Annette Strauss’s long-time experience with leadership and volunteerism helped her win the needed votes to become the city's first elected woman mayor. Promising to be the "mayor of all the people," she pulled together a coalition that included both affluent white voters and poor black and Latino voters. Together, their votes enabled Strauss to defeat her main challenger, who was supported by the Dallas business establishment that had traditionally anointed the city's leaders. Strauss led the Dallas City Council in creating an endowment fund for the city’s minority and emerging artists, a Center for Profit Management to help small businesses, and pushed for the city’s first shelters for the homeless. She was also was a leader in economic development and worked to strengthen the partnership between Dallas’ public and private sectors.

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