Dallas’ Rising Population: The More the Merrier?

Stacy Graham is Dallas’ newest resident. We hope she’s up to the challenge.

Nt to put too much pressure on her, but the future of Dallas depends on Stacy Graham, a 36-year-old program manager who this month will move into an apartment in Uptown. With any luck, she will be able to save the city.

For eight years, Stacy lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked for a “leading provider of technology and strategic consulting services.” I asked her what a program manager does for a leading provider of technology and strategic consulting services. She replied, “I have a desk. Where I work.” She said this as if she were speaking to a really bright golden retriever. Anyway, her client, the U.S. government, cut funding to her project. So Stacy decided to move to Dallas and save it.

That’s where I came in. Stacy is a friend of my cousin’s wife. Introductions were made. Stacy doesn’t really know anyone in Dallas, and she doesn’t yet have a job here. My D.C. relatives were somehow under the impression that I could ease a program manager’s transition to a new city. Instead, in our first e-mail exchange, I asked whether Stacy’s new landlord had bothered to mention anything to her about the Uptown serial rapist. Then I told her I was only kidding. (I have a desk, too. Where I write jokes.) Then I called to pester her about how she’d chosen Dallas, of all places, to save.

Because here’s the thing: America is doomed. Credit markets have seized up. The stock market has gone into the tank. Housing prices have plummeted. Our tap water is contaminated with antidepressants and horse laxatives. But while the rest of the country suffers through a full-blown case of whatever it is that it caught from all that subprime profligacy, we here in Dallas—in North Texas—might only catch a mildly itchy rash. Contributing editor Craig Hanley examines the reasons for our apparent good fortune here. But one of the biggest reasons is Stacy Graham.

Dallas-Fort Worth added more people last year than any other metropolitan area in the United States. From July 2006 to July 2007, D-FW added 162,250 souls. Many of our new residents had no choice in the matter; they were born here. But 92,563 of those people made the decision to move here. For one reason or another, they picked Dallas (or Fort Worth).

In Stacy’s case, she wanted to live closer to her family in her hometown, San Antonio. A little research convinced her that the job market was better in the Dallas area. Her father, who once lived in Grapevine, tried to talk her into Plano or McKinney, but she suspected the recommendation was based solely on her father’s affinity for large movie theaters. You know how she settled on Dallas proper? As much as anything, Stacy made her decision by trolling an online discussion forum called City-Data.com. So some guy with a handle like BigBobInBigD talked her into moving here. (Are you paying attention, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce?)

No matter. Stacy, we don’t care how you got here. We’re just happy you made it to Dallas. Welcome.

Oh, and one more thing, Stacy. Craig’s story on the local economy was originally slated to run on the cover (albeit with a more voyeuristic look at local millionaires). But that rash does itch. Since we couldn’t be certain that you’d save our city, we made a last-minute change and went with Jessica Simpson on the cover. As someone new to the city, you’ll want to read carefully the corresponding package of essays that begins here. If you aren’t blonde yet, we trust you’ll rectify the matter.

Don’t let us down.

Write to [email protected].


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