Thursday, June 19, 2008
Celebrate Oak Cliff Day on June 25 at City Hall
This day is set to highlight the city council leadership, celebrate the business owners in the area and to announce the recent plans to economically revitalize the Southern area of Dallas.
Come one and all to Dallas City Hall on June 25 to celebrate Oak Cliff Day. Sponsored by Oak Cliff Proud and the Oak Cliff Community Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, this day is set to highlight the city council leadership, celebrate the business owners in the area and to announce the recent plans to economically revitalize the Southern area of Dallas.
“It is a celebration of bring proud of Oak Cliff. We will announce the updates regarding the Southwest Center Mall, the Cinema and showcase the South Dallas Cafe, Club Somewhere Else Restaurant and Bar amongst others,” explained Edna Pemberton, founder of Oak Cliff Proud. “We will show our pride and share what's happening in regards to increasing the economic development, the tax base, and the creation of jobs in our area.”
The official Oak Cliff Day celebration will be held in the flag room at Dallas City Hall at 1500 Marilla in downtown Dallas at 9:00 am.“We'll host a press conference around 8:00am and we will wait for the more than 350 Oak Cliff residents to pack the room. This event is a celebration and a kickoff of two major things – the transitioning of the mall ownership and the cinema contract and the beginning of roundtable meetings.” The meetings will be held in the Oak Cliff area and are designed for idea sharing, community connection in an effort to keep the community energized and moving forward after the day of celebration.
The current program plans include awards to the seven Dallas City Council members whose district jurisdiction include sections of Oak Cliff and also to Mayor Tom Leppert.
“He said that when he got into office that he would not forget Oak Cliff and he has not,” complimented Pemberton.
Also, there will be community speakers on hand to highlight notable areas of Oak Cliff including leaders of the Dallas Urban League and the University of North Texas at Dallas. Other event day sponsors include leaders from Paul Quinn College, Club Somewhere Else, pastors from Concord Baptist Church, Antioch Baptist Church and Inspiring Body of Christ Church, the Southwest Police Officers and others.
Each resident of the Oak Cliff area is personally invited to come out on the last Wednesday in June to show your support for the area which many people, including African-Americans, Caucasian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and even Asian-Americans currently call home.
Oak Cliff is a historical part of the city of Dallas that should be celebrated and highlighted per Cheryl Taylor, a volunteer for Oak Cliff Proud. “Oak Cliff is 33 percent black, 33% white and 33% other. We want to celebrate Oak Cliff and show that you can find everything right here. We do have nice places.”
“The only zoo in the city of Dallas is located right here in Oak Cliff,” chimed Pemberton. Other notable places include the Veterans Memorial Hospital, the Bishop Arts District, the Dallas Executive Airport, Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Dallas Baptist University, the Cedar Crest and Stevens Park Golf Courses and of course, Southwest Center Mall.
Josh Howard, the owner of Club Somewhere Else Restaurant and Bar, is a new Oak Cliff area business owner that instantly connected with the vision to support and give back to the community that opened its doors to him a little over 10 months ago.
“I like this area in general,” began Howard, a Detroit native. “I wanted to bring something new to the table, something that people said that they did not have here.” Club Somewhere Else is an elegantly renovated venue that serves an American Cuisine and attracts a variety of patrons from the corporate, networking and nonprofit groups to the comedy lovers and nightlife crowds. Complete with an air-cooled patio area and a finely furnished dining room, this is a place in Oak Cliff ready to host your next event. Howard renovated the former nightspot venue, Club Atlantis, located at 7115 Marvin D. Love Freeway which means that there one less vacant building in the Oak Cliff area.
“When buildings are vacant, there is no tax base,” commented Pemberton. This means that there is no profit coming from this building for the community members or the city. Dallas Council District 8 currently has an approximately 18.1% retail vacancy rate and a $18,244 per capita income while Council District 14 has a 5.0% retail vacancy rate and a $60,366 per capita income according to the council economic district facts released in January of 2008.
The increasing number of vacant and undeveloped retail and commercial facilities is said to be the cause of Oak Cliff's lightweight contributions to the overall city's economy in relationship to the northern sections of the city.
The Oak Cliff Community Renaissance Development Corporation and its partners are working to make this area of Dallas to return to the destination spot that its was known for in its early days.
“We want Oak Cliff to be a destination place. This celebration is not just a revival,” began Pemberton. The use of the common religious term to refer to a temporal thrill that often soon dies out. “It is how you walk when you come down. You plan your work, work your plan.”
She explained that the Oak Cliff corporation is more of a business thinktank designed to locate the Oak Cliff business owners and match them together to fulfill some of the City's contracting needs to improve the Southern sector of Dallas.
Oak Cliff Proud, is a non-profit group that serves as a more of the energy and excitement generator to encourage more spending in the area and as it helps to facilitate the economic planning for the area. “If we can get 337 of the Oak Cliff residents to shop in our area and buy something at the mall, we can increase the tax base,” informed Pemberton as one of the simple solutions to revitalizing the area's once booming economy.
Oak Cliff has been a part of the City of Dallas since its annexation in 1903. It was originally incorporated in 1887 with its current name and was the home to The Dallas Land and Loan Company, one of the state's first giant land development companies formed in 1886. The boundaries of Oak Cliff can currently be considered as Interstate 30 and the Trinity River on the north, Interstate 35E on the east, Camp Wisdom Road on the south, and Cockrell Hill Road on the west.
Informing the community of the vitality of being an active supporter of the community is key to the community organizations seeking to improve the economic value of Oak Cliff. June 25 is cited to be a day of a new beginning in the Oak Cliff area, an area with much potential that simply needs someone to sow into it and nurture it back to the wealthy enclave that it was many years ago.
Be a part of Oak Cliff Day, learn more about mission, meetings and plans of Oak Cliff Proud and the Oak Cliff Community Renaissance Development Corporation by calling 972-780-7544.
Pegasus News Content partner - North Dallas Gazette
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