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Q&A: Laura Leppert

There’s a new mayor in town and not only are we curious about his public proclivities, but also his personal life, and, more specifically, the woman he calls his wife: Laura Leppert. So what does Dallas’ new “first lady” think about the future of Dallas, raising kids here (the Lepperts have three of their own, Christian, 20, and 17-year-old twins, Catherine and Ryan) and what she sees as her own personal opportunities to affect change? DallasChild caught up with Leppert to learn more about the Mrs. behind the Mayor.

Q: What activities are you involved in?
My primary focus for the last 22 years has been my family. I “retired” from my professional career (public affairs and real estate) to support my husband in his career, to be a full-time mom and volunteer in the children’s schools and community.

Q: How long have you and your family lived in Dallas?
We have lived and worked in the Dallas area for over a decade. Our oldest son was born at Baylor University Medical Center in the late 80s. Although we moved away, we always wanted to return home to Dallas and did so in the late 90s to raise our children here.

Q: What do you think is the best thing about raising kids in Dallas?

My husband and I chose to live in Dallas because of the “family-friendly” environment and the strong sense of neighborhoods, community and churches. Although we are a large metropolitan area — the ninth largest city in the nation — and we all enjoy the amenities of a larger city, we have not lost our sense of community and the benefits of a small town.

Q: What is your family’s favorite activity/place to go in Dallas?

When our children were young, two of our favorite locations were the Dallas Arboretum and the Zoo. Now that they are older, we enjoy Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art. My daughter and I have also volunteered more than 100 hours each at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals … so I guess you could say that [volunteering there] would be a favorite activity.

Q: How has your husband’s newly elected post as Mayor of Dallas affected your family?
Being that our children are now older with their own independent interests, it was a good time for my husband to have been elected mayor with all of the responsibilities involved. His new position has not really affected our family. They are still involved in volunteer work with their Dad. For instance, Catherine built a home with Habitat for Humanity with him and Ryan joined him to feed the homeless through a local church. And, with cell phones and emails, it is a great way to stay connected during the day. We all make sure at the end of the day that we sit down and connect to discuss the day’s events in each other’s lives.

Q: Being the "First Lady" of Dallas, what’s your hot button "issue" that you want to personally focus on?
During the campaign, my husband and I had the privilege of meeting people from all over our community and identifying the needs and challenges. I look forward to getting involved in many of those causes in the months ahead. One of the primary passions, which I share with my husband, is the need to improve our education system for all of our children.

Q: How do you see the landscape of Dallas changing in the next four years?

Physically, the single most important change that will occur to the Dallas landscape — and the major change it will have on our Dallas families — will be the completion of the 10,000-acre Trinity Park. It will provide amenities for all of our Dallas residents and it will be an exciting time for Dallas in that it will bring our city together physically, as well as symbolically.