Archive for the ‘Bond Package’ Category

A Bridge to Hope

May 21, 2008

Yesterday, I attended the ribbon-cutting for “The Bridge,” also known informally as the new Homeless Assistant Center. I was floored and humbled.

I felt embarrassed to drive my car to the front of the building. I’m not knocking those who did, but I just left a sick feeling in my stomach. I parked a little ways away and walked to the entrance.

As I approached the entrance, I saw hundreds of homeless people that were watching us walk past them to go into the courtyard, all silent but watching. I stopped for a bit to say hello to everyone; immediately their eyes lit up and they all said hello and smiled. I wonder how many times someone speaks to them in a day. I know now that a beautiful place will await them to give them the services that they need.

I’m glad I voted for the 2005 proposition to fund this center via city bond funds. I knew we had to have this center. The way things were being done in Dallas was simply not working.

Last December (when we on the City Plan Commission voted to temporarily extend the permit on the Day Resource Center), the excitement started to kick in for me. That’s when I knew that the Bridge would soon be a reality.

I have written many posts about the homeless situation in Dallas since I started this blog. This phrase comes to mind when I think about the new center.

In my interactions with homeless people, I have found some of them to be highly intelligent and capable of surviving on their own. They just need a place to stay to stabilize themselves. How can you get a job if you have no address? There are street people that can’t get their veterans’ checks or SSI checks because of this.

I talked yesterday with one of the tour guides that told me about an overlooked but important fact. The Bridge can accept mail for the people it serves. This is a major step in stabilizing people that do not want to be on the street. Unscrupulous people can no longer steal their benefits check, and people can now work on getting jobs since they can put an actual address on a job application.

There are so many resources and services that are now available in one place. A pharmacy, mental health counseling, legal services, and community service supervision is available. A full list can be found on the Metro Dallas Housing Alliance website (link).

Larry James, whom I was glad to see yesterday, wrote a great post this morning poking fun at those who thought that downtown would disintegrate if this center was built. As he accurately pointed out, more developments are being announced within walking distance of this facility.

This facility is the beginning of an era in which Dallas will be viewed nationwide as an example of how to properly address the homeless epidemic that is grappling our cities.

The picture I chose to post (from the DMN), which shows a man doing his laundry, is significant to me. Most homeless aren’t asking for anything special; just a sense of stability and dignity. Now people can have clean clothes to go to try and get a job, or can feel presentable enough to seek out their family.

A shot at dignity, and an opportunity to reestablish their lives. The Bridge isn’t a cure-all for homelessness, but it’s a great step in the right direction.

DISD Bond Passes

May 10, 2008

The DISD Bond Vote has passed. I may have more to say later, and it’s not about the result. I just thought that more people cared one way or the other to exercise their right to vote; I guess I was wrong.

March 15, 2007

Trinity Tollway Debate on KRLD

Angela Hunt debated Alan Walne on the Thursday’s Ernie & Jay show regarding the merits (or lack thereof) of putting a tollway in the Trinity. Click here to listen to the podcast (mp3 format).

Side note: Alan Walne serves on the Parkland Board of Managers (link) with big-dollar Trinity backer Louis Beecherl…who employed Bill Ceverha as a lobbyist…who tried to make a public stand at the TrinityVote kickoff on Wednesday and was paid by Beecherl to defeat a light-rail referendum in 1998…so there’s that.

In the meantime, check out these photos from Houston after Tropical Storm Allison.

Think about having a road build to pre-Katrina standards, as Laura Miller wants to do.

(I-45 & I-10, Downtown Houston)

March 11, 2007

The Cotton Bowl and Public Trust

Since the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association voted to move the game to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington (beginning in 2010), I keep seeing articles and hearing talk shows with people trying to assess who’s to blame, polls asking whether or not we should fund the millions in improvements, etc.

What’s also disappointing is that several Mayoral candidates want to hijack the process and not fund the improvements. Here’s the vote breakdown of the major candidates in the Mayor’s race, according to the DMN:

Yes: Don Hill, Darrell Jordan, Sam Coats, Ed Oakley

No: John Cappello, Zac Crain, Roger Herrera

Maybe: Tom Leppert, Max Wells, Gary Griffith

(Side note: How could you say maybe? Stop the fence-sitting and make the call!)

Let me give you a quick history lesson: In November, voters approved Proposition 3 in the 2006 bond election by an 81-19% margin. Proposition 3 included the Cotton Bowl Improvements.

So I guess we’re hearing from the 19% that didn’t vote for Prop 3. Way before November, it was known long ago the the Cotton Bowl would be moved to the home.

Where were all you haters in November?

If you didn’t want the improvements funded, you shouldn’t have voted for it. I saw NO opposition to Prop 3 in last Fall’s election season. So deal with it. The City will give citizens an improved, more viable landmark that attract new games and make Fair Park more of a destination for visitors and residents alike.

February 18, 2007

2006 Bond Package-Coming Up Lame?

There are some things about the way the 2006 City of Dallas Bond Package is being handled that I absolutely do not like. I’ll have more to say in the next few days.