Mike Rawlings Wants to Shoot Southern Dallas With Bullets. Of Economic Development.

Categories: City Hall

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When I wrote yesterday about Mayor Mike backtracking from his backtrack on the Trinity Toll Road, I glossed over the real purpose of his visit to the Oak Cliff Chamber, which was to pitch his GrowSouth initiative.

For the uninitiated, GrowSouth is the plan to revitalize southern Dallas, which Rawlings called "an investment opportunity," since the area contains 60 percent of the city's land but only 15 percent of its tax base.

To do so, Rawlings has outlined a 10-point action plan, which mixes specific projects with broad common-sense proposals like strengthening neighborhoods, improving the area's schools and changing people's assumptions about crime and safety. Among the projects is developing the Lancaster corridor, making Jefferson Boulevard the Main Street of southern Dallas and improving infrastructure around UNT-Dallas and Paul Quinn College.

All of which will take a community effort, with everybody pitching in. Why, just last weekend, Rawlings took part in the citywide cleanup.

"I'm not bragging, but I mowed two lawns," he said.

It's the first time he's mowed in 30 years, he said, in a statement that would do Mitt Romney proud. It's certainly not for lack of opportunity.

The city will have a role in guiding and encouraging development, though its steps must be deliberate.

"The bullets we have in our gun at City Hall, we want to fire in a focused manner," Rawlings said.

Then he told the audience that he used to be an investor "in a concept called Furr's Cafeteria." A Furr's that was opened not long ago in the Redbird area is now thriving, Rawlings said, which just goes to show.

Wait. Hold on a second. So in trying dispel the notion that southern Dallas is a dangerous, crime-riddled backwater, you say the city will shoot up neighborhoods with bullets of economic development and name-drop Furr's Cafeteria?

Instead of a metaphor that brings to mind violent death, how bout planting trees? Those at least are non-threatening. And can't we aim reach a little higher than Furr's? Maybe Luby's?

Then again, maybe Luby's is too North Dallas.

"We don't need another North Dallas. I like it in North Dallas, but I'm kind of tired of North Dallas," Rawlings said.

People applauded, then Rawlings said he was just kidding. Which sounded familiar.

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45 comments
Timetomoveon
Timetomoveon

Can someone fire this hack writer already? He needs to get Schutze's Scheize out of his mouth.

And "Instead of a metaphor that brings to mind violent death, how bout planting trees? Those at least are non-threatening. And can't we aim reach a little higher than Furr's? Maybe Luby's?Then again, maybe Luby's is too North Dallas."

Luby's doesn't bring to mind violent death?

Don Abbott
Don Abbott

Wait, wait, wait...I know, I want to contribute on the playing field of ideas. Let's have a freight facility in South Dallas County that will provide thousands of excellent full-time jobs at an intermodal complex that would take full advantage of comparatively cheap land and a work force chomping at the bit to make good money. Why are you laughing? It's already been tried? And didn't work? Because black politicians got paid to scuttle the whole deal because Alliance would tank? Did anybody go to jail? What do you mean that's how it works in Dallas?

richard schumacher
richard schumacher

Bah.  All city hall and their masters want for South Dallas is, no race riots on their watch.  What I don't get is how a cadre of preachers keep their flocks in line to deliver the necessary votes; why don't the sheep notice that doing the same things for 50 years has improved nothing?  

Oak Cliff Res
Oak Cliff Res

There are 3 Luby's in a 5 mile radius in Southern Dallas, off 35 and 67.  The Furrs was strategically placed on 20.  And if I'm not mistaken there is a Furrs being built in Plano at 75 and Park Rd.  So there must be something good about it...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I was just thinking--which usually gets me into trouble....A LOT of famous people, rich people, attend the very black megaq-churches which supoprted Tom Leppert, Mike Rawlings, the AC vote, the Trinity Vote, the Hotel Vote, etc... Soooo, why don't they open businesses there?

Envy Alert: Rawlings talks about South Dallas, but at least they get talked about. I live in Buckner Terrace. When we are not erroneously listed as being in South Dallas, or even Pleasant Grove, we are just ignored.

I am looking forward to seeing the final donations list, names and amounts, from the recent schol board votes. You will notice how one particular family which owns that great store chain that lets you "contain" things, well, they donated thousands of dollars, yet have yet to open a store in my part of town. So, boyott time. I am telling all teachers and friends to get yourr storage solutions somewhere else. You can dump money for a race in an area of town you won't even open a store? Uh-uh. Nope.

