Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Shopping At Southwest Center Mall

Friday after Thanksgiving, I joined many Americans and began my holiday shopping. My nephew and I started at Toy's R Us where I had to stand around as he looked at almost every item in the store, and then we went to Southwest Center Mall (Red Bird Mall), the place where I have made a conscious decision to spend my money for gifts this holiday.

For the last five years,I have done my Christmas shopping at this mall because there is a need to see stores remain in this area of town. Many people have opted to do their shopping at other malls because they believe that they can not find what they are looking for at this mall, but I am determined to make my purchases where it will make a difference for the community.

Southwest Center Mall (Red Bird Mall)is needed in this area of town. I do not want to have to take my dollars to Cedar Hill, Duncanville, Lancaster or DeSoto. It is my desire to spend money in Dallas so that the taxes will stay in Dallas.



Politics is like driving...if you want to go backwards, choose R.

If you want to move forward, choose D.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

African American Women: Where They Stand

This week NBC Nightly News is beginning a five part series called, "African American Women: Where They Stand."

The stories will cover a wide range of issues affecting African American women.
The statistics show that more than 60 percent of African American undergraduates are women. As they are being applauded for their educational success, more of their male counterparts are going to jail. What's causing the disparity and what can be done to curb this trend?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank You

Thank You to the people who have been reading Rufus Shaw's comments on Dallas Blog about me and responding with a positive message about me. I find it curious that after Willis Johnson,Dwaine (Dewayne,Dwayne)Caraway, Tennell Adkins, Mayor Tom Leppert and others worked so hard to get me off the DART board (8/7 vote) they can not let it rest. I am sure that I can not be that much of a threat to them or their desire to play a shell game with the community.

There is a mean spirit in these people and Southern Dallas will continue to be stagnant because of it. It is impossible for Southern Dallas development to take place with a few elected and appointed officials asking for their share at the expense of development in the community. If you do not believe me, then just read what is written about Southern Sector Development by Rufus Shaw, Michael Davis, and others. You should also listen to what is being said by people who say they are representatives of the Southern Sector.

Thought of the Week

The best things in life aren't things.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Front Line Issues in Education by Gehrig Saldana


Gehrig Saldaña

On Tuesday, November 6, the Dallas Bar Association and Greater Dallas Chamber brought local and state education leaders together for a half-day program to discuss front-line issues in education. Speakers included Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education Raymund Paredes and Interim Commissioner of Public Education Robert Scott.


A lawyer friend who helped with this symposium had some interesting observations on DISD Supt Hinojosa's presentation. According to this lawyer, there is buzz about some remarks the superintendent made. Dr. Hinojosa stated he had to take a lot of community pressure because of the reorganization and he even had to stand up to some of his "compas."

I've written before about the shoddy manner in which this superintendent and his top tier team carried out the recent reorganization. Many in the community were in an uproar over how badly this reorganization was carried out. and because his shuffling of chairs on the deck negatively affected individuals who are highly respected in the Latino community. They are highly respected because of their long history of advocacy on behalf of our community and track record of success. The way many of us see it, you disrespect them, you disrespect our community. Word is the African American community is also in an uproar.

Which Compas? I'm curious which "compas" he was talking about.
Steve Flores? Could it be Steve Flores, the one who did such a poor job in testifying regarding the principal that was fired (and then rehired) over use of the p-card?
Meet DISD's "Number Two": Steve Flores (, 4/26/07). Or, who ignored illegal behavior by the No. 2 cop at DISD? He was allegedly informed in 2006 by departing DISD Police Chief Charles Caddo about misdeeds by Donovan Collins. What did Hinojosa's compa, Steve Flores do? Nothing. This top cop got busted when someone went to the media about his misdeeds. Word is there will be some finality to the Donovan Collins saga soon. DISD's No. 2 officer could face charges, Degree from online college listed on résumé raises questions by KENT FISCHER,, 7/22/07. So, no, I don't think this was the compa Hinojosa was referring to. It doesn't look like Hinojosa stood up to him because Flores still has a top level position.

