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Sunday, April 18, 2004

The Dallas Morning News




The peer cities at a glance
Population in 2000: 1,188,580
Population change, 1990-2000: +18%
Racial-ethnic mix: Hispanic, 36%; white, 35%; black,
25%; Asian, 2.7%; two or more races, 1.1%
Area in square miles: 342.6
Form of government: Council-manager

Population in 2000: 656,562
Population change, 1990-2000: +41%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 52.9%, Hispanic, 30.5%;
black, 9.8%; Asian, 4.7%; two or more races, 1.5%
Area in square miles: 251.5
Form of government: Council-manager

Population in 2000: 651,154
Population change, 1990-2000: -11.5%
Racial-ethnic mix: Black, 64%; white, 31%; Hispanic,
1.7%; Asian, 1.5%; two or more races, 1.3%
Area in square miles: 80.8
Form of government: Mayor-council

Columbus, Ohio
Population in 2000: 711,470
Population change, 1990-2000: +12.4%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 67%; black, 24.3%; Asian,
3.4%; Hispanic, 2.5%; two or more races, 2.4%
Area in square miles: 210.3
Form of government: Mayor-council

Population in 2000: 951,270
Population change, 1990-2000: -7.5%
Racial-ethnic mix: Black, 81.1%; white, 10.5%;
Hispanic, 5%; Asian, 1%; two or more races, 2%
Area in square miles: 138.8
Form of government: Mayor-council

Population in 2000: 1,953,631
Population change, 1990-2000: +19.8%
Racial-ethnic mix: Hispanic, 37.4%; white, 30.1%;
black, 25%; Asian 5.3%; two or more races, 1.2%
Area in square miles: 579.5
Form of government: Mayor-council

Population in 2000: 781,870
Population change, 1990-2000: +6.9%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 67.5%; black, 25.4%;
Hispanic, 3.9%; Asian, 1.4%; two or more races, 1.4%
Area in square miles: 361.5
Form of government: Mayor-council

Intense months-long research offers a sobering, important
update about our city’s health and prospects for the future


o our readers:
In 2000, The Dallas Morning News asked
two world-class urban planners to study and report on the current and future health of our metropolitan area.
They raised important, disturbing, hopeful and provocative questions for our readers to consider.
At that time, I promised you — our readers — that our
journalists would keep after the issues raised by these great
urban thinkers. We have the largest and most experienced
news-gathering staff in this region, and our continued focus
on these issues is one of our most fundamental obligations.
The report you are about to read today represents a significant step in our commitment to keep you informed about
the area’s strength and well-being.
In this case, we focused exclusively on the city of Dallas.
After all, most of us realize that for a strong metropolitan area to be most successful, it needs a vital urban core.
We asked ourselves: How is Dallas doing?
To help us answer this question, we teamed a group of
Booz Allen Hamilton consultants with several of our very
best reporters and editors.
We wanted to work with a premier consulting firm like
Booz Allen because it is accustomed to moving with great
speed, rigor and expertise in studying complex subjects.

Introduction ......................................................... 2
♦ From the editor
♦ Methodology and peer cities
♦ Information on the Web

Dallas .................................................................. 3-5
City Hall ............................................................. 6-7
Economy ............................................................ 8-9
Police ............................................................... 10-11
Schools ........................................................... 12-13
Community ....... 14-15
Decision Time ... 16-17
Leadership ........ 18-19
♦ Editorials
♦ Viewpoints

Ideas ........................ 20

Three fundamental questions were posed to our project
♦ What key challenges are facing the city of Dallas?
♦ How well is the city positioned to cope with these challenges?
♦ What does the city need to do to position itself for longterm success?
I think you will find the team’s conclusions, reached after
months of intense research, to be both sobering and important.
We present this report to you with the hope that it will
stimulate citizens and public officials to ask the right questions and seek answers to the performance gaps in city government.
We also promise to periodically review the city’s performance and report back to you on how it is doing.
The News has existed in this community for nearly 120
years. We care deeply about the city’s current and future well-being. And it is from
that perspective that we publish this report today.
Robert W. Mong Jr.
President and Editor

Log on to to find these Web
♦ Read the complete Booz Allen report.
♦ Read the questions and answers from the survey of
city residents, and see how your perceptions compare.
♦ Quiz yourself on the content of this report.
♦ Read the full transcript from The Dallas Morning
News’ Editorial Page roundtable with key civic leaders,
and listen to selected audio excerpts of their conversation.
♦ Watch video from the WFAA-TV (Channel 8) special,
Dallas at the Tipping Point: Road Map for Renewal.
♦ Send us feedback on what you’ve read and your ideas
for fixing the problems.
Return to for updates on the
state of the city and suggestions for its future.

Jacksonville, Fla.
Population in 2000: 735,617
Population change, 1990-2000: +15.8%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 62.2%; black, 28.7%;
Hispanic, 4.2%; Asian, 2.7%; two or more races, 1.6%
Area in square miles: 757.7
Form of government: Mayor-council

Memphis, Tenn.
Population in 2000: 650,100
Population change, 1990-2000: +6.5%
Racial-ethnic mix: Black, 61.2%; white, 33.2%;
Hispanic 3%; Asian, 1.4%
Area in square miles: 279.3
Form of government: Mayor-council

Population in 2000: 1,517,550
Population change, 1990-2000: -4.3%
Racial-ethnic mix: Black, 42.6%; white, 42.5%;
Hispanic, 8.5%; Asian, 4.4%; two or more races, 1.6%
Area in square miles: 135.1
Form of government: Mayor-council