When South Dallas quits listening to its pastors about economic development that never helps them, things will change. Until then, Roosevelt High School will still be in an economic desert. Same for Spruce.

Sixthfloor1500marilla
Sixthfloor1500marilla

Check out NBC coverage earlier this week of Housing committee and look at the population numbers for big chunks of west and south Dallas. The people are gone, the businesses are gone, and starting today the schools are going. A WPA-type program would employ only the elderly, criminals, and substance addicted who remain? Why is that good? Much more radical solution is needed. Bargain to put strong mayor on the ballot by firing at least one quarter to one third of the city staff, including all of the housing department (ask HUD to run it like they've done in DC and Houston) and most of economic development staff.  Start at the top: Suhm, Gonzales, Dyer, Turner, Zapata, etc, continue through ALL dept directors Zavitkovsky, Killingsworth, all asst directors, all departments and keep going until total payroll is reduced by at least 25% preferably a third. This will barely approach the bloat created by having generalists hiring generalists (with the only qualification that each hire be a little stupider than the boss so bosses and bossettes can feel smart.)  Then at least triple council and mayor pay. Grossly expand the staff budgets for each district and the mayor. Each hires their own housing expert, urban dev expert, park greenspace guru, whatever their issues drive them to do. Pay for big individual staffs by eliminating the chunk of the staff devoted to managing up and making council, mayor and everyone boss feel real smart. Constituent relations. If existing council wants to hire their dumb pals, pastors friends, even Suhm, and Forrest, and Joey, so what? At some point the higher pay will return a smarter council person. Then at some point maybe someone will notice how much money actually moves through city hall. Housing is spending about $100 million per year from the various streams. Now that's about a Calatravva bridge every, what, 18-20 months? Washington Post reporter covered some HUD stuff and won a pulitzer. Even got new rules for HUD HOME program. And Dallas is having to return HUD HOME funds this very year as a result. Enough money is being spent annually to show some results. Why can't you find any? 

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

There are very few empty store fronts in my area of North West Oak Cliff.The location on Jefferson where Albertsons Died on the Vine is now a Rio Grande ( Latin Market ) and a DDs clothing place . Both doing good business.

The Empty spots are where speculators came and wiped the land clean of buildings Nice idea if you plan to build soon but adds  a why is that lot vacant feel to the area .

To review most of Oak Cliff /Southern Dallas is already inhabited by people. Or folks who hold title to the land and improvements on them property he wants to redo.Lancaster Rd by the VA ? Yeah right...

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

Yeah, Mike. We're ALL a little tired of North Dallas.

It's just too bad that back-slapping and glad-handing don't fix potholes or close down crack-houses & meth labs, 'cause if they did, Mike, you'd have South Dallas turned around in a week.

RC
RC

Since I was born and raised in OC, I can talk all day about Jefferson, Wynnewood Village, WestCliff Mall, Lancaster Kiest Shopping Center, the disaster at I35 and Ledbetter, and confirm what everyone knows about how the City of Dallas has f'd it up over the past 40 years. Mike who is not even a Dallas native and doesn't live in South Dallas is bad need of better advice.

Using terms like 'bullet's and cheering for Furr's is exactly what is wrong with the mentality of those at City Hall and  those who don't have any skin in the game, like Mike. South Dallas does not need more of what it already has, in fact if it even got half of what North Dallas has, it would create the change needed over night.  He can do his 'South Dallas minstrel show' all day long to stay in good favor with the gate keepers/leaders of South Dallas.But until he sets up a satellite office in South Dallas and works it at least two days a week to show that he has skin in the game, this is all just the same old show biz.

Montemalone
Montemalone

What infrastructure improvements are needed? The roads are empty. Paul Quinn college is tearing down buildings and planting gardens. Lancaster is lined with huge, mulit-acre empty lots. There's 2 DART train lines running through southern Dallas. There's no need for infrastructure improvements, unless you're an infrastructure improvement contractor or consultant.Retail isn't going to go there because they can't make money there.There's plenty of empty space they could occupy.The only thing that can change southern Dallas is a WPA type program to put people to work, mowing grass, hauling trash, and clearing lots. Spend money to pay people that live there to fix the place up, they'll spend the money as fast as they get paid, and that will pump a little life into the area.

