May 16, 2009
Villafranca loses in Farmers Branch

Back in March, I noted that businesswoman Elizabeth Villafranca, one of the leading voices in Farmers Branch against its anti-immigrant xenophobia, was running for City Council there. Alas, she did not win.

Among other municipal races from Saturday, a leading opponent of efforts in Farmers Branch to stop landlords from renting to illegal immigrants failed to win a city council seat.

Restaurant owner Elizabeth Villafranca lost to executive assistant Michelle Holmes, but she said some good came out of her run for council.

Villafranca: We called attention to a lot of things that are going on. And this is a good thing. This is a good day. Sometimes winning is not necessarily the most important thing. And certainly in this case that has proven to be the truth.

Villafranca said Farmers Branch has never had any minority representation on the city council and that needs to change.

There was a lawsuit filed last year to force Farmers Branch to draw single-member Council districts, but it was dismissed by a federal judge; the plaintiffs are appealing that ruling. As for Villafranca, she got 1315 votes out of 3851, or just over 34%. Given that the opponents to the 2007 referendum that ratified the latest version of their still-illegal ban on renting apartments to undocumented immigrants got 32% of the vote, this represents a tiny bit of progress. I hope they can pick up the pace of that progress for the next election.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 16, 2009 to Election 2009
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