In Partnership with Newly Created Independent Committee of North Texans, Allred Announces Support for Community Project Funding

April 29, 2021
Press Release
Projects Will Help North Texas and Recommendations Will Be Considered for Inclusion in Appropriations Bills

Dallas  – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) today announced his support for 10 Community Project Funding submissions for the 32nd District of Texas that will be recommended to the House Appropriations Committee for fiscal year 2022. The recommendations come from a nonpartisan committee of North Texans that Allred formed to review projects in North Texas based on a set of criteria including job creation, economic development, and community support and oversight. 

“I’m incredibly proud of our community-driven budgeting process that will leverage input from local leaders to help prioritize the needs of North Texas and create jobs,” said Allred. “I thank the members of this first-of-its-kind committee for working together to review these projects and recommend submissions for federal funding. North Texas is at its best when we work together, and I will keep working to advocate on behalf of these projects to be included in House Appropriations bills this year.” 

Earlier this year the U.S. House announced new guidelines for Community Project Funding, which allow Members of Congress to support federal investment in community-based projects in the appropriations process. Allred led the creation of a committee of North Texans to provide recommendations for these projects. The committee includes leaders representing local government, small businesses, local chambers of commerce and non-profits.

Jason Villalba, Former Texas State Representative and Chairman of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation:

“This has been such a transparent, collaborative process from the start, and this committee should be a model for how every North Texas member of Congress works with the community to support federal investment. I am proud to be working with Congressman Allred and this committee, and I am proud of the work we did to recommend projects that put the needs of our North Texas community first.” 

Neel Gonuguntla, President U.S. India Chamber of Commerce:

“Creating jobs and opportunities is one of the most important things we can do to ensure North Texas continues to succeed. I am so glad that Congressman Allred made this a priority and sought input from community leaders, local governments, businesses and nonprofits. Community input on federal projects ensures that we are all working together towards a common cause - bettering North Texas together, and I am honored to be part of this committee.”

Ken Malcomson, CEO of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce:

“Our region has seen robust economic growth over the last few years, and as we recover from the pandemic, it is so important that local leaders from businesses both big and small have a voice in how the Congressional budget invests in communities across North Texas. This process will help us grow our economy, create jobs and I hope we can build upon this important work in years to come.”

Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought:

“As the son of a public school teacher, and a YMCA kid himself, Congressman Allred has such a commitment to our North Texas kids. This process is important because it helps our community elevate important projects for federal consideration that will help all our kids succeed.”

32nd District of Texas Community Project Funding Recommendations: 

Children’s Health System of Texas (CHST) Pediatric Mental Health Innovation Center: CHST is requesting $850,000 for the creation of a Pediatric Mental Health Center to help serve an estimated 600,000 North Texas children who face mental health issues. 

Children’s Health System of Texas (CHST) Pediatric Mental Health Staff: CHST is requesting $860,000 to hire a pediatric psychiatrist and up to eight licensed social workers to expand mental health services for patients in the emergency room and improve patient services. 

Southern Methodist University Human Trafficking Project: The SMU Human Trafficking Project requests $1,187,000 to directly address the deficiencies in data collection and analysis and in collaboration of the expertise needed to effectively fight human trafficking in Texas. 

Learning Loss Program for Underserved Students: Southern Methodist University is requesting $890,000 to create a program to help students who experienced learning loss in Dallas ISD schools through augmented reality and virtual reality and game-based learning.

Resource Center Senior Housing: To meet the growing demand for care and services for the aging LGBTQ population in the Dallas community, Resource Center is requesting $1,000,000 for the construction of an LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing facility. 

UTSW Center for Implementation Science, School of Public Health: UTSW is requesting $1,000,000 to support the creation a research-intensive school dedicated to leading future advances in scientific methods to address population health challenges that can be leveraged into accessible evidence-based input for policymakers as they navigate chronic and emerging public health crises.

Center for Applied Research in Mobility and Autonomy (CARMA): The University of Texas at Dallas is requesting $1,000,000 to advance the fields of mobility and autonomy for the transformative changes underway in the movement of people, goods, and services in this century. This project will provide CARMA essential physical infrastructure including workstations, 3D rapid prototyping, a drone flight test field, and sensor/communications technology for an autonomous commercial delivery test track.

COVID-19 Student Impact Project (UTD): The University of Texas at Dallas is requesting $400,000 to support a study that will identify which college students in Texas have been most affected by COVID-19, where educational inequities have been exacerbated, and which institutional efforts show promise in retaining, supporting, and re-enrolling college students.

DFW Airport Flyover Bridge Replacement and Conversion Project: The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is requesting $135,900,000 to replace four seriously deficient and vulnerable left-hand flyover ramps with new right-hand exit bridges (Terminals A, B, C and E).

Brute Force Electric Central Utility Plant (DFW Airport): To address current and future heating and cooling demand, improve resiliency, maximize efficiency, and position itself to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030, DFW Airport is requesting $98,000,000 to construct a new Brute Force Electric Central Utility Plant and replace its aging steam piping distribution system with a highly efficient hot water piping system.

To read more about the projects see Allred’s website here. 

The committee made these recommendations based on the following:

  • Addressing local needs

  • Demonstrating job creation and economic development 

  • Community support

  • Community oversight capability

  • Impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic 

32nd District of Texas Community Project Funding Committee Members:

  • Harrison Blair -- President, Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce; Member, Dallas Parks Board

  • Gabriela Carvallo -- VP, Economic Development, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Marta Gomez Frey -- Director, Collin Small Business Development Center

  • Neel Gonuguntla -- President, US India Chamber of Commerce

  • Judge Clay Jenkins -- County Judge, Dallas County (Lauren Trimble, chief of staff)

  • Ken Malcolmson -- CEO, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce

  • Ricky McNeal -- Garland City Council Member; Former President, Garland NAACP

  • Mike Rosa -- VP, Economic Development, Dallas Regional Chamber

  • Dev Rastogi -- Chairman Elect, North Dallas Chamber

  • Byron Sanders -- CEO, Big Thought

  • Jason Villalba -- Former Texas State Representative and Chairman of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation