Saturday, June 25, 2011

Personal thoughts on an early summer day. . .

Dallas civil rights and city council icon, Al Lipscomb died a week ago today.  I remember following his career in Dallas city politics and governance from my home in Richardson.  Always controversial, thanks to his courage and powerful responses to racism, both personal and systemic; Lipscomb fought some battles for sure.  I remember telling my church of mainly white, middle class folk that people like Lipscomb wouldn't be forced to continually be in the fight if some of us were willing to join him. 

I'll always remember the occasion when I was invited to offer the invocation at the start of a City Council meeting.  I can't remember what I prayed, but I do know that I asked the Lord to bless Dallas with a heart for the poor and a commitment to pursue justice for all its residents.  When I had finished, Lipscomb got out of his seat on the famous "horseshoe" and came to my seat in the audience.  He personally ushered me into the meeting room behind the public area and he invited me to have breakfast that was spread out on tables for the council and their guests.  So very gracious.  Dallas lost a warrior last Saturday. 


For the record:  homeless persons are no more likely than the general population to be pedophiles or to pose any real threat to children.  As a matter of fact, priests, school teachers, day care workers, youth workers, business people and non-profit workers are likely as great a threat or greater threat to children statistically than are the homeless.  Furthermore, any effort, program or building endeavor that removes people from the street and allows them the option of a safe, decent, air conditioned home makes life on the street and in a city like Dallas safer for everyone, especially the homeless.  Numerous housing developments designed to provide permanent housing for the formerly homeless have co-located child care centers on property.  In the case of our CityWalk project, the housing is located across one street from a charter school and another from a private school.  In the 18 months we've been in the building no problems have been reported involving children and our residents.  And, interestingly, crime statistics indicate that the area around our building is safer than when we opened!


"Poverty Sucks" t-shirts are going fast!  If you'd like one, send your request for more information to  Better act fast.  We're selling out!

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