Friday, January 30, 2009

Ready to Keep Working!

If I hadn't expected it; if I hadn't figured it would turn out this way, I'd really be disillusioned and very angry!

The Dallas City Council approved a special use permit (SUP), for another liquor related business in South Dallas.

For those who don't know Dallas, it is a 5800 acre area south of the Trinity River - the dividing line between more affluent area in northern section. It's communities tend to be mostly minority, they tend to be areas of concentrated poverty and declining schools. It is the area which surrounds the State Fair Park. The eastern most neighborhood has been judged poorer than the lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, pre-Katrina.

And it contains a 13 square mile area saturated with more than 300 liquor related businesses! And Dallas' City Council unanimously granted a liquor license for another business that serves alcohol.

The area where the the establishment is located is called by its owner, a 'sports bar'. It is, he says, akin to a 'Dave and Busters'. But it is in an area that is littered with clubs that sell liquor, dives, liquor stores (in fact there is one right next door to the 'sports bar'). There are not only liquor stores, but three scrap metal yards - all across the street - literally, from scrap metal yards.

As I mentioned in my Dallas Morning News column, residents in this area have met for more than a year, acquiring the services of technical advisers, a city planner and have worked with city staff to develop a proposal for the redevelopment of the area. And the city council decides in its wisdom, that one more liquor store won't hurt.

What's worse is the decision to disregard and disrespect of the desires of citizens. Citizens who believe that their lifelong investments, and indeed their lives, are only deserving of economic development surrounding their neighborhood which in the aggregate attracts that which degrades and devalues the place they call home.

They deserve better representation

Their hard work deserve more respect

The deserve to be regarded in with dignity and self worth

Those are all pretty naive notions in politics these days. There's a place for the market, but that place should never trump the best interests of families and neighborhoods and their dreams for their future.

This just makes me want to work with them more...


Trey said...

I think you're as misinformed as you are dishonest.

A sports bar is not a "liquor store" and your agenda is prohibition, pure and simple.

Gerald Britt said...

Missed the part where I said that the residents don't want the area 'dry', did you?

By the way, I think you missed that period of history when it was proven that prohibition didn't work.

Maybe you should visit the area and you'll have a more informed take on the issue.

camron's mom said...

Gerald, I was also disappointed with the outcome of City Council's decision. I was listening to the live radio coverage of the "sports bar" owner attempt to appeal to the city council. He stated that he was an A&M graduate, had been part of development organizations in the Fair Park/South Dallas area, and that he wanted to build a successful sports bar in a nice 5000 sq. ft. building. All of which makes him sound like a good person with good intentions.

So my question is why a sports bar? Why not a more positive establishment? If he wants to see development in the area, why wouldn't he express that in the type of business that he opens? Why couldn't it have been a family oriented restraint? Surely, if he has been part of the development efforts, he would understand the negative impact that alcohol related businesses (no matter what category you put them under) is bad for our community.

I would also like to know what the organization was in South Dallas that you have worked with on this issue. The only time I heard about this was through Dallas Progress a couple of weeks ago, and then due to distractions with school, did not see all of the posts and announcements regarding the City Council meeting. I am somewhat new to this area and I am trying to be involved when possible. Thanks.

Trey said...


And here we have Exhibit A.