Wednesday, August 23, 2006

If I Were Elected Mayor. . .Part Two

If nothing else, considering what I would do if I were elected Mayor of Dallas succeeded in getting my mind out of my usual rut!

What follows is "Part Two" of my answer begun here yesterday:

9) Community unity and racial reconciliation would become a hallmark of the Mayor and the Council working in a deliberate and determined manner to stay on task. . .week by week in crafting a more inclusive and just community. The strength and power of diversity would be championed as a major asset in improving the quality of life in Dallas.

10) I would oversee the successful development of the new Homeless Assistance Center, including a management plan focusing on organizational excellence. The position of "homeless czar" would be made permanent, but nested outside of City Hall in a new "authority-type" space where public, private, for-profit, non-profit, business, arts, workforce training, housing and education sectors found places at a table of renewal. Homeless persons would be invited to the table from the beginning of the process and would remain involved so long as the HAC operates. In addition, I would make sure that permanent housing development continued for the extremely low-income citizens of Dallas.

11) I would continue the work begun by Mayor Miller in regard to air quality improvement in Dallas and the entire North Texas Region. I would explore with local federal and state legislators potential ways to incentivize citizen fuel economy, use of public transit and other energy saving, clean fuel solutions to our environmental crisis. I would oppose the development of new coal burning power stations unless they were outfitted with the latest and cleanest emissions control systems. Some of the current profit generated by energy companies should be invested in this manner for the good of every customer.

12) Dr. Ron Anderson and I would become even better friends. I would do everything in my power to support the work of the Parkland Health and Hospital System. At the same time, I would consult with Dr. Anderson and his team to consider the formation of major, city-wide, neighborhood-based wellness strategies to create a commitment to the long-term health and wellness of the citizens of Dallas. Such a commitment would involve every department in city government with special attention given to public safety and policing, parks and recreation, public infrastructure, code enforcement and community arts. My leadership groups would be invited into this important community wellness work. Alliances with the other hospital systems in the community would be developed and leveraged to achieve our goals.

13) I would find ways to reallocate and increase funding for crime prevention, community policing, neighborhood watch groups, community prosecutors and gang intervention and abatement. Organizations such as Dallas Area Interfaith and many other community based groups would be invited to coordinate efforts to work toward safer, crime-free neighborhoods. Such grassroots organizations would be welcome at City Hall. . .always.

14) I would work to make Dallas a model city in terms of connecting our neediest citizens to the public benefits designed to relieve need while offering the hope of an improved life. Dallas should become a city known for its streamlined processes in making possible swift and accurate enrollment, certification and deployment of these benefits. The city's health department should be redesigned to assure that the city leads the way in regard to securing these benefits for its weakest residents. Conversations should begin with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services to determine if that department's current reform efforts and technological redesign might take advantage of Dallas as a pilot city for some of the reform efforts in service delivery and automation. At the same time, as Mayor I would be relentless in my efforts in Austin and Washington to insure that Dallas gets its fair share of tax-generated dollars flowing back toward home, knowing that every dollar directed to our most needy citizens will quickly circulate in our economy, thus providing all of us a boost. Business leaders would be tapped to assist in this endeavor since they and their enterprises stand to gain a great deal from success in this neglected area of public policy.

15) I would work with other leaders to establish a minimum wage of $8.50 an hour for all workers employed by contractors working for the City of Dallas with a plan to see that wage marker rise as quickly as possible to $10.00 an hour.

16) I would consult with the Bush Administration and the Congress to offer Dallas as a "test site" for a comprehensive immigration stabilization strategy that combined increased border security, a new commitment to economic development south of the border in partnership with our city and a fair process for documenting persons already living and working in Dallas. A three to five-year plan outlining a process to integrate undocumented workers here might result in a very workable national plan.

In summary, the Mayor's office would be dedicated to the development of human and social capital to the end that Dallas would be known as one of America's friendliest cities for making a life and a home for everyone. Or, as we often say around Central Dallas Ministries, we would devote ourselves to "creating Mayberry" like communities and neighborhoods all over Dallas for the mutual benefit of every resident!

So, what would you do?


