Archive for the ‘West Dallas’ Category

If You Don’t Give Eric Johnson a Chance, I have No Words for You

March 16, 2010
Anyone with a pulse can read this interview with incoming District 100 State Representative Eric Johnson and see that he has something special going for him. 
I guess where I differ than some is that I feel Eric would’ve won regardless of any indictment looming over the incumbent. I believe he would’ve won anyway.  
Eric was willing to work for your vote.  He and his wife were everywhere…from the MLK DART station, to East and Southeast Dallas, to West Dallas and beyond.  It will be good to see if he actually owns any clothing other than suits or campaign shirts, since that’s what it seems like he’s been wearing for the last nine months.
Equally important, when he spoke or wrote, he had ideas. He didn’t hide when questioned about his campaign, he admitted mistakes, and he kept working.  The voters of his district took notice; and that’s why he won.
This race speaks to one of the core issues in Dallas, and probably in other impoverished neighborhoods nationwide.  To me, there is a general lack of political mentorship in southern Dallas, of which the end result is incumbents who win time and again based on the fact that “they’re there” so to speak.  
What also results is entire neighborhoods that exist in a virtual tailspin of mediocrity, hamstrung by the lack of original ideas and political will to change things.  It’s almost like some entrenched politicians avoid new ideas as if it’s an indictment of their leadership.  It’s not.  That’s the equivalent of sticking with Windows Me when Vista has been around for years and Windows 7 has been released.
There are some exceptions, but for the most part I am correct. There are some political leaders that will shrug off what I wrote, and that’s fine.  There are exceptions in Dallas to what I’ve written in this piece. However, if it makes you upset, take someone under your wing and prove me wrong. We need positive, encouraging guidance to continue improving our communities in the future.  
Go forth Eric, do your best to bring your ideas to fruition and uplift District 100.

Bureaucracy Stalls Safety for the Hood

October 27, 2009

I have been following and looking forward to the installation of gunshot detection systems in Dallas. While it was looked at some years ago by DPD, the company that was used produced an inferior product.  A different company is being used in this trial.

So we get to the point where pilot programs take place. One trial is planned for North Oak Cliff and I believe another is set for South Oak Cliff.

According to this DMN article from last week, the installation is being stalled out by Oncor.  Oncor says that they want ShotSpotter (the gunshot detection company) to take responsibility for the utility poles before they allow the system installs.

This is a major mistake by Oncor.  The article says that utility companies in other cities did not require such agreements.  While other cities are experiencing the benefits, Dallas lags behind because of bureaucracy and nonsense and neighborhoods remain at risk of random gunfire.
I also disagree with the whole concept of doing a pilot program, instead of just rolling out the product in a much larger radius. The technology and results of the ShotSpotter system have been proven to be successful nationwide.

Here is an example of the program’s success in San Francisco.  Hopefully, Oncor will wake up and realize how important such a service would be for Dallas’ most crime-ridden neighborhoods and get it together.

Pools and Recreation Centers are Needed

May 30, 2009

I just came across an editorial from the DMN that talks about the budget decisions that the City Council will have to make.

While it is true that the City Council is going to have to make some difficult decisions, the article is looking at the wrong items. I may have a different opinion than council on the necessity for bill pay stations, but pools and rec centers are needed.

Most affluent neighborhoods are home to many families that have their own personal pool. I would guess that a few of those same residents have basketball hoops and exercise rooms as well. There’s no 24-Hour Fitness in South Dallas or Pleasant Grove, just so you know.

In southern Dallas, there are very few families with pools and other centers for recreation. Other than a scattering of YMCAs, which are usually at capacity, there’s not much cheap recreation. Oak Cliff has two YMCAs; South Dallas has one Y. Southeast Dallas? No YMCAs. Where are the kids going to go?

I wonder if they read this line item in the budget workshop report put together by city staff with respect to the pools (on page 119). It reads:

The 135,000 participants who visited these facilities in the past will not be served and the opportunity to conduct the 1,650 Teach A Child To Swim lessons will be lost.

The editorial is also written in a condescending tone which I don’t appreciate; I doubt the 135,000 citizens that use the pools would either. Closing of city pools has been a constant drumbeat of the DMN for some time. They wrote a similar article in July of 2008 (payment required).

When you close rec centers, you also close all of the programs for kids and seniors. For kids, this is their only safe haven from the perils of their neighborhood.

This runs counter to their “north-south project” for which the DMN is advocating. Idol time is a danger to our children; the pools and rec centers need to stay open. I know of 135,000 people that feel the same way.