Anon
Anon

Jefferson already is the Main Street of Oak Cliff. Oh, but he was probably talking about for white people.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Unless his first point of action is to clear out the corrupt fucking assholes in positions of power in south Dallas, he's doing nothing but blowing smoke up everyone's bungholes. No business worth a shit will want to deal with the glad-handing, money handshakes, idle threats, actual threats, and general bitching and moaning.

Oh, and if all parts of Dallas were North Dallas (economically, whiners), you'd have one successful fucking city.

Rangers100
Rangers100

He's tired of North Dallas... yet he's firmly planted there (house, country club, etc.), would never even dream of leaving, and he wants to build a giant new highway to let people live there more conveniently.

Um, OK.

Pow! Pow! Pow!

trannyntraining
trannyntraining

"We're gonna shoot some life back into the vein of S.Dallas, and we've got some heroin down at City Hall that we want to inject it with!"

Jeff Whittle
Jeff Whittle

OK, so maybe he could have chosen his words better, but am I the only person who's glad that we have a mayor talking about improving infrastructure and economic opportunity in an area that could benefit from that?

Eyes  Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

Did Furr's offer "equity" to John Wiley?  How much equity is the mayor offering Mr. Price?

Bloodinthewater
Bloodinthewater

Oh here's another one...

Typical white constiutent pandering white councilwoman and her appointed white Downtown TIF members direct somewhere between a quarter of a billion$ to one half billion$ into her mostly white district for housing for mostly affluent white people. The funds required affordable and low-income housing but in typical Dallas white politician tactics no actual poor people housing was produced. All contracts were awarded on a no-bid, no-score basis so as to guarantee that no poor non-white bum type people would be accomodated in white councilwoman's district.

White councilwoman is however a very strong proponent of building as many high-rise projects for the bums and destitute south of her district in mostly non-white councilwoman's district.

How it works in Dallas is that white politicians will be lionized on this website with no actual knowledge of events.

Bloodinthewater
Bloodinthewater

Well let me contribute too...  North Dallas old white former banker councilmember with backing of old white former banker city hall staff members Killingsworth and Zavitkosky divert $13,5 million in HUD dollars to build a parking garage in North Dallas. HUD rules do not typically permit building parking garages with housing dollars but an exception has been sought because developers promise to deliver nearly 400 HUD qualified 'low-income' jobs at the north Dallas site. The area is sufficiently far away from the non-white unemployed that the jobs, if delivered, can be expected to filled by white people's teenagers living in the affluent white area.

RTGolden
RTGolden

The whole country has been voting in Democrats and Republicans for well over 50 years, and nothing has gotten better.  South Dallas doesn't have a monopoly on voter stupidity.  Want to see change in US politics?  Gotta change the political players.

DC
DC

"Start at the top: Suhm, Gonzales, Dyer, Turner, Zapata, etc, continue through ALL dept directors Zavitkovsky, Killingsworth, all asst directors, all departments and keep going until total payroll is reduced by at least 25% preferably a third. This will barely approach the bloat created by having generalists hiring generalists (with the only qualification that each hire be a little stupider than the boss so bosses and bossettes can feel smart.)" 

Agreed, these people need to go first! They have screwed Dallas and the taxpayer beyond belief. Details to come...........

DC
DC

City Hall is about to have their world turned upside down on this housing debacle. After that, you are right! It will be time to clean house!!! 

Boo
Boo

Rawlings has to placate the people that made him Mayor. Remember, the South Dallas preachers sold it to him. 

He is just going to continue to take pictures while digging a worthless ditch or mowing a random yard in South Dallas all the way through two terms and then say adios HOOD! 

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Monte--Please, please, please run for DISD school board.

Cares About Kids
Cares About Kids

The only thing that can change southern Dallas is to create high quality schools.  If you create them, people will come.

rubbercow
rubbercow

Please explain what you mean.

Rangers100
Rangers100

He talks about helping South Dallas... then he goes and supports building yet another one of the highways that has gutted South Dallas, by enabling and sustaining the white flight to the northern sprawl.

http://bikefriendlyoc.wordpres... 

T. Erickson
T. Erickson

Rawlings isn't the first guy to say this kind of thing. Without a strong-mayor form of government, it's going to be tough to turn those words into action.

