Economic growth — spurred by a focus on education and urban redevelopment — will push Fort Worth forward, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said Thursday as she formally announced a re-election bid.
Price Thursday touted economic development as leading her priorities if she wins a unprecedented fifth term at an East Fort Worth Business Association lunch. Price told Star-Telegram media partner WFAA/Channel 8 in December she thought “there’s a lot yet to be done” in Fort Worth.
“Fort Worth has more momentum now than ever before,” she said Thursday.
If re-elected to the two-year term, Price would be the longest-serving mayor in Fort Worth history.
Price said she would continue a focus on growing and diversifying Fort Worth’s economy. To do that, she said, the city must prioritize education calling it “good business.” Price created Read Fort Worth with the goal of making 100 percent of Fort Worth third-graders capable of reading at grade level by 2025 and Thursday pointed to programs focused on early childhood development and daycare, stabilizing homes for school-aged children and career development.
“We’ve imported talent to Fort Worth, particularly in tech,” she said. “It’s time we grow our own.”
Redevelopment of the city’s core neighborhoods, including improving infrastructure and tackling crime, would also be among her focus. Price mentioned Stop Six and Ash Crescent, two neighborhoods targeted with city dollars for blight clean up and sidewalk, street and lighting improvements. The city council later this month will approve just under $3 million for the North Side.
She has also championed fitness and health programs like FitWorth, which focuses on active lifestyles for children and adults, and Price pointed to the city’s Blue Zone designation. Price told the crowd health programs would attract businesses while also building a healthy workforce.
Price, elected first in 2011, faced a re-election challenger for the first time in 2017 in newcomer Chris Nettles, a minister and justice of the peace clerk. She sailed to an easy victory with about 70 percent of the vote. Nettles has appointed a treasurer for a campaign in City Council District 8, currently represented by Kelly Allen Gray.