Dispatches from Dallas, June 23 edition

This is a weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger. Let us know what you think.

This week (and from last week) in news from the DFW area: election results from the June 10 runoff; the Dallas short-term rental ordinance; Heider Garcia’s replacement as Tarrant County elections administrator; the history of Freedmen’s Towns in Dallas for Juneteenth; conservative women meets in the Metroplex; RIP LeAnn Mueller; and more. It’s a long post this time because last week’s post was eaten by family business. We’re all fine now and I’m glad to be back!

Dallas City Council only had one race in the June runoff. In D3 in southwest Dallas, Zarin Gracey beat Joe Tave to succeed term-limited council member Casey Thomas, who had endorsed Gracey. Inauguration was June 20 and Mayor Johnson’s speech focused on decreases in crime, improvements to our park system, and property tax relief. Unlike Mayor Johnson, I’m not sure being called the “new Dubai” is a compliment.

Forth Worth also had one council runoff, D11, where Jeanette Martinez won a new Hispanic-opportunity district to become the second Latine member on the city council. 30% of Fort Worth’s population is Hispanic and D11 is 60% Hispanic.

A couple of city school district seats were also on the runoff ballot, with funding the common denominator. In Fort Worth, Kevin Lynch outspent one-term incumbent CJ Evans in a civil race between similar opponents. In Dallas ISD’s D2, which the DMN described as “one of Dallas ISD’s most expensive board seats”, Sarah Weinberg beat Jimmy Tran. Weinberg had the endorsement of outgoing trustee Dustin Marshall.

In Collin College news, two Republican-backed candidates won seats on the board. Cathie Alexander defeated incumbent Stacey Donaldson in Place 3 and incumbent Jay Saad defeated challenger Scott Coleman in Place 2. Collin College board races, like most school elections, are technically nonpartisan, but as longtime readers know, Collin College is a hotbed of political conflict. Three faculty members have been fired over free speech issues in recent years, resulting in one settled lawsuit and one still in progress, and the American Association of University Professors censured Collin College for limiting academic freedom.

As mentioned in a number of the linked articles above, turnout was low. 5% of Dallas County registered voters participated in the runoff election and per the Fort Worth Report, Fort Worth turnout was about 4%.

At the same time, in Dallas we have low satisfaction with our City Council according to a recent city survey. This survey preceded recent changes to ethics rules that lowered evidentiary standards for ethics complaints (i.e., council members and associates have to disclose more potential conflicts).

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