Last week, Robert passed along the news that omnipresent North Oak Cliff lawyer and activist Scott Griggs would be stepping up to challenge Dave Neumann for his city council seat in District 3 -- but Griggs waited till today, on the afternoon of his 36th birthday, to make it official.
With nothing but an Aldi construction site between him and Cliff Manor -- the site of his much-publicized showdown against Neumann a few months back -- Griggs spoke repeatedly about how his platform of trust contrasted with Neumann's record at City Hall. "I am trustworthy and progressive on these issues of open government, urbanism and fiscal responsibility, Griggs said, while "the incumbent will not level with people on the tough issues and tell us the truth."
Griggs specifically mentioned his work with other activists -- to secure money to return streetcars to Oak Cliff, and help creating the Fort Worth Avenue Tax Increment Finance District. He left out any specific mention of Cliff Manor, where so far 38 formerly homeless people have moved in from The Bridge, on the way to a total of 50 expected by the end of the year.
After his five-minute speech, Griggs told Unfair Park that Neumann's handling of a pair of applications to drill for natural gas on land leased from the city would be coming up again in his campaign. "Safety's a critical issue these days, and that doesn't just mean police and fire," Griggs said -- he said his priorities included protecting the Trinity River levees and guarding against "man-made disasters" like environmental fallout from natural gas drilling.
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A crowd of about two dozen supporters -- a few of the usual suspects from the goats 'n' gardens crowd among them -- turned out for Griggs's speech along Fort Worth Avenue, and BFOC guerilla leader Jason Roberts rolled up just afterward. "It's really exciting to see someone from this 2.0 generation stepping up," Roberts told us, saying he expected Griggs would make quality of life issues a priority at City Hall. "Angela Hunt is sort of the first of that generation," he said. "If you focus on quality of life, the business will come."