Arnold Viramontes? Could it be Arnold Viramontes, another top level administrator? You remember him. He's the one who is in charge of the transformation at DISD, i.e., reorganization. Do you think maybe Hinojosa stood up to him for the sloppy, shoddy, callous, disrespectful manner in which the reorganization unfolded? No, don't think so because Hinojosa was involved in the decisions about how the reorganization would unfold, so it wasn't just Viramontes making those decisions. Or maybe he stood up to him because of Viramontes' nepotism -- having one of his direct reports hire his wife and, in essence, Viramontes serving as her second-level supervisor -- in violation of the DISD Board's nepotism policy? (DISD couple's positions raise nepotism questions,, 8/22/07). Maybe he stood up to him for, don't think so... Viramontes still holds his top position.

Jose Luis Torres? Jose Luis Torres is another top administrator. He has been living illegally out of DISD boundaries since he was elevated to top administration almost 3 years ago. Word is he's Hinojosa's fair-haired boy (although Torres has hair that is really, really black, but you get my drift). Word is also Hinojosa's failed attempt to change the DISD Board's residency policy was in part, so that poor Jose Luis, who makes in the six-figures of DISD taxpayer dollars, wouldn't have to move into Dallas. (DISD schools chief stands by residency rule,, 2/13/07). Remember the DISD Board gave a strong NO! to Hinojosa's recommendation. So, guess this isn't the compa Hinojosa was talking about either. Does Torres continue to live illegally outside Dallas? It will be interesting to see where he's at come July 1, 2008. If he's still got his DISD job, will he have a bona fide DISD address?
And, oh, speaking of those who are highly respected in our community, how often do you see Flores, Viramontes or Torres at the forefront of community issues, fighting on our behalf? Or even Hinojosa, for that matter? Looks like they're take the money and run type of guys who don't worry about giving back or contributing to community efforts. If I'm wrong on this one, point it out, but I've never seen these guys out and about at community events. Word is Hinojosa shows up mas pronto que quick, hat in hand, when the downtown business establishment calls, but that doesn't seem to be the case for other communities for him or his three compas.

Also, there's a lot of concern in the community because instead of finally bringing equity in hiring at DISD, Hinojosa has turned back the clock on Latino hiring. He's not doing the African American community any favors in this area either. I guess Hinojosa lives in a 1950s world because what predominated in leadership back then is predominating once again. There is no real attention to diversity and equity at the top tier of leadership nor in the principal hires he has made. Many in the Latino community are of the opinion Hinojosa seems to feel as long as he has the downtown business establishment in his back pocket, everyone else can be ignored -- parents and community that make up the majority of the DISD constituency.

Loss of Support?
Hinojosa's already lost lots of support in the Latino community. I doubt he has much support in the African-American community. He lost the Board's support on one issue. Word is he's lost support of some trustees for good, to the extent he may not have the votes he needs for longevity. Hinojosa seems to be oblivious to the fact he has to deliver if he is going to keep the only support he has left, that of the downtown business establishment. You can get by on smoke screens only so long before the day of reckoning comes. You do have to produce results. Results have not been produced so far, especially in regard to test scores. I've detailed his additional failures more than once.

A Judas Compa?
Also, it's evident Hinojosa is out of touch with his cultural heritage. Compa is Tex-Mex slang for compadre. As you know, the compadre system in our culture holds a very special place of high regard. Your compadres are your family. By Hinojosa making this remark, it is evident he's no real compadre to anyone. If I were Flores, Viramontes or Torres, I would be worried. If he betrayed some who he calls compas, then he's certainly capable of that type of betrayal again. Maybe he should also remember that oft-repeated passage, "you reap what you sow." You treat people callously, with indifference, in a cold and uncaring manner, and maybe that's exactly how you will be shown to the door before you're thrown out of it. Time will tell for this compa.

Gehrig Saldaña

P.S. Someone might want to ask the superintendent about a conversation he had with some of his compas where he lamented that "Our own are airing our dirty laundry." Looks like that laundry isn't going to get clean any time soon, especially not when derisive remarks are made about compas. Looks like some of his compas are sharing insider conversations. You think maybe his compas are cut from the same cloth, you know, birds of a feather?

