Dear Councilman Scott Griggs,
I believe in the future of Dallas. It’s where I grew up and where I now choose to live. I believe in it so much that I purchased my first home here this past summer and I am excited to officially own a tiny piece of the city in a part of town that excites me. I am literally invested in the future of Dallas. For this fact, and given the state of our national politics, I’ve decided to redouble my focus on what is immediately around me. My street, my neighborhood (North Cliff), and our District.
As you well know, north Oak Cliff is a “transitional” area of the Dallas. I don’t want to use the “G word”; that’s what is happening in over in West Dallas (Trinity Groves). The growth and diversity in District 1 feel more honest, more sustainable and I would consider myself part of this transition. But where does progress stop and gentrification begin? How do we maintain this delicate balance of elotes stands and artisan pie shops, both of which are reasons why I like living here? These are mostly rhetorical questions, but they are on my mind often.
On a personal level, I am coordinating an effort to extend the North Oak Cliff United Police Patrol to our North Cliff neighborhood in light of a recent drug-related murder a few blocks away from my house. I hope this tragedy can be used to galvanize the neighborhood, though the likelihood of our area being able to raise the funds to support this non-profit patrol is slim. Do you have any tips or alternatives you would recommend for improving the safety our neighborhood?
On a macro level, here are a few issues that I believe will most affect our city’s future:
- We must improve the D.I.S.D. in innovative ways. For north Oak Cliff, how can we replicate the Lakewood, Long, Woodrow tract? Rosemont Elementary appears to be a good start.
- We must stop the Trinity Toll Road at all costs, even if it is at the expense of the park. Another highway, especially one in a floodplain that will further divide an already very divided city, is the last thing we need to pour billions of dollars into.
- We must find a compromise on the pension fund crisis. A poor police department and a bad school district are a deadly combination (Do you watch The Wire?)
Most of all, we must hold ourselves accountable. What happens here is the responsibility every individual who calls this city home. When someone doesn’t care, it’s our responsibility to help them learn to care. I’m looking forward to making more progress this year, here and beyond.