Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wplan03 selected to go forward by Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission, but the evening's last public speaker said something even more important!

This evening, after several hours of discussion on the 15 plans, the 14 commissioners present voted for the three plans out of the 15 that they wanted to go forward.  When the votes were counted wPlan03 came out first with 12 of the 14 commissioners present voting for it. Second place was tied between cPlan05 and cPlan16, each receiving 7 votes.

The amendments recommended in writing for wPlan03 on 8/4/11 were voted on and approved with no objections.  They will be completed by staff so the amended maps will be ready for the Thursday meeting.  Potential additional amendments will be considered to all three plans at that time.   

The last public speaker for the evening was a lady who appeared young to me, but had to be about 40. She said she grew up in "Freedman's Town before 1980."  She had waited for four hours this evening to speak.  She proceeded to make the most priceless statements of the evening by reflecting the normal human need for a connection to our own history. 

She spoke of growing up in Freedman's Town, that area just north of Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet High School.  She explained how, from the time of the Civil War until modern times, that area was the home of the Black Community in Dallas.  She spoke of growing up there, but that the entire area "went white," and now "costs too much."  She asked that this area be taken out of District 14.   

After she spoke I followed her into the hallway to share my strong agreement with her and show her how Freedman's Town is being moved out of District 14 by wPlan03 and into District 4, a Black majority district.

I showed her the following section of the amended wPlan03 map that had been included in the 8/4/11 handout to the commissioners:
District 14 and 4 boundaries in the amended wPlan03.  Click on the above map to enlarge.
It was explained that, with wPlan03, the northern boundary of District 04 is moved north to Thomas Avenue and States Street, and to the northeast to include Freedman's Cemetery.  Freedman's Town and Cemetery will now be a City Council District that will be managed by Councilman, and former Mayor, Caraway.  After he retires, District 4 will probably be managed by another Black leader.  It will be a Black majority district!  She was very happy, and probably shocked as this was all described.

I gave her a wPlan03 map with the web address so she could see a more detailed map online. She was excited. I thanked her for coming to speak.

It was a very long meeting, but this last speaker made it all more than worth the investment. We in Dallas must embrace our history!  The statements of the last speaker are a powerful reminder of that need. We must thank her. She gave a powerful message for all of Dallas, especially our students.

I finally walked to my car after 10:15 PM.   It was the end of a very good day.

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