Ron Price -DISD Trustee

Something finally got Ron Price's attention at DISD. Thank God. Many people that work in the community have tried to talk with Ron Price about the direction that Dallas public schools are going in. We have said to him that it might be in the best interest of our children to be like San Antonio and have the school district divided into 3 or 4 districts.

When we were no longer the largest minority group, the emphasis changed. We have lost many of the good educators (African American) to suburban school districts and have gotten in educators that are new to teaching, and many are of foreign origin and do not speak English well enough for our children to understand what they are saying. These are not bad people, but our children need special attention too.

Looking at the money that has been dedicated to learning centers was just another move to take dollars from areas that have traditionally helped African
American students and to move the dollars into bi-lingual programs. This board has no interest in keeping to the commitments that were made in the Covenant after convincing a judge to release the DISD from court oversight.

I personally want to thank Trustee Price for speaking the thoughts of many of us in the community that have been working with DISD for decades. I also want to thank him for not buying into the city council Negro philosophy that we are not going to make these people mad by asking questions and asking for accountability.

Thank You Trustee Ron Price.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mayor Tom Leppert meets with NAACP on Black Agenda

Mayor Tom Leppert signed the Black Agenda agreement with the NAACP while running for mayor. He agreed to work with the black community on many issues to strengthen the community through avenues that have been neglected over the years.

Mayor Leppert told the audience that the Trinity River vote was over and we needed to work together, but they have to remember that it was only a plan. That sounded to familiar. Just trust us.

He also said that he wanted to address two issues regarding the Black Agenda, and they were economic development and education. From the economic development area,he said that there must be three aspects(1)progressive philosophy(2)integrity and (3) communication. He also said that none of the initiative were going to be easy to do and(1) we must make investments (buy,subsidize)(2)general investments,(3) economic development that touch people (Starbucks,grocery store) and (4) Dallas more business friendly.

In my mind, this is such a limited view of what is needed in our community, but the mayor did not feel like he really had to answer the tough questions, so he just got up close and friendly.

The mayor also believes that it will take money & willingness to change southern Dallas, and that the Inland Port will only be 25% in Dallas. He talked about the SM Wright Freeway being a parkway and how the value of land would increase. I could not understand how that could happen. While working on The Trinity Vote campaign,I was told that the S M Wright Freeway would be a parkway so that the Toll Road would be able to go over it. I am fully aware of what happened to portions of Park Row and South Blvd. when I45 was put in. Those sections of the streets literally died.

On education, Mayor Leppert talked about his ability to work with the DISD because of his position as mayor, and he thinks that the "Road to Broad" is a good idea. It was no surprise to me that he would be supportive of that initiative because The Broad program advocates that the mayor of the city should control the schools. Mayor Leppert also talked about (1) early childhood reading program,(2) scholarship program for freshmen and sophomores to address the dropout rate,(3) summer jobs program and (4) Paul Quinn and UNT schools.

My biggest surprise of the night was that the mayor came to talk about the signed Black Agenda but did not go into detail about what he has done with each initiative. I did not see him with a copy of the signed document nor did it appear that the NAACP had a copy either. There were no real specific questions of the mayor, it was just like some friendly chat.

That is not what the community need. We need to hold these elected officials accountable. They come into the community when they want a vote and when they win, they just give us any kind of answer. Signing a document means nothing if you do not hold them accountable.

Vern's Reopened

Ms. Suvern Freeman has reopened Vern's Place at 2807 Elm Street with the same home cooked menu. "People are finding me,We need more", she said. Please visit Vern's Place.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Black Panther Party protest at DART

Outside of DART headquarters on Akard Street, The New Black Panther Party had a protest with 15 members. The protest was in response to the killing of 15-year-old Bobby Walker, Jr. on May 6, 2007. Party members were calling for DART police officer Niksha Owens to be fired and brought up on criminal charges.

