Before the Advocate was your go-to source for neighborhood news, another monthly publication kept residents informed about the goings-on in East Dallas.
The newspaper, called the East Dallas Banner, was the brainchild of Jim Ball, who ran unsuccessfully for Dallas City Council several times. In 1975, instead of mounting another campaign, he decided to work for the people as a self-styled journalist.
“I never had a journalism course, never took that in school, but I want to make sure the people know what’s going on,” Ball told Channel 8 in a video preserved in the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection at Southern Methodist University.
Ball wanted to revitalize the Lakewood, East Dallas, Fair Park and Oak Lawn areas financially and cosmetically. He used his newspaper to mobilize support. He dogged City Council members, school board representatives and the police.
“I use two things to overcome adversity,” Ball said. “One is the ‘constant pressure theory,’ where I keep up, keep up and keep up. The other is the ‘in spite of theory,’ where the sons-of-a-gun make me so mad I’m going to beat them if it’s the last thing I ever do.”
He also advocated for larger parking spots at the Belmont Avenue post office and the beautification of Greenville Avenue.
The Banner was paid for through advertisements and published 10,000 copies each month.