Archive for April, 2007

April 30, 2007

A Three-Step Process to Changing this City

1. Find out who’s on the ballot and have all of your voting information (link)
2. Check out the Dallas Progress Endorsements for May 2007 (link)
3. GO VOTE!

If you really want this city to be great, then you must vote! You don’t have to be deeply involved in politics to care about what happens to Dallas. All I’m asking is that you take 5 minutes of your time between now and May 12th to make sure that we have the right people at City Hall. We will have a mostly new city council, and with or without you this process will move forward. Do you have 5 minutes?

Make sure that your friends and family vote too. It’s that important.

April 30, 2007

Voting Primer – Dallas County Election Information

Here’s all the info you need to vote in Dallas:

*Check on your registration – You can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*Check your registration by address – You can view your ballot ahead of time (link)

*List of all Elections – PDF File (link)

*When and where to early vote (link)

*State of Texas Early Voting Rules (link)

*Demonstration of Touch Screen Voting Machine (Flash player required) (link)

*Services Available to Voters with Special Needs in Texas (link)

*League of Women Voters’ Online Voters Guide (link)

April 27, 2007

New Opening Date for Lakewood Whole Foods?

Rick at the Lakewood Advocate is reporting that the new Whole Foods at the old Minyard’s site will now open in June 2008.

One day, I’ll be able to go to Whole Foods on the south side.

April 24, 2007

Dallas Progress Endorsements for Dallas 2007

Without apologies and disclaimers, I offer my endorsements for the upcoming election.

I have only focused on the Mayor’s race and southern Dallas Council seats, with the exception of the District 14 seat.

District 3: Dave Neumann

Dave (website) has the skill set, experience, and most importantly the will to improve all of District 3, not just parts of it like his predecessor. Dave will be a leader in the fight to close illegal strip clubs, motels, and massage parlors/spas; he has been involved in those battles for years.

I do commend and am a big fan of Angela Phillips. At 17 years old, Angela Phillips (website) has expressed interesting and tangible ideas on how to effectively move her District forward. I hope that she remains involved no matter the results of this election.

District 4: Dwaine Caraway

(Full disclosure: I am working with Dwaine in his campaign).

District 4 has many issues to be addressed, and Dwaine (website) is by far the best candidate.

I have seen first hand how he is on call 24/7 for his District. Dwaine is the only person in this race with the guts to stand up to crime, drugs, and the needs of this District. Look at his 20-point plan and compare it to the plan or lack of plan by the other candidates in the race, and then make your decision about which candidate you support.

Gloria Hogg is supported by Maxine Reese. That should be enough to vote for someone else. Better yet, watch her WFAA commercial. James Eugene Thomas once used a phony address to try to run for election for this same seat in 2003, but withdrew once he was busted for living in DeSoto. He supported Maxine in the last election, but now rails against her in forums. Eugene claims to want to fight against motels and bad businesses, but why is one of the worst motels in the City in an area he touts as his base? Wouldn’t that have been a good place to start?

More on Dwaine at Dallas Progress: link

website: www.dwainecaraway.com

District 5: Betty Culbreath

Ms. Culbreath’s (website) body of work speaks for itself. She chaired the City Plan Commission twice. She has fought for the homeless. As chair of the Dallas Housing Authority board, Betty made sure that Ann Lott kept her position as CEO.

Betty knows when to turn up the heat on people and when to work with people. Betty understands development and knows the difference between good development and bad development. Betty has a plan for Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove.

Betty is inclusive, but will tell it like it is. Regardless of the haters that try to give her a bad name, she has been a stalwart in the community and is most worthy of this seat.

I am also a big fan of Yolanda Faye Williams. Yolanda has excellent thoughts on addressing the issues that impact the District. She is an up and coming leader in southern Dallas.

District 7: Rev. Donald Parish, Carolyn Davis

In this race, I support two candidates because I feel they both would do a great job and be a gigantic improvement over the past person that took up space in this Council seat.

Rev. Parish (website) is a driving force in the revitalization of South Dallas. He helped us close the American Inn motel in South Dallas, and supports giving ex-offenders and working citizens an opportunity to succeed.

Carolyn Davis (no relation) has also been a tireless fighter on many important issues, and is also a great choice. Carolyn has the experience and the passion to do a great job at City Hall.

District 8: Erik Wilson

Erik (website) has great ideas and understands the complex issues of the District, and is willing to bring citizens together to work towards a solution.

