DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Dallas was selected to join the inaugural class of leaders in the Cities & Counties Fine and Fee Justice network.
Dallas leaders will join a network “pursuing innovative solutions to reform fines and fees.”READ MORE: Governor Abbott Announces End To Federal Pandemic-Related Unemployment Benefits In Texas
“Dallas is a city of opportunity,” said Mayor Eric Johnson. “Our fines and fees should not prevent our residents from earning an honest living, and we should do all that we can to ensure equity for our underserved communities. I am pleased that we have received this grant to help with those efforts.”
The city said in a news release Tuesday, the work is part of a growing national movement, “recognizing the disproportionate toll fines and fees have on people of color and on those who are struggling to make ends meet.”READ MORE: Grapevine Police Share Image Of Man Wanted For Allegedly Stabbing, Carjacking An Uber Driver
When low income people cannot pay, their debt can grow, their driver’s license can be suspended, their credit score goes down and their employment and economic mobility opportunities are diminished, the city said.
“Participation in this program will aid in the City’s effort to optimize our resources,” said Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “This will help the City develop a mechanism to evaluate proposed fees and fines, not just through a cost recovery lens, but also evaluate through an equity lens.”
The other cities and counties selected to participate are: Allegheny County, PA, Chicago, IL, Durham, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Providence, RI, Sacramento, CA, Seattle/King County, WA, Shelby County, TN and St. Paul, MN.MORE NEWS: 2 Tornadoes Touched Down In Dallas County Sunday, National Weather Service Confirms
The teams are set to work together for 18 months to develop and implement reforms to fines and fees.