According to protectors, Walker, who was unarmed, was unnecessarily gunned down by Owens at the Ledbetter DART light-rail station. Currently, Owens is on paid administrative leave.

Party members said they were upset because DART officers had given no official apology to the Walker family.

Where are the three African American DART board members from Dallas (Lynn Flint Shaw, Jerry Christian and Pamela Gates)? They are there for the community? Looks like we are in trouble again......

Monday, November 12, 2007

We Were Not Really for The Trinity Project

Why is Rufus Shaw saying that the Black council members were really not sold on the Trinity Project. Tennell Adkins had several meetings in his District and only presented the views of Vote No. Dwaine (Dewayne/Dwayne) Caraway was a public spokesman for the effort and Carolyn Davis had several meetings in her district. All four Black council members sent out messages to their district to Vote No.

Rev. Freddie Haynes and Friendship West published a brochure that had VOTE NO INFORMATION that was passed out to its membership (I have a copy), and The Friendship West Church sent out workers to work at polling locations for VOTE NO. Rev. Haynes could have privately said he had reservations, but there is absolutely no question of his church's involvement with the VOTE NO campaign.

With all of the forces against the Vote Yes effort, the best the Vote No could do was 53/47 percent win. I think some politicians could be nervous and should be nervous.

If black council members are going to get someone to speak for them, they should get someone with credibility. Rufus Shaw is not the guy.

Dallas City Plan Commission/Deep Ellum Bar

As reported in the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas City Plan Commission has preliminarily approved permits for several Deep Ellum bars, including the Red Blood Club. " They gave us a green light basically , and it's a slam dunk when they gave us the approval because we had no problems there", Mr.Garrett (co-owner) said of the Plan Commission.

There was a fight early Sunday morning and three men were stabbed. The fight, which police said was gang-related, started shortly after 1 a.m. at the Red Blood Club. A man who had just been kicked out of the bar came back with a second man, and they started fighting the employee working the floor.

Plan Commission Did you do the right thing?

Thought of the Week

No person is a friend who demand your silence.

Alice Walker

Veterans Day

Today is set aside for honoring veterans of all wars. These men and women risk their lives so that we can be free in this country. To me this is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed upon a person.

Lets treat them with the respect that they deserve, give them good medical coverage, make sure they are not homeless, treat them for alcohol and drug abuse, and for mental illness. We should not just honor them on this day, but every day.


Friday, November 9, 2007

Black Community Joke

Please give me a break, the people that are writing on Blogs like Michael Davis are a joke. He seems to think that he is the only one that can speak of what has been done in our community. Some of us were working in this community before he was born and others before he got here. I just think that people like him hurt our community. Yes, Sleazy Dwaine Caraway appointed him to the Plan Commission but we better watch what happens. Someone told me that Michael is in the Real Estate business.

UT Southwestern's A List

The Dallas Morning News reports that "UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas keeps a detailed list of wealthy, high-profile and influential people and their family members to ensure that they get favored treatment if they become patients", but Dr. John Mc Connell, executive vice president for health system affairs at the medical center, said people on the list only get a personal greeting when they arrive at the medical center, might get a special escort to their appointment, and sometimes get free parking.

Some of the people on the list are: U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband, State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, State Rep. Tom Craddick and his wife, State Rep. Helen Giddings, Former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Former State Rep. Steve Wolen, Former Mayor Laura Miller,State Sen. Royce West, Roger Stauback, Tom Hicks, Norm Sonju, Chef Dean Fearing, Jim Moroney, Publisher of the Dallas Morning News and family, Bob Mong, editor of The Dallas Morning News, Robert Miller, columnist The Dallas Morning News, Robert Deckard and family, chief executive of The Dallas Morning News,Former Mayor Ron Kirk, Comer Cottrell, founder of Proline, Lonnie Pilgrim, chairman of Pilgram's Pride, Timothy Wallace, chief executive of Trinity Industries, Trammell Crow, developer and Ron Anderson, chief executive Parkland Hospital.

