Southern Dallas Magazine Celebrates Casey Thomas II

By: Keeshala Henderson

Casey Thomas II has been the reigning District 3 Council Member for the City of Dallas since 2015.  June 2023 marks Casey’s final term, of which he has an impressive list of accomplishments, including the incredible evolution of Southern Dallas’ landmark Red Bird Mall and his diligent advocacy for housing and racial equity. Southern Dallas Magazine enthusiastically applauds Casey’s commitment and service to the community and City of Dallas.


SDM – You have served the City of Dallas and District 3 exceptionally well during your four consecutive terms in overseeing the workforce development strategy and championing the city’s racial equity plan.  Can you share what it means to you to serve your constituents?

Casey Thomas II – Thank you. To serve my constituents means to listen to their concerns, respond to their requests in a timely manner, and bring to the district the things that will increase their property value and enhance their quality of life.


SDM – During your tenure, what is one of your most memorable experiences while serving the community?

Casey Thomas II – There have been many, before, during and after the pandemic. I would say before the pandemic it was bringing a full-service activity center for senior citizens in Oak Cliff. During and after the pandemic, I would say it would be bringing a vaccine site to South Oak Cliff High School so people that lived in Oak Cliff would not have to drive to South Dallas to get their vaccine.

Recently, it was announced that Red Bird Mall will be opening a new Tom Thumb grocery store by 2025. I worked on this for eight years and I’m glad we will get a new grocery store in Oak Cliff.


SDM – We are greatly anticipating the addition of the new Tom Thumb, as Southern Dallas is currently a food desert!  You were campaigning relentlessly to have a major grocery store and so were others that came before you.  How does it feel to officially land an agreement to build a 50,000 square foot store in District 3?

Casey Thomas II – It feels great! After working consistently on this for the past eight years, I want to thank my colleague Tennell Atkins, who chairs the city’s economic development committee and who did the heavy lifting to get the financial package that would be a win-win for the city and for the residents of Oak Cliff.

It all began with the opening of the Starbucks, which showed business owners how successful investing in Red Bird could be.  Now the sky is the limit in terms of what businesses, stores and restaurants will call Red Bird home. There will be soon be a hotel that will include a conference center for churches and other organizations in the area to host their events.


SDM – Your Builder’s Roundtable event hosted at the Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center is a phenomenal one-stop shop for anyone that is involved in or desires home ownership.  There were City of Dallas officials, home builders, credit repair experts, lenders, and realtors.  What is the catalyst behind this?

Casey Thomas II – I give credit for the start of this roundtable to a home builder by the name of Chris Keith. I’ve worked with Chris in the past through work in the community. Once I became chair of the Housing and Homeless Solutions Committee, Chris reached out to me and asked if I would meet with him and a small group of Black homebuilders. From that conversation, we hosted our first roundtable at City Square. Many of the builders were frustrated because they were having trouble navigating city hall. The pandemic made it hard for developers to get their permits.

We were able to bring staff to the table to walk them through the process and troubleshoot challenges that builders were having. It has grown to a monthly conversation on how to get access to capital for builders and how to get financing for future homeowners.


SDM – Outside of the two groundbreaking successes denoted, Tom Thumb store and the Red Bird revitalization, are there any additional accomplishments you are proud of achieving during your tenure?

Casey Thomas II – We were able to bring over 1000 new jobs to District 3 with the opening of the Home Depot warehouse. We were able to provide financial assistance to local Black businesses in District 3. We hosted a monthly neighborhood and community leaders breakfast with myself, the city manager and department heads of every department in the City of Dallas to bring local government information to the community. We hosted a quality faith leaders breakfast where we brought the latest developers who were doing projects in Oak Cliff, as well as other initiatives important to members of their congregations.

Most importantly, I was able to lead the city through a process of adopting resolutions on racial equity, which directed the city manager to create a racial equity plan, that causes the city to utilize a racial equity lens when making decisions around everything from the city budget to the upcoming bond election.


SDM – What is on the horizon for you as your historical tenure as District 3 Dallas Council Member ends in June?

Casey Thomas II – I will continue to be involved in what is going on in the city and I will focus on continuing to increase voter turnout in our city and our state as the Dallas NAACP and the Texas NAACP Political Action Chair.


Southern Dallas Magazine greatly appreciates your servant leadership, dedication, and all that you have accomplished for the City of Dallas, District 3, and the continued revitalization of Red Bird.  We look forward to your continued success in your new role with the Dallas and Texas NAACP.

Our goal at Southern Dallas County Business & Living Magazine is to bring you the latest information on issues relating to Southern Dallas County. We will have monthly feature stories on CEOs and business owners, marketing tips, dining, finance, commercial and residential real esate, investing, social issues and other interesting, thought-provoking and useful information.

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