Dallas City Council member Philip Kingston is back at it. In an attempt to build on the anti-Trinity toll road council coalition, Kingston is violating a longstanding council tradition and openly campaigning against one of his fellow sitting council members.
Kingston's target is District 6 council representative and Mayor Pro Tem Monica Alonzo. Alonzo will seek her fourth term representing her West Dallas district in May.
On Dec. 11, Omar Narvaez, an at-large trustee on the Dallas County School Board, announced that he was going to take on Alonzo. Within hours, Kingston announced his support of Narvaez campaign in unequivocal terms on Facebook.
"Under Monica Alonzo's leadership and that of her predecessors who hand-picked her and put her there, District 6 has become the district of the damned," Kingston says. "You can tell that the people are suffering from poor representation and concentrated poverty because they are disillusioned and fail to even turn out to vote. Omar will change that. He will be pro-neighborhood. He will defend the interests of the people of District 6 against those who would abuse them. He just gets it."
Alonzo represents some of Dallas' poorest areas, but critics accuse her of being tone deaf by voting against a plan to ban source-of-income discrimination in the city for those trying to rent apartments or houses with Section 8 housing vouchers and a charter school that enjoyed wide support from her own constituents.
Alonzo didn't respond to a request to be interviewed for this story.
"Seeing the neighborhoods in District 6 that have so much potential and the ability to thrive and grow, and unfortunately that's not what our current representative is doing for our neighborhood and for our people," Narvaez says. "They need an advocate, and they've asked me to be that advocate, that champion for them at City Hall."
While he didn't get into many specifics about what policies he would push for his district or the city as a whole, Narvaez did confirm that he would be another vote against any road through the Trinity Park. "I can absolutely tell you that I'm opposed to any road being built through the Trinity Park. We've got a lot of time to talk about other issues, but definitely, that's something I'm against," Narvaez says.
The anti-toll coalition currently sits at somewhere between five and seven members depending on how one counts the votes.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.