I would think that organizations like UT Southwestern Medical Center would keep list of large donors and influential people for such amenities as free parking, but the question is are they getting preferential treatment on medical appointments. I do not think that would be in the best interest of the community. To me, it is just like people needing organ transplants and the wealthy getting theirs first. Not right. This should not happen and if U.T. Southwestern is giving special consideration for appointments, they should stop the practice immediately.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Southern Sector

What does southern sector mean? What area's are covered? Is it South Dallas, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Duncanville and Lancaster is it just South Dallas, Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove? Where does it start and where does it stop?

We need to start calling the sections of Dallas what they are known as because I think the people in south Dallas and Oak Cliff will be shortchanged in this southern sector terminology. I think it means anything south of the Trinity and that includes the southern suburbs. If that is the case, then maybe those 30,000 jobs that Mayor Leppert talked about will be in the suburban cities.

Let's bury the term Southern Sector.

Rufus Shaw/Dwaine Caraway/Michael Davis

Rufus Shaw writes on Dallas Blog that my actions in the TrinityVote campaign is the reason that Dwaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway helped to remove me from the DART Board. He says that I was lying to the people about having to pay a toll to come out of Oak Cliff. Well, Tennell Adkins made the statement in a meeting that the traffic would be diverted to the toll road to redo 35N in the mixmaster (about 40 people were in the meeting including Dwaine's right hand person Ms. Margaret). Michael Morris from COG said that to do the Pegasus Project in the mixmaster, there would have to be a road for traffic to be diverted to while the work on the mixmaster was taking place and that was the reason that the Trinity Toll Road was important. If the people from Oak Cliff is using that road do you think they will pay a toll? It's a TOLL ROAD and there will be a charge.

Just for Michael Davis's information, I do not live in Glen Oaks. My precinct totals were 168 For and 191 Against. The percentage was about 53 to 47, the same as the outcome of the race. I do not think that we did so bad since we had Congresswoman Johnson, State Senator Royce West, County Commissioner John Wiley Price,the Negro preachers, and all of the Dallas City Council members against us but Angela Hunt. When you speak of something being a joke, you should have something to back that up. I can not ever think of you managing a campaign anywhere, therefore you have no record and are being used as a mouth piece for Dwaine Caraway. I think one of the other bloggers got it right, Kiss Ass.

There was a reason that it took Dwaine Caraway so many runs at the council office to be elected and many people are asking how in the world did it happen this time? They are basing their comments on his reputation, and those of us who have been in Dallas longer than a minute surely know what has been said about him. As as far as him being the Michael Jordan of the South Dallas, that is an absolute insult to Mr. Jordan.

Rufus Shaw has no clout in the black community. He has always attacked people, and that is why no black paper will let him write for them. I hope DallasBlog will catch on to his tricks. He is in with the Leppert (Negro) gatekeepers and his job is to attack.

They do not have to do it to us, We do it to eachother.

Sam Merten at Dallas Blog

I just want to take this opportunity to say that you did a really good job covering the Trinity Project. You gave us the information that the Dallas Morning New and other bloggers would never have shared. What I really liked about your reporting is that you were at some of the debates and could give us firsthand knowledge.

I am also very greatful to Angela Hunt for being a public servant not a politician. She represented the concerns of the people against almost all of the elected officials in the southern sector and ended up with 47% of the vote and I think that is remarkable. One of the things that I most admire about her is she was truthful with the people, unlike Mayor Leppert who would look you in the face and lie.

I joined TrinityVote in September and my job was to help get out the African American vote in Dallas (not just the southern sector), and when you look at the numbers, we prevailed in traditional African American neighborhoods like Arlington Park, Hamilton Park, Lovefield,South Dallas and West Dallas. Some of the people that are reporting that I did such a bad job probably do not know how to get to these areas of town or their history . Some of these so called political consultants speak of the African American community only as Oak Cliff (the Red Bird Area). Now mind you in the Red Bird Area of town, I was told that, you had the preachers at Friendship West, Concord and IBOC who let Tom Leppert come and speak to their congregations and Leppert told them to vote no. Friendship West even had a flyer produced that said why you should vote no and also had vans carrying people to different polling places to push No cards on election day.

