Tuesday, December 1, 2009

This Is NOT the Way 14-1 was Meant to Work


Years ago, when those of us who worked for single member representation in Dallas were successful, we looked forward to the day, when mature politicians would represent their districts responsibly. I think everyone knew it would take time.

Along the way there have been accusations of 'fiefdoms' being established. There have been criticisms about 'ward politics'; a lack of concern for 'Dallas as a whole'. Then, of course there has been the corruption. But now something totally out of left field!

This is not the way to represent your district.

Shawn Williams, editor of Dallas South News, has posted a story about a conflict between District 5 City Council representative Vonciel Jones-Hill and District 4 City Council Representative Dwaine Carroway. It seems that Mr. Carroway's efforts to address crime and save a city operated skating rink in this adjacent district is rubbing Ms. Jones-Hill the wrong way. Not only that, but to add insult to her injury, Councilman Carroway is working with the Friendship-West Baptist Church (Dr. Freddie Haynes, is pastor) and Operation BLACC (Brothers Loving and Leading the African-American Church and Community).

In response to their efforts, Councilwoman Jones-Hill has sent a memo asking (forbidding?) Carroway, Friendship-West and BLACC, that they not hold any meetings in her district without her 'foreknowledge'.

According to Williams, a portion of the memo reads as follows:

"Please do not schedule, or permit to be scheduled, any meetings, of any nature, for any person, or organization, at any City of Dallas facility within Dallas City Council District 5 without my prior knowledge."

Uh, now...what?! Seriously?!

I'm not sure what prevents the Councilwoman from working with Councilman Carroway, or Friendship-West Baptist Church or BLACC. Carroway's district is so close to Jones-Hill's that crime in impacts residents in either district. The loss of the skating rink is a loss to children, youth and families from all over this particular southern Dallas area. Friendship-West draws members from nearly every direction from Dallas. And, like any other church has relationships with other churches, with members with business interests, friends and relatives in the area.

So...what's the problem?!

If any of this is even remotely true, this is not the way to represent a district!

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