Gates began her career in politics by serving on local boards, such as her neighborhood board and working with girl scouts. Councilwoman Gates saw an opening on her city council in the newspaper and made the quick decision to run for the seat, subsequently taking office in 2013. She’s served as a council woman for six years and considers her greatest accomplishment to be her ability to serve as a voice for the community. In her six years in office, Gates has acted as a “shepherd through zoning cases”, helped work on a bond program for a local area to improve safety and appearance, helped reduce tax rates, and acted as the Domestic Violence Task Force Chair.
In her work as a councilwoman, Jennifer Gates serves an area of approximately 23 square miles and around 89,000 people. Although Gates serves her district, she believes that collaboration throughout the city is crucial. She firmly believes Dallas will be “better as a city if we work together.” The biggest issue facing Dallas right now is the barbell economy. Dallas lacks a strong middle class because of a lack of middle class housing and transportation, which further promotes inequality. As a representative of the community Gates has worked to implement problems and research to help mitigate the effects of this issue.
On the Domestic Violence Task Force, Gates has worked tirelessly to better the situation for those facing abuse and violence. In her time she has worked to establish metrics to follow when handling domestic violence situations, she worked during the Ebola crisis to find a safe people for community members to live, and she has acted as a crisis mentor. Approximately four years ago Gates began a partnership with University of Texas at Dallas to research trends in domestic violence cases, specifically looking at how the cases are handled from “dispatch to disposition.” The research has identified key trends that have allowed Gates to serve as a community representative and leader in the field of domestic violence.