Friday, January 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023
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POLITICS RACIAL REDISTRICTING

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While Dallas is grappling with its racial problems in a more open way than at any time in its history, the city has had a numbing lawsuit filed against it by Roy Williams and Marvin Crenshaw alleging that the City Council is not representative of Dallas’s minorities. As a result, council members have been admonished by the city attorney not to discuss their views on redistricting in public. With a city election coming up, that’s tough both on candidates and voters interested in the thorny topic. So, in the interest of knowing where our leaders stand, we present excerpts from depositions of eight council members taken by the plaintiffs’ attorneys. Here’s what council members really think.

Gonzalez: “I’ve got no authority at all. If [my secretary is] going to go on vacation, she goes. I can’t get a letter typed,” About office space: “I said, ’I’m not going to office with Craig Holcomb.’ They said, ’Yes, you are, we’ve got your stuff in there.’ And I said, ’I don’t care if you’ve got to move it, I’m not officing with Craig Holcomb.’”



Tandy, asked if he remembered what his campaign issues were: “I’d have to go back and read the press releases. I tend to forget those kind of things, because most of it was just rhetoric that had no long-term meaning.”



Rucker: “No doubt there is a kind of tribal cohesion about the black vote.” And why couldn’t Diane Ragsdale win in District 3 (Northwest Dallas)? “Because she has a disputatious, vicious, venomous personality. [It] has nothing to do with whether she’s black or white.” The council members who are elected to single-member districts, he said, “are rewarded for being provincial, for being small, for being short-sighted, for being grabby.”



Palmer: “[Former mayor] Starke Taylor.. .felt very strongly that the Hispanic community was going to sue the city. He felt that they would have a case, and I am pretty sure that one of the reasons why he was supportive of a Hispanic candidate was to try to delay or prevent a Hispanic challenge to the 8-3 system.”