CITYSCOPE

Pay close attention to the Dallas City Council’s effort to create a single-member district that would be “safe,” in political parlance, for a Hispanic council member. So far, the main pie to be resliced looks like Oak Lawn, currently represented by Lori Palmer. And at least two factions in the community, the gays and blacks, don’t much cotton to the idea. Palmer is upset that the subject seems to have proceeded so far without any attempt at “broad-based community involvement” -her favorite theme-while the Hispanic faction that is pushing for the redistricting is threatening a lawsuit if it doesn’t get action. And of course, we have the conspiracy theories, which have come to be a fact of life in local politics. The favorite at this point has Love Field being gerrymandered out of Palmer’s district in the new deal. Since she earned her political wings as the leader of the anti-noise Love Field Citizens Action Committee, Palmer doesn’t much like the plan. Those ’’conspirators,” (read: the North Dallas business community) want Love in a district where it would be free to develop its full business potential. Palmer claims to see the subtle hand of her business critics in the matter. But Hispanic activist Rene Martinez says the theory is nonsense. “Our intent is to establish a dialogue that leads to a resolution of the problem of Hispanic representation. That’s our conspiracy,” says Martinez. “I supported Lori [for the council], I gave her money. I’ve been an admirer and a supporter of hers all along, I have to say, though, that I’ve seen a whole side of Lori [with this issue) that I haven’t seen before.” The reaction from Palmer loyalists is especially disturbing, he adds, because the would-be redistricters have “kept people informed throughout” about their plans, so that no one would be taken by surprise, and one of those people has been Lori Palmer..,.

Dallas has long been one of the fashion manufacturing and retailing/wholesaling centers of the country, but it could be a hard winter. The people who are depending on this region-Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana-are really suffering, says one manufacturer of ladies’ ready-to-wear. Some manufacturers have found thai they can no longer buy fabric on credit (which is crucial to doing business), and others are worried that the fashion industry may be about to “red-line” the Southwest. The Christmas season will be the make-or-break time. “People are ordering now for next spring, which means they’ll take delivery in February. But a bad Christmas means they won’t be able to pay.” The only bright spot is Dallas itself, where retailers expect a good season….



It’s not very often that you hear Dallas hailed as a pace-setter in the women’s movement, but that may change after the Dallas Times Herald’s choice of former Channel 13 reporter and D magazine editor Lee Cullum as its new editorial page editor. The choice has provoked a lot of talk, but one thing is certain: now both hometown dailies have women heading their editorial page operations (Rena Pederson became editor of The Dallas Morning News’ editorial section earlier this year.) No other major city in the United States has women controlling the editorial voice of not one but two major newspapers. According to the American Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, there are females at that rare elevation elsewhere, but the list is very short. Dallas looks even better when you remember that the editor of The Dallas Morning News’ Op-Ed page, “Viewpoints,” is also a woman, Carolyn Barta. So far, according to the folks at each newspaper, there are no signs of a male backlash.. ..

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