District 14: Angela Hunt

This goes without saying. If you’ve read my blog in the past year you know that I am a huge supporter of Angela (website). She has helped all citizens in District 14, not just those that are well-off. After she won in 2005, she immediately went to Roseland Townhomes and participated in events and meetings. Before we met and I lived in Uptown, I had a problem with contractors that were building in my neighborhood. After one phone call, I got three calls from her office making sure that the problem was solved. That’s service! Despite what you may have heard, she has continually spoken up for affordable housing and lower-income citizens in her District.
Read my posts on Angela Hunt here.

Mayor: Don Hill, Sam Coats

Don Hill (website) is a worthy candidate. The so-called FBI investigation involving Don is losing credibility by the day. Until we hear different, I don’t think he should be judged on this issue. I do think that Don has to listen more when it comes to community-specific issues such as closing motels and placement of nightclubs, traffic lights and the like. However, along with Coats, I believe that Don will be the most accessible as Mayor when you look at the rest of the field.

At the Dallas Examiner forum, Hill asked all the right questions and did not get real answers from Tom Leppert, Ed Oakley, or Max Wells on several issues. Oakley arrived 30 minutes late and blamed scheduling (but everyone else was there on time). Leppert, Gary Griffith, Max Wells, and Darrell Jordan all left early to attend the Lake Highlands GOP Women’s Club Mayoral Forum. Griffith left right after his opening statement! I guess going to LH for the 3rd or 4th time was more important to them than the first African-American sponsored forum in the southern sector.

Ed Oakley did not answer when asked why he voted to reduce the South Dallas/Fair Park Trust Fund. When the issue of redistricting came about, he also declined to state his role in the last City Council redistricting which disenfranchised thousands of poorer minority citizens in his district in Oak Cliff as well as middle-class voters in Northwest Dallas. Oakley also did not answer questions about his role in supporting gentrification projects in his district and citywide.

When Wells talked about the southern sector, he did not mention that:

  • In 1988, Wells (as a city council member) tabled a resolution to have DART run rail from Parkland to South Oak Cliff.
  • In 1989, Wells opposed changing council from the 8-3 system to 10-4-1 or 14-1.

Sam (website) has shown the guts to oppose the Trinity Plan in its current form. You may say that the Trinity is only one issue, but it’s an issue with a $1 Billion (and counting) price tag that will forever change Dallas. We won’t be able to have a do-over on this one. We must get it right.

Sam can bring people together, but will not be a rubber-stamp at City Hall.

I have heard both sides of the story, and believe that Coats did address the TXI board situation. I got a lengthy bit of info from Downwinders and from Coats on how that last meeting went down.

For those who hate Sam b/c of TXI: Keep this in mind. On many boards, you are sometimes the lone voice of dissent. Sometimes you are the “1” in a 10-1 losing vote. We applaud folks like Angela for being the lone voice at City Hall against the current version of the “Trinity River Plan.” Apply the same theory to Sam. Fair is fair.

Sam shows up with or without cameras, sans entourage at southern Dallas events as shown here and when he attended the eminent domain townhall meeting in South Dallas a few weeks ago.

Make sure that you vote in this election! Too much is at stake! As always, my voting primer will be available a couple of days before the start of early voting (link).

April 22, 2007

Stereotyping Dallas

Cary Darling has a great article in today’s Star Telegram titled, “Dallas’ Victory Park too ambitious?” I was quoted in the article, along with my buddies at PegasusNews and others.

I separate the Dallas Mavericks from Victory. They have always supported community events and done outreach. They also have different promotions and sections of discount tickets so a family can attend a Mavs game. The rest of the development has miles to go. This quote from one of the developers says it all:

“Woods maintains that the goal was to create an “aspirational” neighborhood…”

OK, so I guess I’ll have to save up so I can someday “aspire” to afford some of these places.

Nothing is wrong with high-end development…the only difference is that all taxpayers are footing the bill for a lot of this. Yet the greed doesn’t end, since the developer still finds time to complain about his expensive-to-build parking lot.

There are examples around the country of developments that have high-end shops but also enough moderately-priced fare to attract the average person.

And don’t get it twisted about Woods’ claim that an grocery somehow makes it diverse. Oakville Grocery, set to open at Victory in 2009, is a high-end grocery store with outlets in Palo Alto and the Napa Valley. I like Whole Foods as much as the next guy, just don’t lie to me and call it affordable for the everyman.

April 21, 2007

Don Hill to Tom Leppert : Show Me the Money

DallasBlog reports that Don Hill has formally asked the question we all want to know…Where is the $1 Billion in contracts that Leppert is claiming to spend with minorities? In debates, Leppert has pointed us to the Turner Construction annual report. However, no breakdown is present. I know, I looked and all I found was a vague press release.

