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Oak Cliff Chamber honors local Educators Print Email
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:46

2014 Oak Cliff Chamber Educators of the Year

Photo: (top left to right) Mike Sorrell, Paul Quinn College, Marshall Brad Dominy (W.H. Adamson High School), Kiyundra Gulley (Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce), Jeremy Ratliff (Bishop Dunne Catholic School), Bridget Bufkin Mathew (Arturo Salazar Elementary) & Vicki Lyons (ChildCareGroup)

The Education Committee of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce honored five local teachers at their 2nd Annual Educator of the Year Celebration on Mary 26, 2014 at Dallas Baptist University.

Keynote speaker, Mike Satarino, retired Principal of the Talented & Gifted Magnet at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, gave an inspiring speech that emphasized what it takes to be a great educator.

"I have heard from a lot of different sources that the job of the school principal is the toughest assignement in education," Mr. Satarino stated. "After 29 years as a high school principal, I can verify that as a correct statement. However, the most important job in education is that of the teacher." (Click here to read the rest of Mr. Satarino's speech)

Eric Cowan, Dallas ISD Board Trustee for District 7, served as master of ceremonies for the event and invited the principals or nominators of the five recipients up to talk about how their teachers are making a different in the classroom. Plaques and checks for $250 each to help with classroom expenses were presented to the five educators of the year.

About the Educator of the Year event:

Nominations for the Educator of the Year awards are requested by the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce every year around March. The recipients of these awards are selected by the Chamber's Education committee based on education background, teaching experience, student mentoring, and best classroom practices. Proceeds from the Educator of the Year event helps to fund the Chamber's Golden Oaks Awards which provide scholarships for graduating seniors in the Oak Cliff community.

Councilmember Griggs announces petition drive for proposed N. Oak Cliff PID Print Email
Monday, 24 February 2014 11:38

Dallas – City Councilmember Scott Griggs, District 1, and the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce today announced a petition effort to create a new Public Improvement District (PID) in North Oak Cliff. The North Oak Cliff PID covers the Oak Cliff Gateway and the Jefferson, Bishop Arts and Davis Corridors.

“This new Public Improvement District will complement and support the Mayor’s GrowSouth initiative,” said Councilmember Griggs. “The District will provide public improvements such as enhancements to sidewalks and parks in North Oak Cliff, helping to strengthen and engage our neighborhoods,” he said.

“The North Oak Cliff PID is a great example of the initiatives we need to keep the GrowSouth momentum going,” said Mayor Mike Rawlings. “We’ve had great success with Public Improvement Districts and I’m very pleased to support this effort in North Oak Cliff.”

Examples of services and improvements include safety patrols, safety awareness and education programs, lighting and signs, marketing and promotion of economic development, landscaping and park improvements. PIDs are special assessment areas created at the request of property owners.

To create the District, property owners need to agree to a special assessment which is then used to provide additional services above and beyond existing city services. The assessment will depend on the total appraised real property value of the property. For example, a property valued at $300,000 based on a proposed PID assessment of $0.12 per $100 of value would pay an assessment of $360 that year. The petition would exclude properties in the District with homestead exemption from assessment.

If the petition effort meets State and City requirements, the proposed PID creation may be considered by the City Council. Once established, PIDs have an annual service plan and assessment rate approval process that includes a public hearing before the Council. PIDs are managed by outside entities under a management contract with the City.

Petitions must be returned on or before March 21 to Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce President Bob Stimson (download a petition here). The City requires that at least 60 percent of petition threshold signatures be met. The District will be managed by a private entity through the North Oak Cliff Improvement District Corporation.


See a list of the assessed properties for this PID

Petition calls for 12-cent property tax in Bishop Arts area Print Email
Monday, 24 February 2014 10:59

Article shared from The Advocate

NOCPIDThe Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce wants the city to create a public improvement district in the neighborhood surrounding the Bishop Arts District.  It would levy a 12-cent tax per $100 of valuation on commercial properties for seven years.

The tax would not apply to properties that are owner occupied and have a homestead exemption.  Nonprofits also would be exempt.  The district would tax about 800 properties and could raise a little more than $160,000 in the first year.

