A few days ago, I had a conversation with a connected guy who is in the business of shaping people’s perceptions of various matters. He told me something along these lines: “For the past couple of months, it seems every conversation I have with a rich, old white guy [ed: this was said with intentional irony, as the fellow himself is a rich, old white guy], I’m trying to explain to him how things have changed — radically, quickly — in this city. The Citizens Council doesn’t have the power it once did. Power in the city has shifted, gotten younger. People are talking about urban issues in a way they haven’t before in Dallas. I’m trying to figure out how it has happened, and I keep coming back to Patrick Kennedy.”
Patrick himself would get a chuckle out of that (or just did). There are a lot of forces driving what feels like a groundswell of common sense right now in the city. “No, let’s not build a parking lot in a field on the shores of White Rock Lake. Let’s not add more rope to the noose of highways choking downtown Dallas. Let’s not let regional transportation needs dictate how we build our city. Let’s have a conversation about how we can bring jobs and people back to Dallas.” No one person can be singled out as the agent of change.
But yeah. Patrick Kennedy. And maybe Wick Allison?
Jim Schutze has a post up this morning that you should read. It’s about the official unveiling tomorrow of the Dallas Green Alliance, a PAC that will raise money to spend in the May City Council elections. As you are no doubt aware, six of the 15 seats have no incumbent running. The DGA will make the Trinity toll road its litmus test for candidates. Schutze looked at the names on the DGA’s list of assembly members and wrote that the group “looks like it has rolled up every smart effective activist group in the city.” Those are the green folks.
On the business side, there’s Wick. Schutze soft-pedals what I think is big news. In the new year, Wick and a group of folks will formally announce their own PAC, one focused on the smart development and future prosperity of the city. At least I think I’ve got that right. I’m not working from any official script here. You might think we’d break this news on FrontBurner. You might even think that when I was in Wick’s office this morning, he would have mentioned to me that he’d told Schutze yesterday about the PAC news. Not so.
When I was asking Wick about all this a few weeks back, here’s what he told me: “Under our logo on every cover of the magazine, it says, ‘Making Dallas even better.’ I take that seriously. We’re putting down our pens and picking up swords.”
This election will be very interesting. As an astute political observer named T.O. once said, “Get your popcorn ready.”