Letter to the editor: Jesse Davis’ message to students for the District 3 City Council seat

Letter to the editor: Jesse Davis’ message to students for the District 3 City Council seat

Jesse Davis

Letter to the editor: Jesse Davis’ message to students for the District 3 City Council seat
April 22
16:04 2019

UNT students are a driving creative energy in Denton and I am honored to have the opportunity to represent them and all of District 3 in the Denton City Council. Much of Denton’s unique and vibrant culture is forged from the relationship between the city and its universities. As a former UNT Student Government Association President (2004-2005), I know firsthand this relationship must be built upon mutual respect and communication. Students deserve a city council member who is committed to keeping them informed and engaged. I have proven myself in this role before and with students’ support, I will do so again.

My time at UNT helped shape the public servant, lawyer, prosecutor and community advocate I am today. As an assistant district attorney, I prosecute felony offenses and counsel victims of violence and sexual assault. Every day, I balance the rights of victims and the accused as I seek just and appropriate outcomes. Advocating within the bounds of fairness and respect, characterized during my leadership of UNT’s SGA, is a hallmark of my work as an ADA and will define my service as a councilmember.

​My service as SGA President included strong advocacy for students with UNT administrators, local government and state legislators. I used a budget surplus to commission the Sustaining Arch sculpture in the Library Mall and insisted that the artist be a student. As chair on the Student Services Fee Committee, I directed the allocation of $9 million and set budgets for vital programs across campus. I also led the creation of the Distinguished Lecture Series, which remains a highly successful and enriching program today. Madeleine Albright, the first female United States Secretary of State, was our inaugural speaker.

​Other key projects I was a part of during my presidency include the naming of the Union Circle, participating in a statewide effort to place students on the Board of Regents and testifying before the Texas House of Representatives Higher Education Committee for the creation of UNT’s Dallas College of Law.

​At UNT, I also advocated for a polling place on campus and supported voter registration drives. I continue to support a UNT polling place today. Unfortunately, considerable misunderstanding exists about the role of the Denton Board of Ethics, which I chair. The Board only issues an opinion when we are asked to do so. Whether or not UNT should have a polling place is not within our purview. Two Denton City Council members recently asked the Board whether they—a UNT employee and the spouse of a UNT employee—should vote on a “contract or arrangement” that includes their employer. The Ethics Ordinance clearly prohibits them from doing so. Some people, however, have tried to mislead you by calling this simple fact “voter suppression.”

​Many important city conversations ahead in which you must be involved. These include street and parking improvements, expanded bike lanes and safety enhancements around campus. UNT does not own the former location of the Carriage Hill strip center between UNT and I-35E to the south. Its owner, a Dallas-based national developer, will have to bring any future plans to the City for approval.

​Early voting begins Monday April 22nd at the Greek Life Center and continues through April 30. Before you vote, consider which candidate has a proven record of advocating for students. Take a moment to learn about my priorities and positions on my website www.jessefordenton.com and my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jessefordenton. This is our city and I will be your voice.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Jesse Davis.

About Author

North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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1 Comment

  1. UNT Alum
    UNT Alum April 24, 17:21

    Quoting from a letter to the editor at the DRC:
    “Should Armintor and Meltzer be expected to leave the room every time UNT is mentioned? The unfortunate message in this mess is that anyone connected with UNT or TWU should be intimidated from running for office or participating in any city government roles.”
    Good point. This “contract” does not involve any monetary gain. Some people are definitely misleading you- but it is NOT our current council members. They are trying to boost your right to vote- not suppress it.

    Reply to this comment

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