Dallas Voice Questionnaire answers:
1. Name: Adam Bazaldua
2. Council District you are running in: Dallas City Council District 7
3. Incumbent or challenger: Challenger
4. Tell us about your family:
I have two wonderful children, one of which is a foster child. My wife and I were high school sweethearts and have been married for 10 years. My mother, father, step-mother and step-father all live locally and are significant parts of my life.
5. What is your profession?
I am a teacher at Skyline High School.
6. What qualifications do you have to serve on the council? (volunteer work, civic work, board/commission appointments):
- Appointee to Police Chief Hall’s Community Task Force
- Appointee to DISD District 9 COmmunity Task Force
- Vice Chair of the Davis Garden TIF Board
- Former Chair of ‘Dallas Green Alliance’
- Chair of my HOA’s Crime Watch
- President of my daughter’s PTA
- Teacher in District 7 for 6 years
7. What are the top three issues affecting the city as a whole, and how will you address them?
• Affordable Housing- I would like to see our newly implemented housing policy to be utilized more and for us to use these tools and create more for more inclusionary zoning and mixed income projects throughout the city. I would also like to see us utilize the large amount of properties in our land bank to provide more quality affordable housing opportunities.
• Homelessness- I am very passionate about homelessness and will be advocating for more of our budget to be allocated to these initiatives. We have to invest more in mental health and wrap around services for our homeless population. There is a program that was first piloted in Philadelphia called Street Change and I would like to bring them to Dallas or charge for a local entity to create something comparable.
• Racial Equity- For too long our city has been inequitable to our brown and black communities, predominantly south of I-30. I would like to see more consistency across the city with regard to City Services, code enforcement being the main one. The mindset has to change and it will take strong leadership in the southern sector to accomplish that.
8. What are the top three issues affecting your district specifically and how will you address them?
• Affordable Housing – I realize I mentioned this as a city wide issue as well. This is also an issue in District 7 specifically. We need leadership who will maintain the working-class status and see to it that we have more affordable options for our teachers, first responders and blue collar families.
• Building Coalitions – for so long we have had representation that is serving their own ego or agenda and it has prevented us from making progress in many ways. Internally, we need leadership who will build relationships and trust with stakeholders across the district in every community. Also externally, we need to have 8 votes to get anything passed and our current representative has failed in showing us he is capable of acquiring the votes to get anything done. I will work respectfully and diligently with whoever it takes to make things happen for my constituency.
• Increasing Transparency and Accountability – We have to get more integrity at CIty Hall and in this seat specifically. In the past 2 months we have seen several of our leaders, past and present, who have been in the center of corruption and situations that has completely lost the public’s trust. We need to get past the special interests and increase transparency on many fronts. I want to help build this trust back with the people in my district and for them to feel like they have a representative that they can be proud of!
9. Will you work to protect LGBT equality in Dallas if necessary?
I consider myself an ally and will always do anything in my power to protect LGBT equality in Dallas.
10. Do you support inclusion of LGBT equality in the city’s legislative agenda?
The City of Dallas has made significant advancements in the rights of LGBTQ+ people through a variety of equality issues. In fact, Human Rights Campaign notes in their annual studies of LGBTQ inclusion that Dallas is one of the leading cities in Texas with regard to protections and services offered. In a state that lags behind other populous states in inclusiveness, it’s wonderful that Dallas does so much. I would work with the council to continue supporting and funding existing efforts, while seeking out leaders in the LGBTQ community in Dallas to keep our city progressing.
11. Will you consider qualified LGBT individuals as appointees to boards and commissions? If you are an incumbent or previously held office, have you done so in the past?
There is a strong presence of LGBTQ residents in Dallas, and I believe that government on any level should be representative to the constituents to which it is serving. My office and my board/ commission appointments will reflect my dedication to being fully inclusive of the Dallas and District 7 community.
12. Will you work with and support the LGBT community, and if so how? If you are an incumbent or previously held office, how have you supported the community in the past?
Watching my best friend from high school, who came out publicly a few years after graduation, come to life and exhibit confidence for the first time was deeply personal and touching. While I have always considered myself an ally, that experience really solidified for me the importance of advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Being raised by progressive parents, in two bi-racial households (my father is Mexican, my mother is white, my step-father is black) taught me from a young age the importance of tolerance and the need for strong civil rights in our community; also that LOVE IS LOVE and those are principles I hold dear to this day. Which is why I am an ordained minister and have performed several marriage ceremonies for friends within the LGBTQ+ community. Also, as an educator I am faced with being a compassionate and affirmative leader to many LGBTQ+ youth in our city, and feel very strongly that the advocation of gay rights begins with making sure that our young people feel comfortable to express themselves, whoever they are and that whomever they love is accepted by our community as a whole – that is what I believe and am willing to fight for.
13. What have we not asked about that you want to mention?
Dedication and work ethic. These are two things that definitely set me apart from my opponent. I have worked in two industries that require very hard work: the restaurant industry and education. I am ready and willing to devote my full time to the council seat and do actual work! The part of the job that is at City Hall is only a small piece of it. We need leadership who will put boots on the ground and get to work with constituents in their respective communities.