DOJa
DOJa

All will be exposed, trust me! You can take it to the bank! We know all about Angela Hunt. You cant run from your actions!

scottindallas
scottindallas

 get more specific on that project's address.  There's a bunch of apts in N Dallas, and Far North Dallas that are aging.  I think we're seeing nationally a return to city centers, and a devaluing of suburbs.  In DFW, some of these suburbs have their own draws and anchors, so we don't have the concentration that other cities do.  Anyway, this is resulting in those apts in North Dallas absorbing these displaced people in the city core as apts are knocked down inside LBJ.  The age of these apts shows them at the latter stages of their economic life, and will naturally garner lower rents as they age.

RTGolden
RTGolden

You can't just 'create' high quality schools.  You can build new ones, hire new teachers, buy new books, etc etc.  You'll end up with an expensive, low-quality school.  Schools are a partnership between the students and parents, the teachers, and the administrators.  All three sides of the partnership need to give a shit for there to be a 'high quality' school.  Right now we've got parents who are either disengaged or apathetic or frustrated, teachers who are either disengaged or frustrated, students who could care less, and an administration that is incompetent at best and actively against educational improvement at worst.

Monte is right, much as I hate to admit it.  South Dallas is prime for a well thought out WPA style program.  Once you get the community involved in being a community, the school improvements will follow along a lot easier.

Montemalone
Montemalone

 When a 40something gay white pot inhaling male can get elected, maybe.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Let's see, right now we've got a shallow, soulless, crime-ridden, poverty-stricken South Dallas...... I'll bet they'd trade that for some economic viability in a heartbeat.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Way to miss the point. Congrats. Your certificate is in the mail.

Medellin
Medellin

I have a feeling with all the fall-out over the housing debacle in south Dallas, she (Suhm) is on the way out, along with a few others..........

Rawlings appears to be running around like a chicken with his head cut-off trying to placate the southern dallas Peeps. 

Good luck with that Pizza Mike. 

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

 Instead we have a 'strong Mary' form of government

Bloodinthewater
Bloodinthewater

Are you local? Are you DC? I pray you are right. Too many fire this issue up as black-white/red-blue/north-south. The issue is first and foremost, the Green. Which direction and to who does the Green go?

The Green as likely goes to EastDallasOakClift New Urbanistas or pious old "faithbased" organizations or sainted old pillars of the community as to wicked old "developers". Under cover of helping the destitute, the homeless, the veterans, the orphans, the environment, the Green goes black-white, red-blue, north-south. And no one is better at putting the Green in her district, with her cadre of newurbanist developers, than dear sainted Angela.

Bloodinthewater
Bloodinthewater

Sorry for typos. I have a job I need and I can not flaunt my ID via blog and other social media. I do not have experience with these venues.

Bloodinthewater
Bloodinthewater

City is supposed to implement new HUD suite of tools to expand public comment on where HUD funds are spent. Highly unlikely the City, especially Housing and Econ Dev, will seek anything more than absolute minimal 'comments'. new HUD tools be damned. HUD website for where HUD dollars supposedly were spent: http://egis.hud.gov/cpdmaps/ This particular project is HUD Section 108. City currently takes down about $75million$ per year in 108 funds. 108 is a loan guaranteed with future HUD CDBG funds or other City funds (like TIF, bonds, general revenue). This is a $13.5million$ parking garage, no housing, to serve the commercial business PROPOSED for Lake Highlands Town Center. Because the 108 funds produce no housing (as required) the city claims the jobs will be produced. Here is the presentation.http://dallascityhall.com/pdf/housing... http://egis.hud.gov/cpdmaps/ This particular project is HUD Section 108. City currently takes down about $75million$ per year in 108 funds. 108 is a loan guaranteed with future HUD CDBG funds or other City funds (like TIF, bonds, general revenue). This is a $13.5million$ parking garage, no housing, to serve the commercial business PROPOSED for Lake Highlands Town Center. Because the 108 funds produce no housing (as required) the city claims the jobs will be produced. Here is the presentation.http://dallascityhall.com/pdf/housing... 

scottindallas
scottindallas

 I would imagine rent cards would lead to many people fleeing South Dallas.  Then, I think we'd see real opportunity and redevelopment, organically driven by hipsters and other intrepid soles.

LBO
LBO

All you have to do is find a pot of money for the south dallas preachers - you Mayor!!! 

i.e. Mike Rawlings!!! 

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