On May 6, we elected a new mayor and Council, and it was indeed a historic election.
Not only did we pass all bond propositions by a four to one margin, but to the consternation of the political pundits, we elected a new mayor without a run-off.
And oh, by the way, if you have some how been on a desert island for the past six months, our new mayor, Ron Kirk, is African-American.
Ron has, since his election, been pictured in New York Times, USA Today and a host of other publications not because of his vision, but because of his skin. How sad. Because, frankly, as I spoke with District 10 residents after the election, it was clear that Ron’s message was the reason he was broad and enthusiastic support among my constituents.
What has Ron preached for months? Let’s move beyond our differences and focus on our strengths. In his very eloquent words: “When two people are in a burning hut, they don’t have time to argue.”
What issues and values bring us together? There are many, but with limited space, I’ll only mention a few.
No matter where you live, crime is the number one issue in our City. Ron is a strong advocate for expanding community policing. This cooperative effort of citizens and police is making a significant impact on neighborhood crime, and I look forward to its implementation in Lake Highlands.
Ron also recognizes that after-school programs such as the Skylark program at Skyview Elementary and Lake Highlands Community Project at Highland Crest Apartments offer positive intervention for at-risk children. Models such as these need to be duplicated.
Ron supports greater cooperation and collaboration with school districts and nonprofits to promote these kinds of programs, including expanded hours and activities at recreation centers and neighborhood schools. This kind of effort is both time consuming and tedious, but the outcome will be worth it.
Another issue of critical importance to the vitality of our City is retention and expansion of small businesses. The majority of people employed in Dallas work for companies employing less than 75 people. Ron has pledged to focus the energy of the Council and our chambers of commerce to protect and expand our small businesses.
If you have ideas for promoting small business, please share them with me. I can be reached at 670-4068.
As our Mayor-elect says: “It doesn’t matter whether your ancestors came over on the Mayflower or a slave ship; we’re all in the same boat now.”
So, even if Ron wasn’t your first choice for “captain,” I hope you’ll come aboard. If we all work together, there’s nothing we can’t do.