Dallas’ residents should be sleeping soundly each night knowing the City’s hookers soon will have their own City Council district.
It’s District 2, which stretches from just south of I-30 and runs northwest until it almost reaches I-635. Coincidentally (or not, depending upon how much faith you put in conspiracy theories), the district includes two of Dallas’ busiest red-light districts – along Harry Hines Boulevard past Parkland Hospital, and along Fitzhugh Avenue between Gaston Avenue and North Central Expressway in East Dallas.
There are two ways to look at this development as we approach the Nov. 5 City Council elections – the first under the new 14-1 plan. The first is to make the requisite jokes: Will District 2 town hall meetings be held in Lincoln Continentals? Or will the City be asked to subsidize gold Spandex manufacturers?
The second is to get even.
The 14-1 plan took East Dallas, split it into three chewed-up pieces, and dumped them into the garbage disposal. There are parts of East Dallas where, in three blocks, there are three Council districts.
Somehow, I can’t believe this is what U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer had in mind when he applied the one-man, one-vote precedent to Dallas’ voting rights case. But the spirit of his ruling was overwhelmed by the substance of a demographer’s computer.
Oddly enough (or not, depending upon how much faith you put in conspiracy theories), Glenn Box’s new digs are the only district in East Dallas that emerged intact. This probably explains why Box voted for the plan after wailing like a spoiled baby that he would support 10-4-1 to the death.
Box received a mostly Anglo district that includes upper East Dallas, Casa Linda and part of Lake Highlands. But that geographical curiosity shouldn’t be too surprising. There are seven mostly Anglo districts under the new plan, and five of them emerged relatively intact. The two Anglo districts that didn’t are in Oak Cliff and East Dallas.
Strangely enough (or not, depending upon how much faith you put in conspiracy theories), the people who live in those two districts actually believe in things such as representative government.
Whining about the problem isn’t going to solve it. East Dallas’ residents are going to have to do that. The Justice Department, which must approve these sorts of things to prevent what happened from happening, didn’t help. The new Council, which will owe its election to the plan, almost certainly won’t help.
But don’t be discouraged. East Dallas residents are, are they not, hardy urban pioneers?
Come Nov. 7, when the new Council moves into its City Hall offices, I’m going to call my new councilman. I’m going to politely explain the hooker situation. (I live near Swiss Avenue and Fitzhugh, a popular gathering place for the working girls.) And then I’m going to wait until the girls show up again.
And guess what I’ll do after that? And after that? And after that?
My new councilman eventually will either work to get rid of the hookers (and to deal with the problems of the East Dallas portion of the district), or have a nervous breakdown.
It almost sounds like it’s going to be fun, doesn’t it?
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