TASK FORCE ON RACE AND CULTURE BRIEFING
At its work session Tuesday, May 7, the Fort Worth City Council received a briefing in response to health, housing, transportation and governance recommendations from the Task Force on Race and Culture.
It was the second presentation by the group, following an April 9 presentation on the response to economic development and education. A May 14 presentation will focus on criminal justice.
“We’ve been making good progress in implementing all 22 recommendations from the Task Force on Race and Culture,” Assistant City Manager Fernando Costa said.
The report dealt with the extent of disparities, causes of disparities, recommendations, and success measures.
*High Blood Pressure: 40 percent of African-American adults in Tarrant County have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, versus 30 percent of all adults in the county. Corresponding figures are 25 percent for Hispanics and 31 percent for Whites. Source: Tarrant County Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Health Information.
*Obesity: 38 percent of African-American adults in Tarrant County have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, versus 30 percent of all adults in the county. Corresponding figures are 30 percent for Hispanics and 28 percent for Whites. Source: Tarrant County Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Health Information.
*Cognitive Decline: 23 percent of African-American adults in Tarrant County are experiencing confusion or memory loss that is increasing in frequency or worsening, versus 12 percent of all adults in the county. Corresponding figures are 6 percent for Hispanics and 11 percent for Whites. Source: Tarrant County Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Health Information.
*Diabetes 16 percent of African-American adults in Tarrant County have been diagnosed with diabetes, versus 11 percent of all adults in the county. Corresponding figures are 12 percent for Hispanics and 9 percent for Whites. Source: Tarrant County Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Health Information.
*Infant Mortality: 9.6 African-American infant deaths per 1,000 live births were recorded in Tarrant County during 2015, versus 6.2 infant deaths per 1,000 overall. Corresponding figures are 6.6 for Hispanics and 4.3 for Whites. Sources: Texas Department of State Health Services.
Strategies for change:
*Health education and outreach: Increase resident awareness of behaviors that
contribute to health and wellness.
*Active lifestyles: Increase resident participation in walking, cycling, and other forms of exercise.
*Increase resident access to healthy foods.
*Provide residents with better access to healthcare providers.
*Residential segregation: The degree of residential segregation for all minority populations in Fort Worth, as measured by the federal dissimilarity index, decreased between 1990 and 2010, from 53 to 45, but has increased back to 49 since 2010. Source: City of Fort Worth, draft Assessment of Fair Housing.
*Households paying upwards of 30 percent of income for housing: While 33 percent of all Fort Worth households pay over 30 percent of their gross income for housing, 45 percent of African-American households pay over 30 percent of their gross income on housing. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2013 American Community Survey.
*Households in substandard or overcrowded housing: An estimated 13,000 Fort Worth households live in overcrowded or substandard conditions, i.e. without a complete kitchen or plumbing in their dwelling unit. Of these households, 7,600 or 59% are Hispanic. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2009-2013 American Community Survey.
Strategies for change:
*Affordable housing incentives policy: Provide more effective incentives for the development of affordable housing.
*Homebuyer assistance: Provide more effective assistance to low- and moderate-income residents seeking to buy homes.
*Resident awareness of housing resources: Assist residents in securing affordable
housing by increasing their awareness of available resources.
*Street conditions: Majority Minority Areas (MMAs) of Fort Worth have 58 % of street lane miles, but 77% of poor-condition streets; 50% of built sidewalks, but 81% of poor-condition sidewalks and 58% of network gaps; and 53 percent of installed street lights, but 66% of poor-condition street lights. Source: Transportation and Public Works Pavement Quality Index and Street Asset Mapping.
*Automobile ownership rate: MMAs of Fort Worth have 57% of all households, but 77% of zero-car households. Source: U.S. Census Bureau 2012-2016 American Community Survey.
*Transit ridership: Non-Anglo racial and ethnic groups comprise 58 percent of Fort Worth’s population, but 71 percent of local transit ridership at the time of the most
recent on-board transit survey. Source: 2014 North Central Texas Council Of Governments Transit On-Board Survey.
*Crash incidence: 69 percent of all pedestrian crashes and 79 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes occurred in MMAs from 2013 to 2017. During the same period, MMAs
had 60 percent of all bike crashes and 86 percent of fatal bike crashes. Source: TxDOT Crash Records Information System.
*Funding by transportation mode: Since 2007, Fort Worth has funded approximately 20 percent of the street construction and reconstruction need; only 10 percent of the estimated annual operating need for the transit system; less than 10 percent of the sidewalk need; and roughly 1 percent of the bike infrastructure need. Source: City Bond Programs and CO sales, Transportation Impact Fee expenditures, sales tax allocation to
transit, 2010 Bike FW Plan, 2014 Walk FW Plan, 2015 Transit Master Plan.
Strategies for change:
*Transportation equity policy and five-year action plan: Facilitate more equitable decisions about the allocation of resources for transportation improvements.
*Transportation funding criteria: Facilitate more equitable decisions about the allocation of resources for transportation improvements.
*After-action reviews of pedestrian and bicycle crashes: Reduce the incidence of
pedestrian and bicycle crashes in minority neighborhoods.
*Inequitable voter representation on the city council: History of drawing political lines to favor one group/party/class of voters over another or to protect incumbents.
*Low voter participation in majority minority areas, i.e. voter precincts in which persons of color represent 50 percent or more of the registered voters.
*Disparities in provision of city services for majority minority areas. Lack of diversity on boards and commissions, in the city workforce, and in managerial, assistant director, and department head positions.
*Lack of opportunity, inclusion, and respect in the city workforce.
Strategies for change:
*Redistricting criteria and procedures: Create districts that, when drawn, provide the best opportunities to elect city council members who reflect the diverse population of the city.
*Diversity and Inclusion Department: Elevate the city’s commitment to equity in
the quality of life that all residents experience.
*Training on diversity and mutual respect: Increase the diversity of City employees,
particularly among managers, and increase employee satisfaction with the organization’s dedication to diversity and inclusion.
City Manager David Cooke has recommended appointing a Redistricting Task Force in August 2020. Their charge will be to develop criteria and procedures to be used to create
City Council districts for the 2023 election, which will then be presented to the city council.
The task force will have 11 total members, eight nominated by council members to ensure geographic diversity, and three at-large members nominated by Mayor to ensure diversity of expertise and interests.