Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Young Democrats Meeting with Texas Dem Party Chair Charles Soechting

The highlights of this meeting included:
- information about a new anti-animal cruelty bill that the Young Dems are endorsing, and which I think would be worth following.
- Dallas Constable Mike DuPree of Constable Precinct 5.
- a discussion with Beth Ann Blackwood, sponsor of Proposition 1, the so-called "Strong Mayor" amendment to the Dallas City Charter
- and, of course, Texas Democratic Party Chair Soechting.

1) The animal cruelty bill is HB 326 / SB 172. Apparently there's a loophole in the law that allows people to be cruel to animals that don't belong to them and this bill would close it. I think this one is worth following and getting feedback to the Lege about.

2) Constable DuPree told us about a very interesting program he's working on called "Police and Constables in Partnership" which is designed to reduce crime in his precinct, and has done so well it's attracted national attention. Constables, apparently, serve warrants and suchlike, and by working in conjunction with the DPD, they can take some of the load off of them and thereby get more work done. Good news and good job!

3) Beth Ann Blackwood gave a good pitch for Proposition 1, her "Blackwood" proposal, which is a revision to the Dallas city charter to change our form of management from Council-Manager to Strong Mayor. I don't think she convinced anybody. The room got rather frosty when someone asked about the pedigree of the financial backers of the proposition. Some of them have also supported the infamous "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." Ms. Blackwood rather disingenuously claimed that her backers were all owners of businesses in the city and thereby were motivated by "what's good for Dallas." I'm sure that Sharon Boyd of would have jumped on that and pointed out that they mostly, in fact, LIVE in Highland Park.

4) And, finally, Charles Soechting spoke about the future of the TDP. He seems to really want to support the local clubs and county parties, and offered to get Al Sharpton up to Dallas to do a fundraiser. Oh, and by the way, John Edwards will be coming to Houston for a fundraiser on April 27th. Woohoo! I might go... hmm....

As far as the state Lege, the Dems have been doing pretty poorly Every year we've been losing seats. This year, that trend stopped. Hopefully in 2006 we'll be able to reverse it.

With regards to the role of the national party vs. the state parties, Chair Soechting had written a pretty scathing letter before the election about the national party, in which he pointed out that all the DNC ever did for us was to come down here, fundraise, suck money out of the state, and then return home. He sounded much more positive tonight. He thinks that'll change under Howard Dean, and that they'll be funding three positions for the state parties. Now THAT sounds great!

He didn't have any comments on the DCDP situation, nor was Chair Susan Hays present, although the "Opposition Party" was out in force. Since the Young Dems actually sponsored the resolution to the Club Council which called for the Executive Committee meeting, I think I'm pretty safe in concluding that the Opposition Party is based in the Young Dems club in Dallas.

Which makes Chair Soechting's decision to visit this club, at this time, particularly interesting. Hmmm.....


Blogger Erik Mann said...

I was searching for blogs that had Dallas, TX in them and came across yours. I live in Dallas and have a self defense school. I like the posts on your blog, so I've bookmarked it to stop back by periodically. Take care.

11:23 AM  

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