Friday, June 25, 2021

Ed Gray, NDG Senior Columnist: Decision time for the 2019 Dallas Mayoral Race

Dallas voters will have the final say in the Dallas Mayor race on June 8. The runoff election features Rep. Eric Johnson vs. Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs (Courtesy photos via Facebook and website)

Straight Talk with Ed Gray, NDG Senior Columnist

The Dallas Mayoral runoff election of June 8  offers us a choice between State Representative Eric Johnson and City Councilman Scott Griggs. I give no endorsement but offer common sense. In the African American community, it appears  Eric Johnson has strong support in the community, however, will African-Americans confirm their support at the ballot box?

Representative Johnson offers his experience as a State Representative to enhance Dallas.  City Councilman Scott Griggs, likewise, offers his experience as a Dallas Councilman as a reason to vote for him. Frankly, this election is a tossup.

In an unusual switch, the black candidate is the establishment candidate, and the white candidate is the outsider. Have black politicians finally arrived? There is no doubting Representative Johnson is qualified. However, the question is not Johnson’s qualifications, but rather can the black community receive increased economic parity with the election of an African-American mayor?

This is not about white or black, it’s about green. Whoever is elected, and yes the winner will come from the south of Trinity River, he must address the economic disparities separating north Dallas from south Dallas.  Despite the election of any of these candidates, they must overcome the political culture that has left Southern Dallas relegated to a colonial outpost for the North Dallas political power structure.

We must look at gentrification, as the way developers seize cheap land of the colonized people of the “southern sector.” Keep in mind colonies have two things that lead to their economic oppression, cheap land, and an exploitable workforce.

One election cannot remake Dallas, it does not matter, whether Scott Griggs or Eric Johnson is elected. If you have no grocery stores because you live in a food desert, or there is no adequate public transportation to get to the jobs outside of your neighborhood, then this election may not be for you and more likely you will stay home.

Symbolism, whether someone is black, or comes from the southern sector, just won’t do for me. Because at the end of the day, if you lost your home to gentrification, or if there is no food in your part of the desert, this election is merely window dressing. Window dressing on a home that is no longer affordable.

These are the issues  Dallas needs to address for the long term and that’s Straight Talk.

Ed Gray is a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University. He is the host of The Commish Radio Show airing Saturdays 3-5 p.m. on FBRN.net, can be reached at eegray62@att.net. NDG was awarded NNPA’s 2018 Robert S. Abbott Best Editorial for Gray’s “Confederate Statues: The White Man’s Burden” column.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Certainly the status quo will be maintained with a democrat mayor, it remains to be seen how smart Griggs is when, at the crossroads, he will have to choose his way !

  2. There is no diff between an African American or a Caucasian, or any other race for that matter, doing the establishment’s bidding. Dallas needs a new kind of Mayor, a people’s Mayor, who will focus on the concerns of the Dallasites, and not on grand schemes for their own legacy, or only work for the 1%. #VoteScottGriggs

  3. Both mayoral candidates are good and honorable leaders. The difference is who their supporters are. The preponderance of Trinity Toll Road supporters behind Johnson frightens me. I have told him that. He assures me that their support will not change him. If he wins, I hope he is right. Dallas has many needs that were ignored as we built projects like the Trinity Forest Golf Course. We do not need any more of that until after food deserts, streets, and sidewalks everywhere are fixed!!

    It is comforting to see that Griggs has hundreds of more donors such as I, only able to give in that $100 or less category. Griggs has ten times the donors in that category as Johnson. It is much easier to identify with Griggs. He helped us stop the Trinity Toll Road waste, but not before hundreds of millions had been lost on the watch of those supporting Johnson.

    These contrasts make my decision easy. I just hope Dallas agrees with me. If Johnson wins, I hope he sticks by his statement to me, and one I have often heard him repeat in public, that he will not allow his supporters to control him.

    Both of them have told me they will join with me to make Dallas ISD and our city to be more goal focused and aware of both our future and our roots. Goal focused city populations have less crime and more achievement. The proof is seen every day. Our understaffed police department needs all the help they can get!

  4. This city cant afford to have the same people navigate city hall It needs a new leadership and Scott Griggs will do that. No more waste – no more secret meetings. We need a new kind of mayor

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