Billy Surface

Personalities

Dwaine Caraway Is Back

The always interesting councilman returns for what should be an interesting sequel on the Dallas City Council.

Besides nearly getting into a fistfight with John Wiley Price, what did you do during your two years away from the City Council? Did you go fishing?

No, I did not go fishing. What I did, I took care of my mother. I put a lot of concentration on my 89-year-old mother. That and maintaining my community contacts and still dealing with community concerns and problems. People would still come to me, trying to get some help.

Were you bummed that the feds weren’t able to sway the jury in Price’s corruption and tax evasion trial?

Absolutely not. I really had no comment and still don’t. I respectfully allowed the system to do what the system is there to do. I’m moving forward.

In May, you beat Carolyn King Arnold, a woman you’d campaigned for to fill your council seat when you were term limited out. What made you decide that you would do a better job for District 4?

When I saw District 4 going backward. To say that we did not have a stray dog problem. To vote against the deck park. To vote against Little Free Libraries coming into the community. Those type of things. And for crime to go up. Trash, code enforcement to be going backward. Those are the reasons I had no choice.

You have to tell me what happened on election night. I heard that Arnold’s son had to be removed from your victory party.

That’s a true statement. Council members and former council members were there in celebration. This young gentleman, who we did not even know, started screaming out obscenities about the mayor and myself. And then, at one point, he stood backward as though he had a gun in his pocket. Folks said, “Uh oh, look what we’re in the middle of here.” He was very cordially removed from the office, but said he was coming back. Five police cars had to come. This was not something that I wanted to go public, but other public people were there. This is my first time responding publicly to what did take place.

Seating at the council horseshoe is determined by seniority. Even though you served eight years before you were term limited out and you briefly served as mayor, are you going to have to sit where the freshmen sit, at the end of the horseshoe?

It doesn’t matter where I sit. I am who I am regardless of where I sit. It doesn’t matter. All I have to do is be in the room.

On your next swim through City Hall, if there’s only one thing that you can get done, what would you pick?

Bringing Dallas together and crime down. Crime is out of control, and it is my focus. They can say what they want to say about overall crime being down, but people are being shot every day. We can’t grow if we are a crime-ridden city. We’re going to get out and get in the middle of it. I’m not a council person that sits behind a desk. I believe in going out and getting in the middle of the fray and trying to change the mindset, especially the young folks.

You’ve become a semi-regular guest on 1310 AM The Ticket. Are you letting that fame go to your head?

I don’t think that it’s fame. I think it’s just, hell, who I am. I love The Ticket. I want y’all to know that. Love The Ticket. The mayor and I are going to go on The Ticket together. He and I had a discussion about it. We said, “Look, we’ll just go on The Ticket together.”

It seems like you’ve always got a new diet plan. What’s your plan right now?

Listen, listen, listen. I’m a little overweight now. I’ve been working with a new nutritionist. Her name is Julie Smith and she’s over at Baylor. I’m eating better. I’m now trying to since this election is over. I have not had any—not one piece—of fried chicken in three months! That’s extremely difficult. I’m tired of being a rabbit and eating these salads. But it’s okay. Juneteenth we normally have barbecue, and that’s the day that we’re sworn in. That’s a very, very special day. By the time this story comes out, I will have already been sworn in. I’ll make an exception that day and on July 4. With that, I’ll be able to survive. 

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Comments

  • topham

    He’s so funny. And he’s no fool. He understands that it’s easier to be effective if people like you (or at least, like your persona). Kingston could learn a thing or two from Caraway.

  • MattL1

    I’d like to add “except Dwaine Caraway in Place 4” to Section 3A(a) of the City Charter.

  • OldLakeHighlander

    It would be wonderful to see South Dallas escape from it’s self-inflicted death spiral in my lifetime. That agreement made generations ago on our North/South divide (read your Shutze) has only enriched the North and nearly killed the South. Representatives such Arnold and the like are just the inheritors of their fate. They do the North’s bidding, totally screw their constituents, and make a tidy sum in the end. It will be interesting to see what the North’s “Southern Strategy” will be in the next election.