Politics

Outgoing District 9 Councilman Mark Clayton Endorses a Replacement

Make your guess. Then click.

It’s Erin Moore, chief of staff to Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel.

Clayton’s options for the East Dallas district near White Rock Lake were Paula Blackmon, a former strategist to mayors Mike Rawlings and Tom Leppert; neighborhood advocate Sarah Lamb, who has lobbied hard against the 3G intersection; and Tami Brown Rodriguez, owner of a local consulting firm. Park board member Paul Sims was the first to announce a run but dropped out in February.

Moore calls herself a bleeding heart liberal who has worked with Dallas Homeless Solutions on issues of homelessness throughout the city. She stands in favor of getting rid of troubled visitor’s bureau VisitDallas and “wants to refocus taxpayer dollars away from vanity projects,” as Doyle Rader wrote recently in a profile of the race for us.

In a post on Facebook, Clayton says he’d been reluctant to publicly endorse a candidate but saw his name tossed around by some candidates in a way that made him uncomfortable. His endorsement hits three prongs. He says Moore has done more than simply give “bumper sticker quotes” throughout her campaign, that she’s the most customer-focused, and that she “reflects what the district is now.” Here’s the whole thing:

I’ve been asked a lot about who I’m endorsing to replace me. I’ve privately said when asked who I’m voting for but I’ve tried to stay out of it publicly. I’ve always thought you should elect a candidate based on who they are and not who supports them or what letter they happen to have in front of their name. However, there have been a couple of instances lately where candidates have implied my endorsement or have put themselves out there that our views are aligned when I most certainly know they’re not. That is frustrating but I bit my tongue even through the conclusion of early voting. However, it keeps happening so I want to clear the air. I voted for Erin Moore.

I voted for Erin for several reasons. One, I appreciated that her answers to candidate questionnaires were more than bumper sticker quotes. She was thoughtful in how she looked at the issues. It is easy to throw out a stock, gotcha answer because it plays well on social media. It is much harder when you actually have to solve the problem. The next Councilperson is going to have some really hard challenges that I didn’t have to face. The biggest of those is that the State is going reduce the amount of money that the City can raise by nearly 60%. Budget meetings with neighbors are tough enough and everyone wants more. It is more important than ever to have a Council person who will give thoughtful, reasoned answers about what is really going on and to vote for solutions at the horseshoe that make the City better in a climate where the State legislature is twisting the screws on your ability to self govern.

Two, I think she will be the most customer focused. There has been a lot of talk about leadering up projects and collaborating with entities that we don’t have control over. That is not what the job is. The job is 25% policy making and 75% customer service. A Council person is a Customer Service Manager. The customer doesn’t usually call our office unless they feel that they’ve reached their wits ends dealing with the City. The expectation should be that you’re not pointed to another department but that the Councilperson will leader up the problem and take it to resolution. Erin is the only candidate that I’ve really heard get that point and understand that the job is doing the work not telling people where they can go to fix the problem themselves.

Three, I think she most reflects what the district is now. There are more than two neighborhoods and ten voices in our district. There are 31 neighborhoods and over 100,000 people who understand more than ever that status quo and the feeling that the City never does anything for my area isn’t acceptable. The reality is the City does a pretty good job of trying to do what’s right with services. However, the rub is the Councilperson. The Councilperson prioritizes what’s important in the bond program and also is the one who corrects problems in the general fund that seem to linger into perpetuity. The Gatekeeper to the direction of resources is the Councilperson. I personally believe that she will be the most thoughtful, reasoned voice into that distribution because she’ll dig into the questions rather than be swayed by those who have always controlled the coin.

That is why I used my vote to support Erin Moore.

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