City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth native Betsy Price was elected as the 44th Mayor of the City of Fort Worth on June 18, 2011. Then, in 2019, Price made history by winning her fifth election, becoming the longest serving mayor in Fort Worth's history.
Price, who graduated from Arlington Heights High School, has been an active leader in the Fort Worth community for years, serving on numerous boards, commissions and professional associations.
After running her own title company, Price Cornelius Title, for 17 years Price turned to public service.
Elected in 2000 to serve as Tarrant County’s Tax Assessor, she transformed the Assessor’s Office into one of the most efficient in the State of Texas, saving taxpayers millions. Her roles as a businesswoman and community activist garnered her a reputation for being an innovator with strong leadership in solving some of the most pressing issues in one of Texas’ fastest-growing cities.
No one would accuse Price of a lack of confidence – or passion.
“The reality is you can truly do anything you want, as long as you have confidence in yourself and a passion for what you are doing,” she said.
“It’s mostly about passion; about having a passion for what you do and the ability to listen to people. You’ve got one mouth and two ears for a reason; to listen more than you talk,” she said.
Much of that listening skill has been lost in politics and among the public.
“I do think that the art of compromise and of listening and being respectful of each other has been lost - the last few years particularly,” she said in a recent FWBP interview. “It’s been going that way for a long time. It’s a tough spot but you just have to be respectful.”
Along with her focus on promoting jobs, strengthening education, fighting crime and improving mobility, Price has made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy, engaged and fiscally responsible city.
And she doesn’t just talk the talk about health, she walks – or at least pedals – the talk.
An avid cyclist, Price tries to be on her bike as much as possible. Citizens can even join her at a rolling town hall, where she combines civic engagement with an active lifestyle.
As mayor, Price applied the skills she garnered as a business owner and as Tax Assessor to tackle some of the city’s most difficult issues. Price and the City Council made significant changes to strengthen the city’s pension plan in 2012 and 2019.
It's not been without some challenges and controversy.
Price has taken an active role – including meetings at the White House – to move the controversial Panther Island project forward.
And she, like many mayors around the country, has had to deal with several difficult issues relating to law enforcement and race relations.
Whatever the challenge, the one place Price is least likely to be found is in her office.
“You can’t govern behind a desk and you can’t lead very well if you’re shut up in your office all the time,” she said.
“You really have to be out touching a lot of people, hearing what they have to say, because you may make your mind up something’s going to go one way, get feedback, and if you’re listening, often times it doesn’t go the way you thought it was going to go to begin with,” Price says.
Price has been married to Tom, an insurance agent, for more than 40 years and has three children. Price is also a proud grandmother to her five grandchildren, who know her as “Tootsie.”
– Robert Francis
What advice would you give young women rising to a position of prominence?
I would encourage our future female leaders to lead with compassion, while also being tough as nails. Don’t ever be afraid to be assertive enough to ensure your voice is heard, but make sure it is done with kindness.
On the other side of the coin, I think it is important to strike that difficult work-life balance. As a mother, grandmother, wife and sister, I can tell you life goes by fast. You have to prioritize what is important to you, such as time for yourself and with your family. Otherwise, other parts of your life will suffer, including work.
While you have to juggle competing needs, you have to remember to take care of yourself and your family.
You could choose to spend your time many ways; why do you choose to spend it the way you do?
It is an honor of a lifetime to serve as mayor of my hometown. I was called to serve this great city that I love deeply, and it is my goal to leave Fort Worth better than I found it. There is nothing more rewarding than creating positive change and collaborating with residents and community partners to make Fort Worth the best city in the nation.
Who is the most significant role model and/or mentor in your life?
My mother was my first role model, as she truly had a servant’s heart. The values my mother, and father, instilled in me at an early age, remain with me today. My parents led by example and taught me firsthand the responsibility of giving back to the community. That no matter what gifts or talents God gave you, there is a way you can positively impact your community for the better.
What book, movie, TV series or play influenced you growing up? Why?
I have always preferred reading and spending time outdoors over watching TV or movies. To Kill a Mockingbirdis one of my favorite books and a novel I reread yearly, as the classic story still resonates with me today.
The tale of a young woman learning about the injustices in society from her father and how to tackle them with empathy and courage serves as a reminder of how we should lead with compassion.
What would you like for us to know that we might not know to ask?
I want everyone to understand I am public servant and not a politician. Every day, I strive to better our community with the goal of leaving Fort Worth better than I found it.
I am a proud grandmother of five and my grandkids call me “Tootsie.” Most recently, my family adopted a retired Fort Worth Herd Longhorn named Sheriff Smitty.
And that I’ve been married longer than most of you have been alive.