There's a joke making the rounds in Dallas today that asks who is running for Mayor in May?
The punch line serving several variations on this theme goes something like this, "It would be a heck of a lot easier to list who isn't running!" The last count I saw listed 20 candidates for the job.
Yesterday was the beginning of the filing period for candidates to get their names on the official ballot. By this time tomorrow no telling how many folks will be in the race!
The field was opened up when Mayor Laura Miller announced that she would not to seek another term. Ms. Miller has decided to step away from the chaos of running Dallas to spend more time with her family. Who could blame her?
As the field began filling up shortly after the Mayor's surprise announcement, we started wondering. . .
Who, if anyone, among the candidates had a vision for our low-income, inner-city neighborhoods?
Who among those hoping to guide our city for the next four years has a plan for attacking the challenges presented by persistent, almost intractable poverty here in Dallas?
Who has a valid vision for the Southern Sector in our city?
Is there anyone?
We decided to find out.
We will do so at our 12th Annual Urban Ministries Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, April 26 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Our meeting will begin at 7:15 a.m. Our program for the morning will be the top 7-8 mayoral candidates vying for the top position in Dallas city government. We have invited the top contenders. All have agreed to be present.
Each candidate will be given an opportunity to respond to prompts like these:
"When I pray for poor people in Dallas, my list includes. . . ."
"My vision for improving life for the residents of our lowest income neighborhoods includes. . . ." "When it comes to the Southern Sector here in Dallas, I plan to. . . ."
After hearing from each candidate, we will open the meeting to questions from the floor.
It should be a great and informative morning.
We just felt like the campaign should not conclude without someone asking hard questions about the issues that matter most to us and our inner city neighbors.
If you are anywhere near Dallas on this special morning, I hope you'll join us. Information about tickets, tables and sponsorships will be up on our website in the near future (http://www.centraldallasministries.org/).
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Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.