Archive for the ‘Jerry Allen’ Category

A Mayor and Council that Shows Leadership

February 19, 2009

Sometimes, watching items like the Convention Center Hotel unfold can be an event in itself.

Why are people shocked that we are pursuing this venture? When Mayor Leppert campaigned, he talked about the same issues that he’s working on now. In his inauguration speech, he talked about the Trinity River project, the Convention Center Hotel, and other issues. Everyone acts surprised, but in fact the Mayor is simply carrying out what he promised.

Is it fun getting beat up on a daily basis? No, it probably isn’t. But he’s doing what he said he would do. He also has a City Council of whom the majority supports that vision.

Not many people are willing to say it, but these are items that were kicked down the road by the previous administration.

We should’ve had a Convention Center Hotel years ago, but thankfully it is now being addressed. Some people that are against the hotel believe that hotel jobs are beneath them and dismiss the jobs saying that they “aren’t high paying jobs.” Don’t we have a responsibility to create jobs for all levels of income? Maybe some look down their noses at workers in the service industry, but I value their contributions and hard work.

The economic development committee, which is comprised of 8 council members, has been briefed on the hotel since the Fall of 2007. I’m glad Councilmen Allen and Caraway reminded the audience of this fact yesterday. I don’t see how people that can say this issue is being rushed along. At some point, you have to make the big decisions.

The Mayor’s inauguration speech also talked about green building, saying that green standards and requirements need to be established if we’re going to be a world-class city. And it’s on the books.

It’s the difference between chasing headlines and following up on what you start. That’s what leadership is about.

Jerry Allen – Why the Hostility?

June 26, 2008

It seems like every time there is a controversial zoning issue in Lake Highlands, there is a group of people that wants to come out against Councilman Jerry Allen with some reference to next year’s election.

What I see is someone that listens to all sides and tries to come up with the best possible solution, and in the end he has the guts to make the tough call. Everyone ruffles some feathers from time to time, but in the end you can’t deny that he cares about Lake Highlands and the rest of his district. His assistant, Patricia Love, is always available when you have questions or need some help.

While I’m not a District 10 resident, half of my family has lived in District 10 for over 50 years and are pleased with having Mr. Allen as the councilman. When there’s an issue he gets right on top of it, especially when it comes to neighborhood safety.

Jerry Allen is a class act that listens to all sides and represents his district well. That’s what you want in a councilperson, right?

My Take on Creating More Layers of Government for Southern Dallas

June 24, 2008

A lot of discussion has occurred with respect to the idea of creating a new public-private development corporation to work on southern Dallas.

While I like a lot of the things that the DMN is talking about, I disagree with this idea.

I figured I would post my comment from their blog and find out what my readers thought about this issue.

My comment:

We do not need another layer of government to fix this issue. Development can occur without creating any more committees or ad hoc business corporations.

What you need are a Mayor and City Councilpeople that are adamant about things getting done. The current set is more focused on such issues. We have had multiple northern City Councilpeople that have visited District Four (Sheffie Kadane, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano, Ron Natinsky, Jerry Allen). They have seen the problem first hand, and support our efforts.

In District Four, for example, we have multiple developments coming. These developments include:

*New medical center in Piedmont with $30+ million investment with no TIF and no city funding, 150-200 jobs.

*Quality TOD such as senior housing with over 20,000 SF of retail.

*Job training center with additional office space where two hot-sheet motels used to foster all types of mayhem in the community (actually this is a 1/2 block outside the district but we closed the motels and Dwaine got the deal done).

*Three other major developments to be announced.

*Dozens of rundown houses have been closed, and more will be closed with new urban nuisance laws.

This was done simply by having an engaged Councilperson in less than one year.

We must also realize that federal help is needed because the degree of neglect is quite high and will require a higher level of investment that the city can support in the near term. Also, the 2006 bond package is particularly focused on the issues in southern Dallas. Let’s see where we are in a couple of years as that takes shape.

Your thoughts?

Some Great Things Happened at City Hall Yesterday

May 29, 2008

As you’ve probably heard, yesterday’s City Hall meeting went into the evening. However, a lot of things happened yesterday.

