"Tired of Being Ignored and Insulted," Paul Quinn Students Round Up Powerful and Familiar Faces for City Hall Protest

Categories: City Hall, Schutze
sorrelliamnottrashprotest.jpg
Photo by Danny Hurley
Paul Quinn College President Michael J. Sorrell at the flow-control protest before the council's vote last month
New Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings is in for the first serious grassroots challenge to his leadership -- a march on City Hall announced today by a broad-based coalition of young Southern Dallas leaders, Latino groups and the Dallas County Democratic Party. It's that trash thing, back again to bite him.

At the end of September, Rawlings -- batting down a request from students at Paul Quinn College for a delay and study -- rammed through a new ordinance re-directing vast volumes of commercial waste to a landfill near Paul Quinn College in far Southern Dallas. Citing his own campaign promises and the extra fees the city-owned dump will collect from truckers, Rawlings called the move "a business revenue issue."

But it was bad business, as far as the Paul Quinn students were concerned. And now they've got serious allies.

In a press release announcing a November 5 march on City Hall to protest the decision, Paul Quinn student organizer Dexter Evans says, "The leadership that produced this horrendous decision is out of touch with the emerging voices of the city. Marching north, across the Trinity River and towards downtown Dallas is our way of expressing that this generation is no longer willing to adhere to the geographic, economic and mental boundaries of our elders."

Evans, a junior and the student leader of the march, says: "Since few in Dallas are apparently willing to say these things, we felt that it was time for Paul Quinn College and our friends to make our voices heard."

The press release singles out the new trash plan's supporters on the city council: Rawlings, Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Tennell Atkins, Dwaine Caraway, Angela Hunt, Jerry Allen, Carolyn Davis and Linda Koop.

It also says pointedly: "Community-wise, the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, Rev. Stephen Nash and former Justice of the Peace Charles Rose all lent their support to re-routing all of the city's trash to this neighborhood without any prior study or evaluation of the impact of this decision."

That makes this protest a direct challenge to the time-honored paradigm of partnership between the old downtown business leadership group associated with the private Dallas Citizens Council, of which Rawlings is a member, and many of the senior black pastors and some business leaders in African-American Southern Dallas.

Like most Citizens Council mayors, Rawlings ran on a promise to unite the city's white and black hemispheres. That makes some of the sponsorship and promised participation in the upcoming march the more surprising. A press release from a group calling itself "We Are Not Trash," with contact information at Paul Quinn College, says participants will include, "Bishop Gregory G. M. Ingram, presiding prelate of 10th District of the AME Church; Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church; Reverend Bryan Carter, senior pastor of Concord Church of Dallas; Domingo Garcia, LULAC; Dr. Jerry L. Christian, senior pastor of Kirkwood Temple CME; Rev. Tyrone D. Gordon, senior pastor of St. Luke's "Community" United Methodist Church; Rev. Van Carl Williams, senior pastor of Cedar Crest Cathedral CME; the Dallas County Democratic Party and J.D. Mitchell, president of the Paul Quinn College National Alumni Association."

Some of these names and groups - the Dallas County Democratic Party, Freddie Haynes, Domingo Garcia, LULAC, Jerry Christian, Tyrone Gordon - will be major news if they show up on march day. Certainly Rawlings, a Democrat, will work hard to keep them at home between now and the day.

The release includes a strong statement of support from Paul Quinn president Michael J. Sorrell, an influential young leader in the city: "Frederick Douglass told us that 'power concedes nothing without demand," Sorrell is quoted as saying. "It never did and it never will. We are done waiting on the promise of tomorrow. We are tired of being ignored and insulted. We want a real grocery store today. We want a pharmacy today. We want officials who care more about their constituents and the future of this city than themselves."

The release says the march will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 5, from Oak Cliff Founders Park to Ferris Plaza in downtown. Ferris Plaza is a small park in front of The Dallas Morning News.
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23 comments
Joecook
Joecook

You can't blame them and I admire them.

Big Duh!
Big Duh!

There aren't any grocery stores in those "neighborhoods" because they got ROBBED OUT OF BUSINESS by members of "the community".

TNB
TNB

There aren't any grocery stores in those "neighborhoods" because they got ROBBED OUT OF BUSINESS by members of "the community".

annoyed liberal
annoyed liberal

"We want a real grocery store today." ---Then address the crime in your neighborhood by cooperating with police.

"We want a pharmacy today." ---Then address the crime in your neighborhood by cooperating with police.

"We want officials who care more about their constituents and the future of this city than themselves."---Then quit voting in corrupt officials like John Wiley Price.

