by Deanne Hollas
Compassionate Dallas/Ft. Worth, i.e. CompassionateDFW, kicked off our compassionate cities campaign on May 3. Most folk in attendance were from St. Barnabas Presbyterian in Richardson and First Unitarian Church of Dallas. The time was spent planning how CompassionateDFW will visit mayors of area cities in order to to invite these mayors to sign the Charter for Compassion and get their cities to become designated compassionate cities. CompassionateDFW also wants to invite mayors and other city leaders to an inspirational/information luncheon on November 12, 2014 at Dallas Country Club. Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer will Skype into the luncheon and Mr. Andrew Himes, Executive Director of the International Cities Campaign will be the keynote speaker for the event.
In 2013, the US Conference of Mayors endorsed the International Compassionate Cities Campaign and CompassionateDFW wants to further that commitment by getting cities in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area to become designated compassionate cities. Doing this would involve signing the international Charter for Compassion and developing 5-10 year strategic plans. Some benefits of becoming a designated compassionate city are reframing public dialog and uniting the community around efforts to alleviate suffering. Cities can also create positive images and branding which will be attractive to visitors and businesses. This could be an especially positive move for a city like Dallas who has been known for too long as “the city of hate” and “the city that killed Kennedy.”
CompassionateDFW is planning a Torch of Compassion Relay Run as publicity to deliver the invitations to the mayors’ offices and to increase public awareness of the campaign. Run On!, a local running store in Richardson, Texas is interested in organizing the relay that will deliver the invitation packet to Richardson’s mayor, Laura Maczka. For Ft. Worth’s mayor, Betsy Price, the Torch of Compassion Relay Run may turn into a Bike Relay, as Mayor Price is an avid cyclist.
CompassionateDFW needs your help in generating contacts with city officials in the following cities:
Addison Frisco Mesquite
Arlington Garland North Richland Hills
Carrolton Grand Prarie Plano
Dallas Greenville Richardson
Denton Irving Rowlett
DeSoto Keller Terrell
Farmers Branch Lewisville University Park
Fort Worth McKinney Waxahachie