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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Denton City Council District 1 (Special Election)

Unexpired Term

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    George Michael Ferrie Jr.

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    Birdia Johnson

Biographical Information

What are your qualifications for this office?

What strategies will you use to ensure open communication between City Hall and residents?

What are your top environmental and land development concerns and how do you plan to address them?

What is your vision for transportation infrastructure in your community and how will you advance it?

What is your vision for the future of your municipality and how would you achieve it?

COVID-19: What actions can the city take to address the health and economic impact caused by COVID-19?

Open Government: How will you ensure government transparency (open records, open meetings) is maintained during a state of emergency?

Budget: How will you address any budget deficit caused by COVID-19?

Two Minute Video Option: Comment on the recent civil rights demonstrations. (Video cannot be more than two minutes. If the video is not hosted on YouTube include the full URL to the video in the Text Response box. Do not include any other comments in the Text Response box.)

Education Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies University of North Texas- Dec 2020
Experience I've worked in the service industry for the better part of 15 years here in Denton.
I’ve lived in Denton for the better part of 15 years, was the owner and operator of Wine Squared on the Downtown square for 3 years, and am currently back in school at UNT taking Marketing and Management courses and graduating in December. I also currently serve on the Parks, Recreation, and Beautification Board--having been appointed unanimously by City Council. I’m a board member of the Denton Main Street Association, which serves businesses in the Downtown and surrounding areas. I serve on the board of Friends with Benefits Denton, which provides funding to local nonprofits in the North Texas area that support education, communities, and advocacy. Finally, I also serve on the boards of Pridenton and OUTreach Denton, which gives advocacy and agency to LGBTQIA+ Adults and Youth in North Texas, and plan the yearly Pride event here in Denton. I work hard everyday to ensure a brighter future for everyone in Denton.
I will ensure we hold open, live-streamed, public meetings so citizens can engage with their elected officials on any number of issues. The people of Denton deserve to not only feel heard but also to be part of the process.
Plainly put, our current landfill expansion does not align with our sustainability plan. We cannot allow this expansion to happen. We should instead focus our efforts on properly educating the community on proper trash reduction, recycling, and composting. The City should also create an incentive program for multi-family units to provide commercial recycling bins--thus increasing the community’s participation in further limiting its own contribution to waste.
We need more sidewalks, and more accessible sidewalks, specifically in my district. By investing in bike lanes and traffic education for local commuters, we could help reduce our environmental harm footprint. I'd like to work with organizations like Bike Denton to create a plan for future bike line growth in our city. Most importantly, I’d like to see City staff consult with more Disability activists and organizations, to envision a more accessible Denton.
Future Denton is a place where we all have equitable opportunities, access, and rights. To build this Denton, we start by looking within ourselves and doing the work needed to do and be better. And then we reach out and listen to our community’s needs, raise voices speaking of these concerns, and work together to find the best solutions. Our city council must embrace accountability and transparency as foundations for action rather than buzzwords used during reelection campaigns. I am here to be of service to my siblings in District One. I am here to work for a better future for Denton. I am here for you. Put me to work.
I was forced to close my business due to this pandemic. I understand all too well the pain those who live paycheck to paycheck feel. We cannot afford to get sick. We cannot afford our rising rents. And we are forced to decide whether to pay bills or buy food. This is a reality that must be addressed immediately. This is a reality that many of our District One residents are experiencing right now. People living all over town are struggling more than they ever have, and we need compassionate, creative leadership to get us through this pandemic. One very important action that can be taken right now, during the current budget discussions, is to invest more money in Human Services. This will provide funding for Denton residents in need of food, housing, utilities assistance, eviction prevention, and mental healthcare. We must invest in Community care if we expect to get through these incredibly tough times.
I think making sure all submitted comments are read and all callers are heard is pivotal. While all meetings are open to the public, it hasn’t been very welcoming to all residents who wish to voice their opinions. I also would like to make sure all meetings have closed captioning or ASL interpreters because our meetings must be open to all Denton’s citizens.
If there is waste in our government, we must take quick and swift actions to assess and pivot to a more beneficial system for our constituents. We need to be open to the idea of changing how we spend our money to ensure equity is being addressed in our city government spending.
Campaign Phone (940) 735-6311
Experience Chair, MLK Jr Rec Center Advisory Board, Vice-President Juneteenth Celebration Committee, Chair, Juneteenth Parade Committee; Retired Corrections Officer, Freedom Fund Banquet Chair for the NAACP, over 23 years of experience in higher education as dining services, Community Liaison
Other Address
I have been a dedicated member of the community for over 40 years. I have been a member of my district one for almost 40 years. I bring numerous years of community service and organizational involvement. My passion for helping people combined with my organizational skills are also important qualifications for this office.
Regularly report to organizations. Support community events and organizations. Host and support Town Hall meetings to include all neighborhoods. Involve community in decisions concerning the community at large.Use social media avenues to inform the community of decisions that were made, solicit feedback, and keep an open line of communication. Be sure community is aware of standing meetings and their ability to attend as well as the process to voice their opinion.
Air quality, mosquito surveillance, liter prevention, beautification, water purification, tree preservation are my top environmental concerns. I will monitor the situation and work with various departments to assure we have green space on the outskirts. Also, I will support the Green initiatives. I also believe that we should continue to plant wildflowers to support our beautification efforts and water initiatives. Finally, everyone should have a park or trail within 10 miles of their dwelling.
I will work closely with the city for continuing upgrading and maintaining quality roads for our families and emergency services employees to travel safely. I will support the upgrading of our infrastructure to assure our roads comply with or economic growth plan as well as maintain efforts to alleviate poverty. Overall, proper infrastructure has a positive impact on most aspects of our lives.
I want Denton to experience economic growth for our businesses and families, educated youth, unified community, well trained first responders that work in cohesion,maintained infrastructure, thriving parks and recreation centers, healthy environment with open green space, and open communication between our elected officials and the community. I would support community organizations that are making positive strides in making these areas a reality. I would vote to show my support of these issues/. I would advocate for safety for our community.
The City can continue to work with the County and DISD to assure a unified message is communicated to the community. Continue to advocate for social distance, hand washing, and wearing of masks. Wherever possible, make sanitizing stations available, Continue to limit building occupancy until further notice. Continue to promote health and wellness opportunities through the recreation centers as well as promote the open parks and trails for those that desire to remain outside. As for the economic impact, we should continue to promote the grants and loan opportunities. Remain a listening ear for those who need to talk and provide a list of counseling resources if possible. Finally, whenever possible, look for collaboration opportunities that are mutually beneficial..
I will follow the law. When information is public knowledge, I will work to assure information is disseminated to the community. If the information can not be shared, I will maintain honesty and integrity at all times. I will work with the communications department to assure effective management of public information. I will advocate for updated fact sheets, Frequently Asked Questions Surveys/Pamphlets to be disseminated on the information that can be released. Most of all, I will work to make sure information on open meetings are posted in a timely fashion and public record requests meet all mandated deadlines.
If there were a budget deficit, I would work with the city manager and other council members to take the necessary steps to save money as well as assist in identifying ways to keep people employed so that households could be maintained.
Candidate has not yet responded.