Ellum08
Ellum08

If there were enough rooftops and/or the tax base already there, wouldn't a grocery store or drug store already be in that part of town?

So essentially, they want a grocery store or drug store to invest in a neighborhood that may or may not be profitable? Or is the $1 million slush fund supposed to support retail in the area?

If Paul Quinn is so tight with Meadows, have them pony up the money to build and subsidize a grocery store.

SuperFly
SuperFly

I'm intriqued by the feather and gloves. He looks akin to the Rent is Too Damn High party.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

Michael Sorrell: you are the best.

MattL1
MattL1

Good for them.  Keep the pressure on.  Nobody deserves to have a shitload more trash dumped in their neighborhood without some sort of fight.  

AintNoSunshine
AintNoSunshine

This is great news for the people of Dallas, except of course the rich oligarchs that City Hall governs for. I hope they hold true with their missions and promises. Its time to stand up to these Oligarchs that use the Dallas tax base as their personal piggy bank. Also, its time for this corrupt City Hall be taken over by the suppressed minorities in this City. All these minorities just get sold out by their so called "black leaders", which is sickening. This level of discrimination should not exist in our current day and time. 

In the words of the late great Senator, Ted Kennedy, "Civil rights remains the unfinished business of America." These words could not be more true, than in Dallas Texas. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

I could make a fortune selling those t-shirts in front of JRs on weekends.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I think the problem in this case is that there was no private party benefiting from the flow control deal, only the City.  As a result, there wasn't much of an ability to spread money around South Dallas, except for the $1 million per year slush fund.

This means people like Jerry Christian didn't get to "wet their beaks," and they're pissed.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

I was there for the hearing last month, and it was quite heartening to see Paul Quinn students engaged in the political process.  That said, they were ill informed, very late to the game, and a bit hamstrung by the fact that the landfill is already where it is.  Their allegation that the flow control proposal had not been studied or vetted is simply false.  This fine publication did a great job educating the public on the issues.

I also really can't see Citizen's Council fingerprints on the deal.  This looks to be fully explained by Suhm's need for revenue.

Ben
Ben

That's BJ Brantley. The guy you might see riding along I-45 on a horse.

JimS
JimS

Thank you, Professor Irwin Corey.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Ah, but why does Suhm need revenue in the first place?  Go back to the beginning, and you'll find the fingerprints.

JimS
JimS

I don't think the Paul Quinn students are questioning the trucking plan itself for commercial waste. They're talking about a smarter more comprehensive approach to all solid waste that might include development of green industries in the area around the landfill. Far from havng the impression they were ill-informed, I thought they were probably several jumps ahead of typical City Hall older-generation thinking on this stuff. And I'm not sure they ever said they were directly opposed to flow control. I heard them saying it was a big decision that shouldn't be made on small criteria. 

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Come on, JS.  That's not the message of "I am not trash."  Also, if you're right, how is that any different than what Tennell Atkins is saying?

heart and soul
heart and soul

So Akins wants the city and the area to invest in the trash business? Put more money into it? I am starting to think we really need that study of the issue because I don't see how it adds up. More trash more investment, more trash and more investment? But what if I don't want to be trash?

Seems like a bad investment. Why would a city invest in lowering the quality of life for it residents? If we do as Akins wants how much money is the city going to make? I think it is a question that should have an answer. Seems like if you are going to have to live and work next to the region's largest dump you would want to know.  Good for PQ.  Once more into the breach dear friends.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

I'm serious in praising the PQC students, and I had a talk with Bob Weiss about what the future holds down there that was very encouraging.  My point is that their presentation at Council was much more opposition than advocating further study (I might point out that I learned from you that advocating further study is a form of opposition).

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Atkins is saying that the City will be required to invest in the landfill location to improve recyclable recovery, and he wants to further the investment to to reduce the impact of the landfill on the surrounding community including covering it.

JimS
JimS

"I am not trash" is a resonance of the same vibe you hear in "Occupy." It means, "Old people are idiots, and they have screwed up the world."

JimS
JimS

What is Atkins saying?And, yes, it is their message. Some very interesting things are going on at PQC regarding green self-sufficiency, like plowing under their football field to turn it into a farm. If I were looking for a school that was ahead of the curve on these issues, I'd sure look at PQC before, say, who? ... SMU.It's really hard to understand  Rawlings' position in opposition to a comprehensive study before the vote. He says he owes Stephen Nash a campaign promsie, and he's going to collect extra dump fees and that's all we need to know. Are you telling me that's a more intelligent posture than the PQC students'?

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