By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
I have but one thing to say about Laura Miller's quest to join the City Council: You go girl!
I think it's wonderful that you are willing to make the sacrifices--personal, professional, and financial--that it will take to run for the council. I've read your work for years. Most of the time I agree with you. Sometimes I don't. Regardless of your--or my--take on an issue, I have always found you to write with intelligence, wit, and a passion for fairness. We need people like you on the city council. (What a pity voters can't switch residences like recent candidates have...I'd "move" from East Dallas to your district to vote for you in a heartbeat.) I hope you win, and what's more, I hope you can effect the kinds of changes that need to happen in our government, this time from within.
I only have one caveat for you: Your biggest challenge may not be getting elected, or even being an agent for change. It may well be trying to keep from being infected by the intoxication of political power. Your ongoing crusade over Arenagate is a priceless contribution to the city. It is only because of your work that many in Dallas (including me) are aware of the shenanigans going on in this project. I regret that you won't be able to write more on this. We need your voice of reason, but in a way, we may need you more working to change the council as one of the insiders.
Godspeed, and may you be as effective a candidate (and a council member) as you have been a journalist.
Oh, where to begin. Laura Miller's most recent episode of "dear diary" is fraught with opportunities to grill the erstwhile city council gadfly/columnist in a fashion to which she will have to become accustomed.
The first thing that comes to my mind is Ms. Miller's response to being on the other side of the coin, should she win the election. For example, what will her reaction be to the new city council beat reporter showing up at her doorstep at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night demanding information on some innocuous piece of bullshit the reporter considers newsworthy? While this scenario provides much fodder for biting humor, there is something much more serious that should be considered. How effective can Laura Miller really expect to be as a council member? What happens when she realizes how difficult it is to be a council member that hasn't lost her "ghetto status?" I doubt she will be any better received by the council and mayor than Pat Buchanan was by his peers. It takes a lot more skill and talent to lead than it does to point out problems with public policy. And "perpetual outrage" can only get you so far before the people get bored. Just ask John Wiley Price.
Not a year ago, she wrote at great length about her decision to go on hiatus to get "caught up" with her children. She stated that she would be gone for at least a year (as if that's as long as it takes to get caught up with your children). Well, we've all seen how long that commitment lasted. And those were her children.
Ms. Miller would be well advised to check her motivation and goals before placing her hat into this particular ring. Her constituency, not unlike her children, needs someone who can commit for more than 10 months to a particular "instinct." (God knows she can't commit to a story long enough to file a public records request.) The public deserves someone who has loftier goals than to "get even" for perceived wrongs against her.
How quickly she forgets that public office shouldn't be used for one's private agenda. She states, ironically, at the end of the article that she sounds "an awful lot like a politician." Well, this town needs another politician like it needs another arena.
Kristen L. Schnellenbach
You go! I suspected we'd all be better off if we could swap this new arena for more bronze cows, but I had no idea things were this grim. I think all it would take to kill stuff like this is to shine some light on it and watch it shrivel up.