Dallas selected in national challenge to reform fines and fees

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May 26, 2020


Dallas selected in national challenge to reform fines and fees

DALLAS, TX - The City of Dallas was selected to join the inaugural class of leaders in the Cities & Counties for Fine and Fee Justice network. Through the Office of Resilience and the Office of Equity, the City will join a network pursuing innovative solutions to reform fines and fees.

"Dallas is a city of opportunity," said Mayor Eric Johnson. "Our fines and fees should not prevent our residents from earning an honest living, and we should do all that we can to ensure equity for our underserved communities. I am pleased that we have received this grant to help with those efforts."

This work is part of a growing national movement, recognizing the disproportionate toll fines and fees have on people of color and on those who are struggling to make ends meet. For low-income residents, a cascade of consequences sets in when they cannot pay: their debt can grow, their driver’s license can be suspended, their credit score goes down and their employment and economic mobility opportunities are diminished.

"Participation in this program will aid in the City's effort to optimize our resources," said Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. "This will help the City develop a mechanism to evaluate proposed fees and fines, not just through a cost recovery lens, but also evaluate through an equity lens."

Cities and counties selected in the inaugural cohort are: Allegheny County, PA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Durham, NC, Philadelphia, PA, Providence, RI, Sacramento, CA, Seattle/King County, WA, Shelby County, TN, and St. Paul, MN.

The newly selected teams will work together over the course of 18 months to develop and implement reforms to fines and fees, sharing approaches and breakthroughs within the network and with other cities and counties.