Thursday, November 12, 2009
Unify South Dallas: Getting a Place at the Table
Unify South Dallas' meeting on Tuesday was still another successful and significant expression of citizenship in an area of the city that gets condemned for 'not caring. What made it even more successful is the fact that this was not another meeting of the citizens with the developers, city staff and other officials. This meeting included the City Manager, representatives from Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's office, State Senator Royce West's office, the Dallas Housing Authority and, front and center to address the agenda of issues developed from previous meetings, Mayor Tom Leppert.
You can read an account of the meeting here.
Most importantly: the meeting was held in the middle of the afternoon, when most of the people who have normally attended the past 6-8 weeks of meeting are at work. But there were more than 75 people present. The 75 people included people who took off their jobs, senior citizens, young adults and business people. The agenda was presented to the Mayor in a disciplined and respectful manner and it is now leveraged into serious work with the Mayor's and City Manager's office as well as setting the stage for more substantive engagement with Senator West and Congresswoman Johnson's office around jobs, transportation and neighborhood redevelopment.
This won't be easy. USD won't get everything it wants, but the southern Dallas residents, with the help of young emerging leadership is getting respect and a place at the table.
Advanced citizenship is a great thing!