I think TrinityVote overall did an excellent job against the odds that were against us and my hope is that this coalition of people will somehow stay together so that we can change Dallas politics to politics of the people.

I do not know the aspirations of Angela Hunt, but I would vote for her as mayor because I trust her.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thought for the Week

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him"

Booker T. Washington

Dallas Morning News Editorial on Trinity Toll Road

"Additional, the movement led by City Council member Angela Hunt exposed legitimate concerns about the challenges of building a road within the river levees. While her group, TrinityVote, came up just short Tuesday, Ms. Hunt and her allies should not be excluded from this process going forward." " Here's how to get started: Give Ms. Hunt a seat at the table. Mayor Tom Leppert excluded the organizer of the toll-road group from council leadership positions and, pointedly, from the Trinity River Committee. Ms. Hunt, however, has immersed herself in the intricate details of this project. And while this newspaper's editorial board disagreed with her position, she's no doubt one of the most knowledgeable city leaders on all things Trinity."

Trinity Vote

TrinityVoteYes lost the election 53 percent to 47 percent. But Gene Rice the engineer leading the US Army Corps of Engineer's flood control project within the Trinity River Corridor, says that his agency has yet to issue any final OK for the road.

I find it really hard to believe that people who call themselves political consultants can talk about how bad the campaign in the south was. Now you know that has to be some uninformed Negro who would do that. Taking a quick look at some key precincts, the vote was about 50/50. Now how could it be a campaign in the south ran so badly when almost every large Negro church Pastor and every Negro elected official except one was on the side of the Toll Road? Are these so called young political consultants our future? If so, Black people we are in trouble!!!!!!

I personally have no apology to the Negro's who would sellout the community for any crumbs they can get, and I do mean crumbs. I am glad that nothing or any decision that I make is based on these so called leaders.

Yes,the DART board position was snatched from me by Dewaine/Dwayne/Dewayne Caraway and others, but thank God for so many people that understand who did it and why.

They do not have to do it to us, we do it to each other.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pastor Zan Wesley Holmes

Pastor Emeritus Zan Holmes is moving his church membership to St. Luke Community United Methodist Church. Thanks be to God.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thought for the Week

Kind Hearts are the gardens
Kind thoughts are the roots
Kind words are the blossoms
Kind deeds are the fruits.

Author Unknown

Trinity Vote Campaign and Laura Miller

I am amazed at the people who are so horrified that Laura Miller is being used in the Vote Yes campaign. They all start out with "I have had my problem with Laura Miller, but I do not think that she should be used in the campaign." It is amazing to me that many of these people say they have been involved in politics all of their lives, but do not have the real grasp of what was voted on in 1998 for the trinity river project. I am now beginning to wonder if they were here in 1998, and if they were, did they vote.

In 1998, Mayor Ron Kirk pushed the Trinity River idea to the community with a promise of economic development in the southern sector (whatever that means). At that time, then council member Laura Miller was against The Trinity River plan and made that known to everyone. In 2003 Mayor Laura Miller worked with consultants and developed the "Balanced Vision Plan for The Trinity River", and that is what we are voting on. This is Laura Miller's Plan. This is Laura Miller's Plan.

I have probably spoken out against Laura Miller more or as many times as most people, but I do not hate Laura Miller, and she knows that. She was the very first person to call me after Mayor Leppert, Dwaine (Dwayne,Dewayne) Caraway, Tennell Adkins,Willis Johnson and Jerry Allen worked to get me thrown off the DART Board so that Lynn Flint Shaw could become the chairman. That call was very special to me, and I told Laura how much her call meant to me. I went on to tell her, that whatever our differences were, I always had her phone number and could meet with her (unlike Tom Leppert) to discuss my concerns.

I was not involved in The TrinityVote campaign early on because as an appointed official you can not be, but I made it clear that I was supportive of the efforts of Councilwoman Hunt, and that the community needed more Public Servants rather than politicians. For those who have dropped out of the campaign, I say thank you.

Remember: They do not have to do it to us, we do it to each other