"If They Go Ahead and Create It or If They Don't, It Don't Make No Difference."

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After pestering would-be voters in the West End last week for their opinions on Proposition 1, Megan and Patrick headed over to Fair Park yesterday to see how folks were feeling about the city getting into the convention center hotel business. Patrick's video's here; Megan's wrap-up follows. If nothing else, we'll be done here come day's end, right? No, seriously. Right?

At first we tested the electoral waters in Fair Park, but struck out with folks who don't vote in Dallas for various reasons, among them: They were visitors, non-resident immigrants or felons. So we headed across the street to bug folks filling their gas tanks and driving through McDonald's. Some barely knew about today's vote on the convention center hotel; others did but didn't care; still more knew plenty and were adamantly opposed to it and planned to vote for Proposition 1.

A sampling, then.

"As a black man living in poverty, I don't really observe it," said Herman Smith, who grew up in South Dallas, works in sanitation and said he rarely votes in local elections. "If they do or if they don't, that's just what it is. If they go ahead and create it or if they don't, it don't make no difference."

Vivian Grate, on the other hand, thinks the hotel is a terrible idea. "We have a lot of homeless around here," she said. "I think if we're going to spend money we should do something about that. I'm going to vote yes."

Jerry Smith felt the same way, saying the project would spur growth and jobs but shouldn't be city-owned. However, he wasn't clear about which way to vote on Proposition 1. After we explained the language of the proposition, he said he'd vote yes.

"If it's privately owned, we'd get jobs," he said, "But if it's taxpayer-owned, we'd lose out in the end."

A middle-aged woman named Inez was crystal-clear not only about her position on the hotel, but on the proposition and how she'll vote. "I'm going to vote yes," she said as she filled her gas tank. "I own property, and I don't want my taxes to go up. If it wasn't tax-built I could see it because it would create jobs, but taxpayer-owned? No."

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