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Politics

Dallas City Hall Christmas Sweater Day 2023: Who Wore It Best?

It's the most magical time of the year!
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Tradition dictates that at the last City Council meeting of the year, our elected representatives abandon decorum and their fashion sense to wear Christmas sweaters to work. Since 2017, I have passed judgment on these sweaters (and, in some cases, on our council members’ eternal souls). This year is no different. Well, except that Christmas Sweater Day was Wednesday, meaning I’m tardy by two days. It’s the season of reason. You’ll forgive me.

Before we get to the Wick Allison Memorial Most Christmasy Christmas Sweater Worn on Dallas City Council Christmas Sweater Day AwardTM, I have some further ado. It has come to my attention that the Oak Cliff Advocate has brazenly ripped off my Christmas sweater-rating gig. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As anyone who works with me will tell you, I don’t deserve flattery. Oak Cliff Advocate, y’all need to get your priorities in check.

Now! On with the judgmentalism that will ensure several council members will continue to not return my calls!

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Last year, Mayor Eric Johnson rocked a Darth Vader sweater. This year, he rolled out of bed and grabbed a brown blazer. I’m guessing, but his lack of holiday cheer probably stems from his fight with City Manager T.C. Broadnax. Speaking of, here’s my guy:

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These two dudes need to hug it out. I’m serious. The city would function better if they weren’t bickering with each other. I apologize for bringing something serious and sober into this post. Did you see Bad Boys for Life, with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence? Neither did I. But I imagine the two main characters start off the movie at loggerheads but then come to see how the other cop is good at his job and deserves respect. And then maybe one of the cop’s daughters hooks up with the other cop’s sons. That’s what needs to happen with Mayor Eric and City Manager T.C. (They don’t need to hook up. You know what I mean.)

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The person who took this photo of Councilman Adam Bazaldua told me that Bazaldua readily admitted he was wearing a woman’s sweater. He said: “Take that, Texas Legislature!” I’m not making this up. That’s what he said. I love it. Here’s something else I am not making up: Bazaldua wants the Council to pass a resolution in support of Gaza humanitarian aid. We just got serious again. I apologize. I don’t even know what a Gaza Humanitarian Aid Sweater would look like. We should move on.

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I dig Cara Mendelsohn more as I follow her Christmas sweaters. Last year, she explicitly referenced D Magazine on her sweater. This year it said: “SAD NEWS: Santa & District 12 Got Run Over By a DART Silver Line Train.” If you don’t get the joke about the Silver Line, read this. In any case, Councilwoman Mendelsohn knits messages on her own sweaters or she pays to have children in China knit those messages. Either way, it’s time and money well spent.

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Councilwoman Carolyn King Arnold never competes in the Wick Allison Memorial Most Christmasy Christmas Sweater Worn on Dallas City Council Christmas Sweater Day AwardTM. Fair play to her. I’ve heard through back channels that she’s upset with me because I said she was going to hell for not wearing a Christmas sweater on Christmas Sweater Day last year. To set the record straight, I suggested she’d go to Purgatory. Be that as it may, last year she wore red; this year she wore green. Both look great on her.

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Whaaat?! Councilman Jaime Resendez appears to be wearing some sort of Teen Titans Spider-Man Christmas sweater. Not only that, but he has perfectly paired that sweater with a blue blazer. This look says, “I’m ready to party, but also I did a year with the Army in Baghdad, so respect my fit.” Accordingly, I lay down my arms.

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If you’re going to be a scion, I think we all agree, if you get to choose between tamales and casinos, you want to be a scion of a family that runs casinos. Alas, Councilman Jesse Moreno didn’t get to choose. Nonetheless, his recently resplendent beard is a good look, and that backpack works well with the sunglassed pug on his Christmas sweater. I give this lots of stars.

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From left: councilwomen Gay Donnell Willis, Paula Blackmon, and Kathy Stewart. Willis stepped it up from last year, so she deserves credit. Blackmon is angry with me right now, so I want to be careful and will say little other than she and I agree on the need to dredge White Rock Lake pronto. Stewart, however, is a newcomer, having replaced Adam McGough. Last year, McGough put my face on his sweater. Either Stewart is smart or she has a long way to go.

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Councilman Omar Narvaez this year received the annual City Council Leadership Award, recognizing “a member who has consistently advocated for the advancement of pro-arts legislation, funding and promotion in their region.” That award didn’t say anything about his Ewok Christmas sweater, so neither will I.

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Why does Councilman Paul Ridley hate Spain so much that on Christmas Sweater Day he wore a Christmas sweater depicting a T. rex devouring a Spanish flag that was rotated 90 degrees? I can’t say. But what I can say is that it was a bold choice and that fortune favors the bold.

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I’m a huge fan of Chad West’s sweater game, even though I don’t skateboard and even though he’s not wearing a sweater. When he runs for mayor, will I vote for him? It all depends on how hard he’ll dredge White Rock Lake.

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I just fainted. Look at what Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins is wear— … Sorry, I just woke up. What was I talking about? Oh! Look at Atkins’ amazing swea— …

OK, this thing is like the sun or like like Zac Crain’s calves. You don’t stare directly at them unless you’re wearing special glasses that protect your corneas. This Christmas sweater is dope. As. Hell. The frilly beard gets me every time. I’m on his side.

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You see what Jess Moreno has done with his beard? I’m just wondering what Zarin Gracey might do if he followed suit. Because it feels like he’d go from an 8 to a 10.5. Is that just me? Wow. OK. I definitely strayed from the whole sweater thing.

Gracey has a sweater. It’s good.

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Right here? That’s Andreea Udrea, assistant director of the Planning and Urban Design department for the city. She’s one of the smartest people I’ve met. And she’s funny as hell. Her t-shirt says: “Sleigh the Patriarchy.” She and her similarly named co-conspirator, Andrea Gilles, are a gift to Dallas. We should listen to them.

The Wick Allison Memorial Most Christmasy Christmas Sweater Worn on Dallas City Council Christmas Sweater Day AwardTM goes to Andreea and Andrea, for reasons that are wildly unfair to the other participants but also hopefully productive. Runners-up go to West and Atkins, whose actual sweaters (or sweater-like stuff) were fun to look at it.

Shame? It goes to Mayor Eric Johnson for not participating at all in Christmas Sweater Day. See you next year.

Author

Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…

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