About 300 people attended the forum and discussed how to make housing
more affordable, solutions to truancy, gangs and runaways, and public transit needs.
Strong said many of the issues presented at the forum have been evaluated many times,
but this forum was for community members.
"Many of these issues have been discussed," he said. "We are hoping that
solutions will come out of it and that it will be solution based.'
Arlington Mayor Elzie Odom attended the meeting and stressed how important it is for
the community to have an open dialogue with city officials.
"With this many people interested in Arlington, we can solve any problem if we
try," he said. "We didn't come for you to hear us tonight; we came to hear what
you have to say."
Community members separated into three groups to discuss the issues and then filled out
forms with ideas on how to make housing more affordable, help at-risk youth, and different
modes of public transportation. They suggested that private and non-profit organizations
work with city agencies to help improve the community.
Jerry Mosman, United Way program director, said the ideas will be compiled and a report
will be given to city, county and school officials to help them make policy decisions.
"It is the mission of Arlington Human Service Planners to identify emerging needs
and develop community solutions," he said.
President Robert Witt stressed how important the Arlington community is to the
"It is very important for UTA faculty, staff and students to be heavily involved
in the life of the city," he said. "Our involvement builds a bridge from the
university to the community that will result, in the long term, in stronger support for