The hot-sheet motels across from Veterans Hospital will be torn down and a job training center with office space will be built in its place. The Urban League and City Wide CDC are partnering up to bring this great development to South Oak Cliff. When Dwaine Caraway, Bishop McGriff and the Church of the Living God, the Urban League, and I worked to close the Sunset Motel and the Southern Comfort motel, this was what we had in mind. The goal was to rid the community of blight and crime havens and to have positive things in its place. As you know, the first motel the Dwaine and I helped to shut down in South Dallas has been demolished and a community/health center is being built. Thank you to the Mayor and City Council for making this a unanimous vote.

People that are stopped for traffic violations and do not have insurance will be towed. This is a significant step in Dallas, and this has already happened in other major cities. In this issue, I look at it as protecting the single Mom with kids that has her car totaled when she’s hit by an uninsured driver. There are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, but as it has in other large cities this will be proven to be a good thing as time goes on. Even though I’m on the younger side, our liability insurance costs $220 for 6 months, which is $36-37 per month (about $1.20 per day). That’s much cheaper than the ticket.

The towing vote was 10-5 as follows:

Voting for it: Mayor Tom Leppert, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway and council members Sheffie Kadane, Linda Koop, Mitchell Rasansky, Carolyn Davis, Ron Natinsky, Dave Neumann, Angela Hunt and Jerry Allen.

Voting against: Mayor Pro Tem Garcia, and council members Salazar, Medrano, Atkins, and Hill

Larry James, John Greenan, and CDM got more funding for their Citywalk project. I have written about this project in the past, and it will be a great step in ending chronic homelessness in Dallas.

Dallas’ scrap metal ordinances were strengthened yesterday. We must combat this plague and place as many roadblocks as we can in this insidious practice that is severely impacting our neighborhoods, and we don’t need to wait for other cities or counties to toughen up to do so.

The St. Regis hotel/condo project was approved. This $200 million+ development (with no tax abatements) will add needed property taxes to the city once its completed.

All in all, it was a great day at City Hall and a great day for Dallas.

Where Have You Been?

October 31, 2007

People keep asking me where have I been on the Trinity referendum. Here’s your answer – I dropped out of the campaign a while back.

The bottom line is this. There are certain people I will never work with. You can guess who they are.

I also don’t agree with people coming down to City Council and campaigning during the public speaking time. Period – no excuses. It makes a mockery out of the process and is fake citizenry. Someone with concerns about crime, safety, and other issues gets bumped off of the morning Council schedule because it’s clogged with campaigners. If Vote No sent a bunch of people down there people on the other side would be crying foul.

You also don’t insult the intelligence of Black voters by using a flyer with Laura Miller plastered all over it. I’ve taken my hits at Laura, but she’s not even in office anymore.

I have been around politics my whole life, and this is a rule that should always be observed. Disagreement is one thing, but pseudo-civil unrest is another. Could you imagine how much of a circus the City Council meetings would have been in May and June if everyone that spoke at Council was tied to a Mayoral candidate?

There are people on the Vote No side for which I have a tremendous level of respect. And for fake civil discourse to be used to sully their reputations is not right. Dwaine, Tom Leppert, Jerry Allen, Dave Neumann, Linda Koop, and others deserve better. I don’t support any of that type of nonsense.

Make sure you go vote by next Tuesday.

You asked – and now you know.

Dallas City Council Committees Announced

September 11, 2007

Officially, the City Council Committees are as follows. The committees are where most of the work gets done, since the new ideas are often introduced via committee and then moved for discussion and vote amongst the entire City Council. Sam Merten from DallasBlog was the first to publicly provide the info.

