Joel Burns is a four-term City Council member in the nation’s 16th largest city, Fort Worth, Texas He represents more than 90,000 people in an urban core district that includes Downtown, the Near Southside and neighborhoods around TCU. He is a fan of smart, open government, an engaged citizenry, bold acts and safe kids. He’s not a fan of intimidation and fear.
In Joel’s Council service, and as the City’s Housing and Economic Development Chairman, he has been a strong and effective advocate for quality economic development projects in Fort Worth, protecting quality of life in its neighborhoods, and promoting innovative, forward-thinking transportation solutions for its future.
In addition to his Council work he is recognized throughout Fort Worth, the state and across the country for his work and leadership advocating for the best learning environment for all students by ending bullying. His candid, very personal 2010 Council comments on LGBT teen bullying and suicide were seen by more than 3 million people. His dozens of national and international guest media appearances include The Ellen Show, the Today Show, the CBS Early Show and multiple cable news shows including an episode of MSNBC’s The Last Word that won Joel and host Laurence O’Donnell a 2010 GLAAD Media Award. President Barack Obama invited Joel to the White House for the President and First Lady’s first-ever Summit on Bullying Prevention.
Joel was named Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government “75 Interesting & Accomplished Alumni”, was one of ten finalists for The Dallas Morning News “Texan of the Year”, and was the winner of the FW Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Award for “Best Servant of the People” for four years in a row.
Joel currently serves on the executive committees of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau and Fort Worth South, Inc., and the advisory boards of The UT-Southwestern Moncrief Cancer Institute and The UT-Arlington School of Social Work.
Joel was born at the Edna Gladney Center for Adoption just a few blocks from where he lives today. The oldest of three children, he grew up on the O.C. Armstrong Ranch in southwest Tarrant County. Joel considers his proudest and most rewarding accomplishment 20 years of marriage. He and his husband J.D. Angle met working on then-Governor Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential primary campaign. They live in the Ryan Place neighborhood of Forth Worth in a 1921 “Recorded Texas Historic Landmark” home they restored together.