Population in 2000: 1,321,045
Population change, 1990-2000: +34.3%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 55.8%; Hispanic, 34.1%;
black, 4.8%; Asian, 1.9%; American Indian, 1.6%; two
or more races, 1.6%
Area in square miles: 474.9
Form of government: Council-manager

San Antonio
Population in 2000: 1,144,646
Population change, 1990-2000: +22.3%
Racial-ethnic mix: Hispanic, 58.6%; white, 31.8%;
black, 6.5%; Asian, 1.6%; two or more races, 1.1%
Area in square miles: 407.6
Form of government: Council-manager

San Diego
Population in 2000: 1,223,400
Population change, 1990-2000: +10.2%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 49.4%; Hispanic, 25.4%;
Asian, 13.4%; black, 7.6%; two or more races, 3.1%
Area in square miles: 324.4
Form of government: Council-manager

San Francisco
Population in 2000: 776,733
Population change, 1990-2000: +7.3%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 43.6%; Asian, 30.7%;
Hispanic, 14.1%; black, 7.6%; two or more races, 3%
Area in square miles: 46.7
Form of government: Mayor-council

San Jose, Calif.
Population in 2000: 894,943
Population change, 1990-2000: +14.4%
Racial-ethnic mix: White, 36%; Hispanic, 30.1%; Asian
26.6%; black, 3.3%; two or more races, 3%
Area in square miles: 174.9
Form of government: Council-manager
Note: Racial/ethnic groups representing less than 1% of the population are not shown. Some figures do not add up
to 100 because of rounding.
SOURCES: Booz Allen Hamilton research; U.S. Census Bureau; Dallas Morning News research



Measuring Dallas, as a business and as a city

ow do you measure Dallas?
Booz Allen Hamilton took on that challenge
when The Dallas Morning News engaged the firm
to study the effectiveness of Dallas city government.
News reporters Victoria Loe Hicks, Angela Shah, David
Dillon and Tanya Eiserer and researcher Larry Derrick
worked alongside the Booz Allen team led by Dallas-based
vice president Andrew Clyde and project manager Keo Rubbright. Booz Allen vice president Bob Lukefahr and senior
vice president Harry Quarls worked with the team in developing “Dallas at the Tipping Point: A Road Map for Renewal,” the report that emerged from the team’s research.
The report served as the launch pad for this special section. A copy of the report is online at
Booz Allen approached “Dallas as both a major urban
center and a business,’’ employing many of the techniques
that it uses for corporate-strategy projects.
To benchmark Dallas against similar cities, Booz Allen
included cities with populations equal to Dallas’, give or take
50 percent. That yielded a set of 13 peers. Houston — a smidgen too large to meet the test — was added because it’s too
close and too significant to ignore.
Since Booz Allen compared Dallas with other central cities, familiar Dallas competitors such as Denver and Atlanta
didn’t make the cut. Their metropolitan areas are comparable to Dallas’, but the core cities are much smaller.
The city-vs.-region distinction is important.
First, urban experts have long understood — and Booz
Allen’s research confirmed — that healthy center cities are
essential for healthy regions.
Second, although cities and their suburbs benefit mutually from each other, cities can capture tax money only on
property and sales within their borders.
“Cities do compete with their suburbs,” former Mayor
Ron Kirk told the reporters. “We’re defined by winners and
losers, defined by where people choose to pay property taxes.”
Thus, it’s important to understand what’s occurring inside the city, which wasn’t always easy.
Many of the federal government’s data series aren’t kept
at the municipal level. And City Hall maintains few of its
own measurements, even of its own performance.

For some statistics, Booz Allen had to start from scratch.
One key example: The consulting team calculated the size of
the gross city product for Dallas and all its peer cities.
That measure of economic activity is akin to the gross domestic product computed for the United States. It is seldom
generated for areas as small as a city. But it was one of many
steps in Booz Allen’s exhaustive analysis of financial, economic, educational and other data from Dallas and the peer
To determine what matters most to Dallas residents, The
News conducted a citywide poll using its longtime polling
firm, Blum & Weprin Associates Inc. of New York.
Project team members and the Dallas-based consulting
firm Velocity Ventures also interviewed more than two dozen Dallas-area business leaders for their views on Dallas.
The findings from the poll and the business survey flowed into the Booz Allen report.
This special section quotes liberally from the Booz Allen
report, which consists of an executive summary plus a section of detailed findings.
But the stories here are built on independent reporting,
too — from interviews with Dallas city leaders, business executives, academic experts and others, as well as extensive
research. The reporters on the project team also visited other
cities to see how their operations look from the inside.
The News used Booz Allen’s findings to probe deeper in
some areas as well, generating data and charts beyond those
in the report. Charts that reflect Booz Allen’s research alone
are marked with the notation “Booz Allen analysis’’ in the
source line.
Finally, a word about language. Some of the quotations in
this section reflect Booz Allen’s decision to present its findings in business terminology.
In a world where Main Street and Wall Street move ever
closer together, Booz Allen reasoned that simple business
terms would make this exploration of city government accessible to the widest possible audience.
So, to borrow from the report’s preface: “Here then, is a
report to the management team (City Hall) and the shareholders (the community) of Dallas Inc.”
Edward Dufner
Project editor

The Dallas Morning News: Victoria Loe Hicks, Angela Shah, David Dillon, Tanya Eiserer, Larry Derrick and
Edward Dufner; Booz Allen Hamilton: Keo Rubbright, Andrew Clyde, Harry Quarls and Bob Lukefahr.
Art direction: Chris Morris
Design: Chas Brown, Kathleen Vincent
Photo editor: Chris Wilkins
Copy editor: Don Holt

Photography by David Leeson
Graphics by Sergio Pec¸anha

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