Hill is right in saying that using national numbers is bogus; local numbers matter more. Plus, some level of minority participation is required to get certain contracts. If they did $8 billion in business and minorities got $1 billion, then that’s 12.5%. Not much to brag about since the minority participation requirement for Dallas is between 18-25% depending on the type of work.

If these two make the runoff, this will be a debate question that Leppert will be forced to answer.

April 21, 2007

Was Jill Kotvis a Victim of Mud-Slinging?

My buddy Mike Orren of PegasusNews did an excellent investigation and story on the lies that haters are circulating about Jill Kotvis. Jill is a candidate for the District 9 seat. District 9 covers most of Lakewood and parts of Lake Highlands and East Dallas.

For the record, Dallas Progress will endorses Jill Kotvis. Her experience as an environmental lawyer will help us sort out the mess that is the Trinity River Project.

April 19, 2007

Where Do You Stand?

People always ask me why I go hard after people on Dallas Progress. Are you kidding me?

Do you know that there are still places in this city where kids can’t play in peace? Have you ever had to tell your wife not to sit up in bed because you hear gunshots? I have. Sometimes, the O.C. might as well be the O.K. Corral for all of the shooting that happens over here.

I know the difference. I moved from Uptown Dallas to Oak Cliff to be in the middle of what needed to be addressed. Right now, I could be coming off of the Katy Trail or going to La Duni for a mojito and some cuatro leches cake. I could say ‘I’ve made it,’ and to heck with everyone else. Instead, I want to make sure that everyone in Dallas knows the truth about what’s happening in their city regardless of who gets mad about it.

And I WILL do my best to get people elected that will create opportunity for all. Not just the opportunity to get a job, but the opportunity to grow up and not get shot. My Mother lived with the pain of a child lost due to being caught in the crossfire of gun violence. I pray every night that no one else goes through that.

In the last month, there have been several senseless murders. It all jumped off when cab driver and family man Fadee Akthab was killed for a few dollars near Bonnie View and Overton. Oddly enough, that’s right near a street called “Prosperity Drive.” What a joke that is! This past Monday, a girl gets shot in the same area as a result of one car firing a shotgun at another (link). All of this is in the same area that Don Brown had to close his chicken take-out store at Illinois & Bonnie View last fall due to death threats from a gang in the area. I don’t blame Don for closing; who was going to protect Don and his young employees? Two blocks from Dwaine’s campaign office, people are getting shot at Lancaster-Kiest shopping center.

Wake up people! We need a certain type of person to step up and address crime on City Council.

If you want to go into the voting booth next month and vote in a bunch of cowards who won’t do a damn thing about the violence in Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, and South and West Dallas, you go right ahead.

If you want a soft Mayor like Oakley who totally ignores the rough parts of his district but takes credit for everything else, go right ahead. If you want people that “know their place” and have fake, padded resumes but no visible track record of doing anything, go right ahead and vote for those clowns.

Me, I’m voting for people with guts. For me, it’s that serious.

Where do you stand?

April 18, 2007

Max Wells’ Team Doesn’t Know how the ‘Net Works….

Dallas Blog had a post about behind the scenes footage of Max Wells’ WFAA commercial showing up on YouTube not once, but twice.

Check it out here. Funny stuff!

According to the post , the Wells team was “(testing) the campaign’s ability to post video on its Web site.” Who uses YouTube to test their website? As much money as they have, don’t they have their own server? You’re doing a great job, brownie!

This is another example of what happens when you have people that don’t know what they’re doing (not specifically Wells, but obviously his team) but claiming that they’re ‘web savvy.’ Just like when I had the Tom Leppert radio commercial two weeks before it came out.

Sometimes I feel bad for these candidates…

No word if Wells’ team used the terms OMG, LMAO, or BFF in their response to Dallas Blog.

April 17, 2007

Dwaine Caraway Commercial is Now Online!

Have you seen the new Dwaine Caraway commercial? He recently taped a 90-second spot with WFAA, and it is now is now available (link).

Watch Dwaine and then watch the competition (here). You’ll only need one view to figure out that Dwaine is the superior candidate.

One candidate, Eugene Thomas, chose not to tape a commercial even though it was provided by WFAA free of charge. Thomas did, however, choose to put a bunch of illegal signs in the right-of-way near our campaign office.

Dwaine’s website is DwaineCaraway.com. His detailed 20-point plan can be viewed, along with an extensive list of supporters and endorsements.

Early voting begins April 30th. If you live in District 4 use your vote wisely and select Dwaine. He’s number 1 on the ballot.