About a third of that money would be used for security, says chamber president Bob Stimson.  Off-duty police or a private security company would be hired to beef up security in the area.  The remainder would go toward improvements to streetscapes, including lighting, landscaping and sidewalks.

At least 60 percent of property owners in the proposed North Oak Cliff Public Improvement District must sign a petition in favor of creating it before City Council could take it up.  That's a minimum of 484 signatures, and they must be collected by March 21.

Stimson says many of the area's major property holders are on board with the district, including Jim Lake, Joe McElroy, David Spence, Victor Ballas, Mark Miranda, Craig Schenkel and Laura Sanchez.

The proposed district includes Jefferson from Polk to Zang, Zang from 12th to Greenbriar, and Davis from Windomere to Zang.

One property in the proposed district would be treated differently, and that's the Zang Triangle apartment complex on Zang near Colorado.  That property has one of the highest valuations in Oak Cliff, are $23 million.  It wouldn't directly benefit from the money raised since it already has private security and improved sidewalks and streetscapes in place.  So under the new district, Zang Triangle would pay 6 cents per $100.


Petition seeks North Oak Cliff public improvement district Print Email
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:48

Article shared from the Dallas Morning News article by Roy Appleton

It’s a fundraiser of sorts for north Oak Cliff.

The Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce has begun a petition drive to create a public improvement district.

If enough property owners agree to foot the bill, prominent areas of Oak Cliff could reap services and benefits beyond the city’s budgeted programs.

“If we want to stabilize the area and continue the cool stuff going on, we need to reinvest in our neighborhoods,” said chamber president Bob Stimson.

The district’s proposed boundaries include more than 900 parcels of land along and near three major corridors: Zang Boulevard, Davis Street and Jefferson Boulevard.

Owner-occupied homes would be exempt. But owners of the remaining 807 parcels would pay 12 cents per $100 of property value each year for district projects.

That is, if enough people sign on by March 21 and the City Council approves the request.

“We have to get 484 signatures minimum,” Stimson said of the city’s 60 percent approval threshold.

A district budget calls for continuing the 12-cent assessment for seven years. That in turn would generate about $162,000 starting in 2015, increasing to almost $193,000, according to projections.

About one-third of the money would be spent on beefed-up security. Most of the remaining revenue would help promote the area and provide public improvements, such as lighting, landscaping and park upgrades.

But first the chamber must meet the city’s requirements.

“Getting 484 signatures by March 21 is a pretty tall order,” said Stimson, who is leaving his chamber post March 31.

He and others have been talking about creating an improvement district for years. Stimson said some of the area’s major property owners are helping with the petition drive.

“We did a lot of legwork up front,” he said. Now volunteers are sending letters, calling property owners and knocking on doors, doing “anything to get the word out.”

The volunteers will include Craig Schenkel, a property owner in the proposed district. “I support it. It’s going to be good for everyone.”

If approved by the City Council, north Oak Cliff would have the city’s 13th public improvement district and the first south of the Trinity River.


Chamber Awards Winners from Feb. 7th Print Email
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:19

Congratulations to the businesses and individuals that were honored at the Chamber Annual Awards & VIP Reception on February 7, 2014 at the Orion Ballroom!  Here are the folks that took home awards that evening:

Trinity Groves & The Dallas Zoo

TeCo Jazz Series

DART's D-Link Shuttle Service

Dave Spence of Good Space

Eric Cowan

Martha Fernandez of Uplift Education

Laura Irvine of Methodist Hospital

For a complete list of the awards finalists, visit


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Request a speaker from the OCC Speaker's Bureau!

Too many students have no idea what career choices may be out there for them.  Our children need to know which direction to go after graduation!

The Chamber offers a Speaker's Bureau, where we will help connect your school or business to speaker(s) from the community. We have a database of professionals who are willing to speak at Career Days, motivational speaking, curriculum enrichment and general advice at area schools.

Just contact the Chamber (3) three weeks in advance to request a speaker.

Click here to Request a Speaker!