Friday, September 18, 2009

Very important "Points" coming from Dallas Morning News on Sunday

Just received this email communication from the editorial-journalistic team leading the ongoing research and reporting on the "north-south gap" that exists in Dallas:

We’ve been careful not to overwhelm you with emails about the online component of The Dallas Morning News editorial department’s “Bridging the North-South Gap” project, but some special things are happening this weekend that deserve your attention.

A few months ago, we launched the Gap Blog to provide an online discussion forum for Dallas policymakers, business leaders and interested residents to engage in a robust debate about the issues confronting southern Dallas. We continue to have a constructive back-and-forth about racial relations, gentrification, stray dogs, code enforcement, minority contracting, law enforcement and a broad range of other topics. If you haven’t checked out the Gap Blog (, you’re missing out on an important resource on southern Dallas.

Speaking of resources, this weekend marks the launch of our latest “Bridging the North-South Gap” project, and it is jam-packed with information, statistics and online features that will add to your knowledge base on southern Dallas.

On Sunday, in the print newspaper, an expanded Points section will contain thought-provoking essays, detailed graphics and maps full of measurements showing how specific neighborhoods in southern Dallas compare to the northern half of our city. We look at property values, educational attainment, poverty and income, employment, health and crime, among many other measurements.

Online at, we’ll offer interactive maps that you can customize to get a better idea of where the challenges lie. Want to know how many houses have peeling paint in our West Dallas Gateway neighborhood? What’s the vacant land in Grand South Dallas? Or maybe where stray dogs are sighted in The Heart of Oak Cliff? These maps will help you visualize the challenges that southern Dallas residents face.

Also online, we’ll have virtual “helicopter tours” of greater southern Dallas and each of our five base neighborhoods. These videos allow you to tour an expanse of territory the size of Atlanta, hover over interesting landmarks, and get an overhead sense of how the southern Dallas puzzle fits together.

An additional online feature is a full database and access to detailed “windshield maps” prepared by the University of Texas at Dallas’ Institute for Urban Policy Research. You’ll be able to download everything so you can access the maps and compare statistics from the comfort of your own computer.

The Dallas Morning News wants to push this discussion forward with an eye toward making real progress toward bridging the north-south gap. We hope you’ll check out this Sunday’s Points section, get involved in our Gap Blog discussion and join forces with us in making our city whole.

Thanks for your continued interest,

The “Bridging Dallas’ North-South Gap” team

Sharon Grigsby
Tod Robberson
Colleen McCain Nelson
Bill McKenzie
Jim Mitchell

The Dallas Morning News
Blogging daily at

Be sure and check out the section in Sunday's paper--print copy and/or online!

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