Vote for the 2024 Dallas bond program to improve quality of life

On Saturday, May 4, Dallas voters will decide on the city’s 2024 Bond Program. These 10 propositions, totaling $1.25B, will address the city’s critical infrastructure — investing in the basics without increasing the property tax rate.

These infrastructure projects range from the streets we drive on to the parks and trails we enjoy. They address severe flooding and help fix venues where you experience art. It’s the first bond program in seven years, and it will improve the quality of life in our city, keeping Dallas competitive for decades to come.

The 2024 Bond Program propositions are:
A. Streets and Transportation
— $521.2M
B. Parks and Recreation — $345.3M
C. Storm Drainage — $52.1M
D. Library Facilities — $43.5M
E. Cultural Facilities — $75.2M
F. Public Safety — $90M
G. Economic Development — $72.3M
H. Housing — $26.4M
I. Homeless Solutions — $19M
J. Information Technology — $5M

This was crafted over the course of a year and vetted by the Community Bond Task Force, whose 15 members were appointed by the mayor and city council. Their work over last summer and fall was informed by a group of subcommittees delving into granular details about needs. They took input from city staff and key stakeholders, toured facilities for a first-hand look and heard from hundreds of citizens who came to City Hall to share their priorities and concerns.

It was then fine-tuned by the city council. No one got everything they wanted, but with a $17B city-wide needs inventory, that wasn’t possible. The process was robust, well-informed and transparent.

Some of this helps fulfill and complete master plans. For instance, Prop C continues funding the badly-needed widening of the Mill Creek Drainage Relief Tunnel which helps protect Old East Dallas homes and businesses from costly flood damage. The additional libraries in Prop D will complete the long-term strategic plan for the Dallas Library System. Prop B will continue connecting our city’s visionary trail system and get us closer to the goal of every Dallas resident being within a 10-minute walk of a park.

This bond program also leverages additional funding resources from county, state and federal sources, as well as private philanthropy. For example, Prop F includes $50 million to replace our dilapidated police academy with a new $140 million facility at UNT Dallas. That will tap $20 million in state funding and another $70 million in private funding for a 50/50 public-private match. Prop B includes $30 million in funding for the Dallas Zoo which will tap $80 million in private gifts.

Many of these long-term bond propositions address challenges in the short term. A new Police Academy will aid in recruiting the best candidates to be Dallas police officers. Prop G helps fund critical infrastructure needs to win competitive industrial and commercial projects, especially in areas that have been historically ignored.

For example, economic development bond funds from 2017 funded public infrastructure improvements around Wynnewood Village in Oak Cliff, which then helped secure a badly needed Target store. These funds are intended to win more jobs, attract new residents and expand the tax base, taking the pressure off the rest of us.

Three propositions — G, H and I — contain critical investments to help incentivize and fund programs to address the serious challenges of affordable housing, as well as permanent supportive and short-term housing for the homeless.

And as passionate arts advocates, we both deeply care about Prop E, which will provide $75.2 million for repairs, updates and major maintenance — some deferred for decades — at 15 city-owned cultural facilities. All are heavily used by numerous arts organizations and artists and help generate an annual economic impact of $853 million a year, support 14,000 jobs, attract corporate relocations and boost cultural tourism.

In 2022, arts and culture programs in Dallas attracted 6.8 million visitors, 2.6 million of them coming from outside Dallas and spending their money here. To continue getting this return on investment, we must care for these treasures: neighborhood cultural centers, historic century-old venues, and iconic structures in the Dallas Arts District, which USA Today readers just voted Best Arts District in the nation. It’s all the basics — HVAC, roofs, elevators, fire suppression, water infiltration, electrical panels and more — nothing shiny and new, just taking care of what we’ve got.

For a detailed spreadsheet of everything in the bond program, go to the Propositions page at and use the link to City Hall. Election day is Saturday, May 4. Early voting is April 22-30.

Successful bond programs signal the optimism Dallas feels about its future. We are making long-term investments in critical infrastructure that can’t normally be funded through the General Fund. And we can achieve all this with no new taxes. Please join us in voting FOR all ten of the 2024 bond propositions.

Chris Heinbaugh is the chief advocacy officer with the AT&T Performing Arts Center. A longtime journalist who moved to Dallas in 2000 to cover politics for WFAA-TV, he left journalism to serve as chief of staff to former Mayor Tom Leppert. Veletta Lill served on the Dallas City Council from 1997-2005. She is the former executive director of the Dallas Arts District and has served in numerous capacities for numerous community organizations.