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Reviving Balch Springs, Texas
From Texas to Washington, City's First African-American Mayor Promotes and Nurtures the Success and Progress of a Small Town Texas
BALCH SPRINGS- As the first African-American Mayor of Balch Springs, Cedric Davis Sr. has revived the “We Can Do It Together” spirit in this small bedroom community 16 miles southeast of downtown Dallas.
For the past eight months, Davis is working to change the image of the sleepy town by bringing funds and projects that will make the city more visible and attractive to new residents and business.
“I don’t want our citizens to fall prey to the propaganda that Balch Springs will always be a poor city with an unstable and corrupted city government, because we demand better”, Davis said. “The future is bright for all the people of Balch Springs not just a few, this is why “It’s imperative at this time in our city’s history that all people work together to accomplish a sense of community, it’s my mission to motivate, educate, and elevate our community”.
The population of Balch Springs was 19,375 at the 2000 census and is made up of 63-percent White residents, 19-percent African Americans and 26-percent Hispanic population.
Davis's commitment, drive and spirited enthusiasm have not only raised eyebrows in Balch Springs, but also has captured the attention on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
In March, Davis became the first Balch Springs Mayor to go to Washington to work to obtain Federal Stimulus assistance for the city.
“In the eight months that I’ve been Mayor I heard the echoes of many citizens of Balch Springs saying they were tired of seeing federal dollars going to big businesses and large urban cities,” he said. “That’s why I made the trip to Washington D.C. (paid for with tax dollars) to become more educated on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, pursue available federal dollars under the Act, and to give the citizens of Balch Springs a voice at the top level of government. “
Davis took shovel-ready projects to Washington in a bid to get funding for infrastructure and job creation, such as transportation and roadway projects, health care facilities, water resources, and public safety jobs.
While in Washington Mayor Davis signed and certified the City of Balch Springs as an eligible municipality pursuant to Title XV Subtitle a, section 1511 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act thus, making the city eligible for immediate federal funds. The certification and eligible projects needed to be submitted on or before April 4, 2009.
Other efforts since taking office include changing the timetable to speed up funding for transportation projects
Balch Springs was originally slated to receive $4.2 million dollars for transportation projects in the year 2011.
Davis took time to meet with US Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and with her assistance the Congresswoman was able to get $4.9 million dollars for transportation to be released to the city this July 2009.
After making his case to Johnson, she pledged to make Balch Springs one of her top priorities and to assist in the appropriation of additional funds for the additional shovel-ready projects.
He also met with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who also directed her staff to assist in finding additional resources that could aid Balch Springs.
Also since taking office, his can do spirit has spread throughout the community because of his commitment to build partnerships between business, education and the city.
Some of those projects that are ongoing include focusing efforts on turning the city into a humanitarian community by continuing private and public financial support of youth and senior citizen social service programs, such as the Back To School Bash, and by creating the new Medical Appointment Transport program for the elderly, handicap, and impaired.
Another goal for the mayor has been to turn around the local economy and that vision has led to the addition of 14 new businesses in Balch Springs over the past eight months.
He also is leading efforts to improve capital Infrastructure and has made progress on improvements to Beltline Rd. construction, Elam Circle street repairs, and other upcoming street repair and transportation projects
His plans also include the addition of an affordable health care facility built in the city and continuing to dialogue with Solar and Waste to Energy Plants. He is also focused on continuing education to improve the city's workforce by ensuring personnel utilize their department budgeted training funds to advance their skills.
Davis also represents Balch Springs as a member of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Committee Council of Mayors.
He is seeking reelection and has made it clear of his commitment to public service and his community.
“ Our city is financially stronger than it has been in years and I wish to continue the new growth and success”, Davis said. “I want to finish the mission. I started because my record of community involvement, stance on low taxes, fighting to ensure we maintain a balanced budget, and ensuring citizens have the right to vote on key issues affecting the quality of their lives.”