RC said...

Let me be first again. Larry, who in the world but yourself would ever follow this platform. It is yours and it is from your heart. No spin doctors peiced this together. I am amazed that you know enough about the city to put this together. You know what makes Dallas tick. I really hope this starts building steam. What strikes me this platform is that it really isn't radical. It makes sense and above all it is positive. I will look with great interest as the future unfolds.

Anonymous said...

The City of Dallas would be SO blessed by your leadership.

David Michael said...

I will campaign for you from Katy, Texas!

Charles said...

Is it too late to register for Governor, Larry? Although the Mayor of Dallas probably has more power, Austin could use your ideas just as much.

Chris Field said...


I really wish you would run. It would change things for so many in Dallas...

Drew Battistelli said...

If I were going to run, I would hand over the posistion to you.

owldog said...

Mayor and then Governor of Texas Yeah I can see it happening and I trust you would do exctly what you said you would, I am afraid you would be very fustrated when the "other officials" stood in your way of doing the right thing for "everyone" not the popular thing the right thing.

What does your wife and daughters think about this idea, are they ready be in the spotlight?

I would have to move to Dallas city limits to vote but I can and would do that since we rent.

Allen Gillespie said...

I just might have to make plans to leave Malibu and move to downtown Dallas.
IF you did run, Dallas would become the Mecca for the new generation of socially concious Christians coming out of college. (and non-christians as well) I think you'd have plenty of "workers" to help accomplish all of these great things.

Brice said...

RC's right. It just all seems to make a lot of sense. And Allen's right, too.

At the very least, the City of Dallas needs to see this platform. I think the Morning News would run this as a column.

L.A. is behind you!

Anonymous said...

Even if you don't run -- we need to demand such ideas from those who do run! Hold them accountable to more than business as usual.


jocelyn said...

From what I could tell online, the filing deadline isn't until May. If you do decide to run, I'd be willing to help you campaign! Whatever you decide, I hope you keep brainstorming and articulating what Dallas and other communities need.

Jeff Jenkins said...

Ok - this is crazy - yesterday was the first time I've ever read your page - and yesterday at noon a team of our community pastors in the Hopkins County Christian Alliance asked me to run for our City Council in order that I could become mayor of Sulphur Springs, Tx. CRAZY!!!!

The person who asked me to do this was serious and after he said that I told him "you wouldn't believe what I just read this morning..." and I had just printed off your part 1 to this issue. I was blessed what you wrote and shared it with the whole team of pastors as we prayed for our city and ways to make a greater impact here.

I'm not running for council - I'm pastoring the Shannon Oaks Church at the moment and things are really exploding. However - I can't help but pay attention to some of the things that are being spoken here by you and others and wonder if the Lord is setting up something to make a greater impact on this city through spiritual and effective social leadership.

I respect what you've written. Now what are we going to do?

Scott McBryde said...

The city of Dallas and its citizens would be so blessed by your leadership as mayor just as they are blessed by your position at CDM. Abilene for Larry James!

You are loved,

Anonymous said...

Okay, so let me get this straight...Basically we turn Dallas into San Francisco East? Yeah, that's gonna happen. And how do we pay for all these initiatives? Wait, I'm pretty sure we all know the answer to that! And such precision and specificity: "I will make racial reconciliation a priority..." Dear me. Let us all resolve to stick to our day jobs, blogging or otherwise.

Larry James said...

Anonymous, 12:23, thanks for your post.

Sorry that I disappoint you. I do think what I have laid out here is actually very specific. And much of what I suggest does not involve new revenue, but focus and buy-in from more people in the community.

Some of what I suggest will require new funds and that means new taxes and/or the reallocation of current funds. I am not afraid to call for new taxes. We have mortgaged our children's future with the self-centered, radical commitment to no new taxes at all cost. Foolish public policy.

The Southern Sector will not come back without public involvement. It is time for the city to put up or shut up about the entire matter.

Anonymous said...

"I am not afraid to call for new taxes." Uhm, when it comes time for the yard signs, I'd stay away from this particular slogan.

But bless your heart, I know you mean what you say, misguided as it all may be. Shalom.