Presented By

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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Changing Face of Politics Monday, April 28, at 6:00pm at David W. Carter High School, his alma mater

Craig Watkins

Louis A. Bedford Jr. was trembling and teary-eyed when he swore in Craig Watkins as Dallas County district attorney on January 1, 2007. The retired judge and legendary black attorney—he led the fight to desegregate Dallas schools—was overcome by the moment: Watkins had just become the first black DA in Texas history. 

Watkins has a charcoal drawing of the moment on a wall behind his desk, but he doesn’t need it to remind him of that day and what a big step forward it was, for Dallas and the DA’s office. He was ushered in on a tide of Democratic voters in 2006, and it didn’t turn out to be a fluke. 

“My wife, Tanya, still jokes with me today that when I was sworn in, she could count the African-Americans and Hispanics on one hand that actually were lawyers in this office,” Watkins, 46, says. “And now, if you look at our office, it’s hard to even imagine that, seven years ago, it was almost impossible for a person of color to have the opportunity to even be an assistant DA. So, yeah, we’ve come a long way.”

It’s not just the district attorney’s office. “I’m noticing that you have a more diverse group of individuals that are using the opportunity to be in public service,” Watkins says. He’s correct. In fact, the top law enforcement jobs in Dallas County are held by persons of color: Watkins, Dallas Police Chief David Brown, and Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez.  

Watkins has taken advantage of the opportunity he got seven years ago, garnering national attention for his efforts regarding prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful convictions. Going forward, he says he’s working to put policies in place to help the public regain its trust in law enforcement. It began with his office, but now he’s reaching further, because he knows he has the support to do so.

“The good thing about Dallas—and I think Dallas should embrace this—is that I could take credit for all this, but Dallas elected me,” he says. “And so the credit goes to the citizens of Dallas, that they saw a need for change and they put someone in with a different viewpoint in a very powerful public position. I’m returning the favor by not being afraid to implement those changes that we need to make things better.”