Election Day is May 6 and the Fort Worth Report is committed to keeping you informed through our Election Central. 

To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked every candidate to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on the most pressing issues candidates may face while serving in elected office. 

The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar. 

District 9 includes Fort Worth’s downtown and the south central core of the city. To find out what district you live in, input your address here

Municipal elections are coming up. Here are some key dates:

April 24: Early voting begins 
May 2: Early voting ends 
May 6: Election Day    

Candidate survey 

A headshot of Jason Peña, candidate for District 9. (Courtesy of Jason Peña campaign)

Name: Jason Lee Peña

Age: 43

Occupation: Marketing/Property Managment

What are your qualifications to serve on Fort Worth’s City Council?

Commitment to serving this community is: Proven performance, strategic thinking, ability to subordinate special interests, communication and best “teaching skills.” Sound judgment and integrity, understanding of teamwork — we must work together for the greater good for this people in Fort Worth of District 9. Time and financial resources to serve all of Fort Worth District 9 residents. I am a Small Business Owner in district, born and raised native of Fort Worth.

What are your top two priorities if elected to City Council? Describe briefly how you would approach these priorities.

My first priority would be removing that dangerous Bike Lane from Hemphill Street. Many of the small businesses and residents have been negatively affected by this and I want to bring it back to four lanes. Business owners on Hemphill said they’ve seen business drop by 50%, this has also made traffic more congested at peak times of the day causing accidents. The bike lane is only defined by colored street paint and could easily be removed without costing our taxpayers a lot of money. Second would be focusing on the underdeveloped and forgotten streets of District 9. Many roads off Biddison between Hemphill Street and Mccart Avenue have large potholes, broken sidewalks and little to no curbs. When first responders like Medstar during an emergency need to drive down our streets the ride needs to be smooth. Many of these streets are unsafe due to the lack of sufficient or updated lighting. I will ensure our tax dollars are being allocated evenly throughout all of Fort Worth District 9.

How would you characterize the performance of city management over the past five years?

I would characterize the performance of our city management as only focusing on special interest areas like Magnolia and Fairmont Ave, those managing the city are not effectively reaching all groups in this community and being transparent when making decisions that affect the citizens of Fort Worth. There are a lot of areas with trash and tents on public property, streets along South West Highschool have over hanging trees and branches dangerously leaning over power lines.

What is the single biggest issue your particular district faces?

Developers buying properties in District 9 and building housing they say it is beneficial and affordable (a one-bedroom apartment is $1,200 a month which isn’t affordable housing), also allowing for abortion centers, plasma centers, and housing for the homeless to be built near schools.

How will you balance the concerns of your district vs. the city as a whole?

I would encourage our communities to participate in open mic events like city council meetings and neighborhood associations as to hear everyone’s concerns in my district then hear out the concerns of every district and come up with solutions and compromises to make everyone happy. Many people in the communities don’t know the process of speaking at these city events, we would need to promote as much as possible the number to call to be on the list of speakers and have translators available. Many people have concerns but can’t get their voices heard. When balancing concerns of your district you would have to take in account many factors such as socio-economics and culture. The city might not have the same interests as a certain district. It’s all about communication and finding the answers somewhere in the middle.

How can city leadership work to ensure all Fort Worth residents have equal access to city services regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and income?

City leaders can use social media for this generation by promoting services through television and social media. (Put) signs on billboards throughout Fort Worth, most elderly residents don’t use social media. For starters, update our phone attendants who answer the city phones. Some of the city uses an archaic answering system and you have to hold for long time before speaking to someone from the city about services. Re-train city phone attendants and remind them they are here to serve the community. I understand the frustration when calling the city.

Fort Worth’s annual general budget is currently around $915 million; do you feel this budget is appropriate, too large, or too small? If too large or too small, briefly describe how you would propose amending the budget.

I would want to take a deep look into what that budget is being spent on before I say that too large or too small. For starters no more wasteful spending, I would like to encourage local developers and builders to be used in building our city and infrastructure. We spent $20 million on golf courses in the last 6 years and most of that is with bond money. (Loans with Interest)

In 2023 the city will levy a tax rate of $0.7125 per $100 of assessed evaluation. If you would advocate for decreasing/increasing the tax rate what would you cut/add?

I would decrease, for the past 3 years we have seen a tax increase that is creating more homelessness. People want to get out of the rented homes and become homeowners but with the steady rise of our tax rate it discourages the working citizen from wanting to own a home.

As Fort Worth grows, how can the city ensure it keeps up with the pace of development?

Look into what the community wants, some things should remain the same. We aren’t necessarily trying to keep on pace with other city’s development. The whole scooter and bike rental was a disaster, many were left and scattered around Fort Worth. We like it a little slower over here. This would be something I would want to have open discussion on. Fort Worth has lost a lot of historical buildings in the name of “development.” First let’s fix our streets ands roads in underdeveloped areas.

In the last year, the city council has limited opportunities for public comment and changed meeting schedules. How would you approach community engagement as a council member?

I would like to bring back public presentations. In 2021, the public was able to speak about whatever they wanted to. Now, the public is only allowed to speak about what the City Council puts on the agenda. Council presentation is now one of the first things on the agenda, I believe it should be lower on the agenda.

What role does the City Council have in policing? Please describe how city council members should work to ensure the safety of their constituents.

It would be a major role. City council members have a duty in voting on things that would empower our police and also to hold those women and men accountable for not meeting that high standard we have set for them. City members should be present when attending community events and should be actively listening to the concerns of the people. Answering their phone and returning phone calls when constituents call with concerns about crime and safety in their areas. A city council member can ensure proper lighting and lamps are applied in the darker areas of Fort Worth which can prevents crime. City council members should be working side by side with assigned law enforcement in each area.

Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? If so, when.


Have you ever been convicted of a crime, in Texas or another state? If so, what crime and when.

Yes, a misdemeanor in 2012.

You can find other candidates’ responses by reading our voter guide here. The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar.

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