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Two Dallas pastors: 'Simply say yes' to the 2024 bond package

David Wilson, pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church (left) and Jerry Christian, senior pastor of Kirkwood Temple CME, (center) are both urging Dallas residents to vote in the upcoming 2024 bond election. And they say its crucial to approve all ten propositions.
Nathan Collins
David Wilson, pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church and Jerry Christian, senior pastor of Kirkwood Temple CME, are both urging Dallas residents to vote in the upcoming 2024 bond election. And they say its crucial to approve all ten propositions.

Two Dallas pastors, with strong connections to the city's southern sector, voiced their support for the city’s upcoming 2024 Bond Package. Which of the ten propositions do they endorse? All of them.

The Rev. David Wilson, who leads Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church, and The Rev. Jerry Christian, the senior pastor at Kirkwood Temple CME, spoke at a press conference on Thursday to give their support to the over billion dollars-worth of bond funds.

The event was organized by the 2024 Dallas Bond Committee, what appears to be a private group with no direct affiliation to official city government.

The two pastors gave their support at a time when some have criticized the amount of the bond package and where the money will be spent. That includes pushback from southern Dallas residents at the tens of millions of funds already earmarked for a new police training facility in the southern sector.

The projects list makes up about $1.25 billion worth of bond funds. That's essentially issuing debt to pay for things like infrastructure repairs, facility upgrades and parks and recreation centers.

The majority of funds, if approved by Dallas voters, will go to street and road improvements to the tune of over $500 million. The second largest group of funds could be earmarked for the city's parks and recreation system — totaling over $340 million.

But that's before principal and interest "based on current market conditions" according to the sample ballot. After those expenses, the estimated repayment amount for approving Proposition A — for streets and transportation improvements — could be over $700 million.

If voters approve Proposition B to pay for park and recreation improvements, the estimated total may be close to $500 million.

And the overall total of approving all ten propositions, after paying principal and interest on the issuance, could be well over the $1.25 billion quoted by City Hall.

David Wilson, pastor of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church, said during the event that everyone in Dallas should weigh in on the bond.

“I’d say…as residents of Dallas, this is our time to make a difference in Dallas, make a difference in our community,” Wilson said. “And you can do that simply by voting ‘yes’.”

Dallas voters will have a chance to either approve or deny the funds — in all or part. Wilson and Christian want voters to approve them all.

“We want to encourage you to make sure you get out and vote,” Christian said during the press conference.

“There are ten propositions, and we need you to vote for all ten…we need to improve our streets, we need to improve our libraries, we need to deal with the homelessness situation and there are so many other areas that this bond package is going to address.”

Both say their communities have been waiting for improvements to city infrastructure for a long time.

The list projects that could receive bond money is extensive. They include everything from fixing streets, roads and sidewalks to bringing several Dallas area libraries into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The list also includes $50 million earmarked for a new Dallas Police Department training facility on the University of North Texas at Dallas campus — in the southern sector.

The project has gained sharp criticism from some in southern Dallas who call the planned academy “Cop City”. That’s in reference to another similar movement to stop the development of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

One group that is actively organizing against the planned facility says there are better uses for $50 million in bond funds.

One “Stop Cop City” organizer told WFAA that community members are worried the planned facility could disproportionately impact southern Dallas — and that there should be more investment in solutions to crime, other than hiring and training more officers.

Christian said during the press conference that there is a real necessity for the training center — and urged voters to approve Proposition F, which focuses on public safety facilities and totals $90 million.

“The training facility is very much needed because…we lose a lot of police [officers] to the suburb and to other areas,” Christian said. “This training facility is a way of keeping our police.”

Dallas elected officials, residents and advocates have been debating for months over the large amount of bond funds earmarked for both street repairs and the city’s park and recreation system. Advocates say those two propositions should be the biggest, while others say money for housing, homelessness and arts facilities should have been prioritized.

The press conference speakers, again, emphasized the need for over $300 million in bond funds for the city's parks system.

“What most people don’t realize, parks keep our young people out of crime,” Christian said. “When our young people gather in the parks…we know where they are and we don’t have to worry about them hanging out somewhere else.”

Christian said the parks need to be improved including expansions and repairs to recreation centers. He also said the maintenance and upkeep needed to be bolstered as well.

And when asked about the comparison of the funds put aside for parks, recreation centers and street repairs over money for housing projects, Wilson said “something beats nothing.”

“As much as you probably talk about the small percentage…we’ve not had anything right now,” Wilson said. “In light of that we’ll take what we can get.”

The Bond Committee's website endorses all ten propositions and gives voting details. It also says the Dallas city council “will be surrogates in encouraging the community to support the approval of all 10 propositions.”

District 12 Council Member Cara Mendelsohn has said previously that she does not endorse all of the propositions — and has written op-eds explaining her concerns.

Early voting is from April 22 to April 30. Election day is Saturday, May 4.

Got a tip? Email Nathan Collins at You can follow Nathan on Twitter @nathannotforyou.

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Nathan Collins is the Dallas Accountability Reporter for KERA. Collins joined the station after receiving his master’s degree in Investigative Journalism from Arizona State University. Prior to becoming a journalist, he was a professional musician.