When Hosanna Yemiru moved to Dallas from Ethiopia at 11 years old, Dallas’ city services — like the DART buses and utility payment assistance — were crucial to helping her live.
“And I think it’s really important to have people who know what it feels like to rely on these services at the table when decisions are being made about how resources are allocated,” Yemiru says.
How to spend $10 million
She would use the money to help the homeless population in the district find housing, jobs and other resources they might need.
Thoughts on the city’s efficacy in responding to the pandemic and winter storm
Yemiru doesn’t see the city’s response to COVID-19 as a complete success. She thinks that early on, when the city received funds through the CARES Act, it did not move quickly enough to distribute that aid. And she thinks more should have been put toward helping small business owners and residents with their mortgage and rental payments.
Recovery and rebuilding following February’s storm has gone well, Yemiru says. However, she thinks that the city could have been more prompt in setting up warming centers and that council members could have done a better job communicating with their constituents.
Something the City Council has done well
In the face of a pandemic and unprecedented winter storm, the City Council has done its best to adapt to a “virtual world,” work together and stay in contact with Dallas residents.
Yemiru wants to work to solve public safety issues by addressing the root of the violence, not just implementing temporary fixes.
“I think it’s really important to make sure that we don’t consider that there are easy solutions to deeply entrenched systemic problems in our city and our country,” she says.
Yemiru says she is open to changing the police budget and wants to reduce the burden on police officers and neighborhoods.
“I think it’s important that we’re integrating more mental health resources, more housing resources, more anti-poverty measures into our public safety budget and making sure that we’re cutting the fat,” she says.
Hidden gem in District 11
Cris and John, a Vietnamese-Mexican fusion restaurant on Preston Oaks Road
What she’s reading
“Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution,” by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
Who inspires her
Her parents, who had to start new lives and jobs in a new place to take care of their family. She’s also inspired by young women who are running for office, such as Candace Valenzuela.