Neighborhood Advocacy

No Drive-thru Fast-Food In Neighborhoods

In 2015, a Popeye’s and Burger King franchisee wanted to build two fast-food restaurants in our neighborhood, less than 200 feet from single-family homes. Because each restaurant included a drive-thru, the builder had to ask the City to rezone the lots before construction could begin. Such requests are heard first by the City of Denton Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z). Then, if approved by P&Z, the zoning requests are heard by the Denton City Council.

My neighbors and I organized as West Denton Property Owners for Responsible Growth and opposed the rezoning because the two fast-food restaurants likely would be noisy, generate trash, have intrusive lights and keep late hours. I was active in this effort, initiating contact with the franchisee and the City, and leading discussions. After many meetings, emails, and phone calls, we were able to deter both restaurants.

Negotiations with Aldi

Later, an Aldi grocery store became interested in the same site. Again, I was actively involved as a leader, this time in meetings between neighbors and Aldi, which needed a variance for its unique parking-lot layout.

At the end of our negotiations, the neighborhood received everything it wanted from Aldi. Today, the site houses a business that provides value to neighbors, is quiet, doesn’t generate trash or have intrusive lights, and closes at 9 p.m.

Church Activities

Several years ago, our growing congregation at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church realized that we needed more space. In 2016, I accepted appointment as chair of a $3 million capital campaign to build additional space on the current site.

During my five years of service on the St. David of Wales Episcopal Church Vestry (board), and three years as Senior Warden (chair), we recruited and hired new staff members, improved our physical plant, and thoroughly updated our by laws and operating procedures. I also chaired the search committee during a 6-month search for a new priest after our long-time priest retired.

Evening Rotary Club

The Denton Evening Rotary Club was created to provide the Rotary service opportunities to those who prefer to meet in the evening. I am proud to be a founding member and past club president. Our projects include a monthly downtown clean-up, beautification around the Square, and partnering with UpTop Denton to provide laptops to more than 40 college-bound high school seniors in need.

Leadership in Academic Settings

  • At Baylor University Law School, I was honored to be chosen executive editor of the Baylor Law Review.
  • The position of Student Body President of the UNT Student Government Association (SGA) provided me with significant responsibilities, including oversight of a $9 million budget, 6-member staff and 20 volunteers.
  • During my term , I served as founding chair of the UNT Distinguished Lecture Series; our first speaker was Madeline Albright, first female U.S. Secretary of State and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Always a proponent of public art, I spearheaded the SGA’s commissioning of Jonathan Snow’s “The Sustaining Arch,” an arch of cast-bronze books dedicated to the memory of member of the campus community: students, alumni, faculty and staff. The work is displayed on the Willis Library Mall.
  • Personal responsibilities in the SGA position included representation of the student body before the Texas Legislature, UNT Board of Regents and the Denton City Council.
  • During my time at UNT, I was honored to serve as founding president of the Alpha Tau Omega, Kappa Gamma chapter, a values-based fraternity.