The committees are as follows:

Finance, Audit & Accounting Committee:

Mitchell Rasansky (chair), Jerry Allen (vice-chair), Dr. Elba Garcia, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Ron Natinsky, Dave Neumann

Public Safety Committee:

Dr. Elba Garcia (chair), Dwaine Caraway (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Tennell Atkins, Sheffie Kadane, Ron Natinsky, Dave Neumann, Mitchell Rasansky

Transportation and Environment Committee:

Linda Koop (chair), Sheffie Kadane (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Carolyn Davis, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Pauline Medrano, Ron Natinsky

Economic Development Committee:

Ron Natinsky (chair), Tennell Atkins (vice-chair), Jerry Allen, Dwaine Caraway, Sheffie Kadane, Linda Koop, Mitchell Rasansky, Steve Salazar

Housing Committee:

Steve Salazar (chair), Carolyn Davis (vice-chair), Tennell Atkins, Dr. Elba Garcia, Vonciel Hill, Angela Hunt, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano

Quality of Life and Government Services Committee:

Pauline Medrano (chair), Vonciel Hill (vice-chair), Carolyn Davis, Angela Hunt, Sheffie Kadane, Dave Neumann, Steve Salazar

Trinity River Project Committee:

Dave Neumann (chair), Dr. Elba Garcia (vice-chair), Dwaine Caraway, Carolyn Davis, Linda Koop, Pauline Medrano, Mitchell Rasansky, Steve Salazar

Mayor’s Task Force on Southern Sector Economic Opportunities:

Tennell Atkins (chair), Ron Natinsky (vice-chair), additional members from other governmental entities and the private sector

Marketing Task Force:

Dwaine Caraway (chair), additional members from the council and the community

August 10, 2007


Oak Cliff Drug Houses Come Down

Sometimes, the thanks from the community are everything. Dwaine Caraway, Tom Leppert, and other City and County Officials found that out today.

The demolitions occurred in the 2500 of Crest Avenue (map). This is an area where the dope dealers literally sit in folding chairs outside the houses and sell drugs. One house that came down was the scene of a murder where the victim was shot and killed and the house was set on fire. In his first week in office, Dwaine pushed to have these houses taken down. Six weeks later, that hard work paid off.

Many other elected and appointed officials also attended. They included Councilmembers Jerry Allen and Linda Koop, Sheriff Lupe Valdez, members of ACORN, and Asst Chief David Brown.

The look on the residents’ faces said it all. Some have lived in that area for over forty years. I think of the two families that live directly across from the corner house. If we can give hope to people by showing follow-through on campaign promises, we’re halfway there.

Dwaine is already working to identify the next set of houses. Another example of executing the 20-point plan to clean up District Four “A Block at a Time.”

Dallas Blog article: (link) Please read for neighbors’ insight and reactions.

Channel 11 coverage:

Additional pictures:

March 12, 2007

Dallas Election Candidates

Here is a comprehensive list, from the City of Dallas.

As I mentioned in the last post, to be considered, you had to turn in 473 valid signatures by today. To get on the ballot for Council, you have to have between 25 and 63 signatures, depending on the Council seat. As a last resort, there’s always the write-in option.

Mayor – 13 candidates: Sam Coats, Darrell Jordan, Don Hill, Tom Leppert, Ed Okpa, Zac Crain, Gary Griffith, Roger Herrera, Ed Oakley, Max Wells, John Cappello, Evelyn Daniel, and Jennifer Gale.

District 1 – Elba Garcia (last term)

District 2 – Pauline Medrano, Justin Rosales, Gwain Wooten

District 3 – Dave Neumann, Joe Tave, Joseph Hernandez, Irby Foster, Rena VanHorn, Vicki Walton, Linda Wise, Charletta Compton, Kawania Lynn, Angela Phillips

District 4 – Dwaine Caraway, Gloria Hogg, Kimberly Jackson, Eugene Thomas

District 5 – Betty Culbreath, Jesse Diaz, Jurline Hollins, Vonciel Hill, Larry Holton, Don Robinson, Yolanda Williams

District 6 – Steve Salazar

District 7- Rev. Donald Parish, Carolyn Davis, Kevin Felder, Helene McKinney, Sharon Middlebrooks, Billy Ratcliff, Lashonda Young

District 8 – Erik Wilson, Clara McDade, Charles Rose, Sandra Crenshaw, Tennell Atkins, Theressa Washington

District 9 – Jill Kotvis, Sheffie Kadane, Albert Turner

District 10 – Jerry Allen

District 11 – Linda Koop

District 12 – John McClelland, Ron Natinsky

District 13 – Mitch Rasansky (last term)

District 14 – Angela Hunt, Joseph Glogowski