs in new and innovative ways, cutting any unnecessary regulatory red tape and connecting as many resources as possible to help businesses recover and our residents pivot into new businesses post-COVID. Fort Worth students and families need every available resource to help students get back on track. We must continue to support our students through neighborhood services, libraries, the police department and many other crucial departments. As public gatherings become possible again, we must also fully activate our city facilities and employees to support students in after-school and summer programming.

By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.


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