District 14: Nowlin vies to become 1st gay Dallas council member since Oakley left in 2007

Posted on 20 Jan 2011 at 6:59pm
James Nowlin

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

James Nowlin was the first person to file paperwork designating a campaign treasurer to kick off his run for the District 14 City Council seat in what may become a crowded race if incumbent Angela Hunt decides to run for mayor of Dallas.

Although Hunt has not said for certain that she is running for mayor, Nowlin said this week he believes she will, and so is proceeding with his campaign to replace her in District 14.

“Angela and I started talking more than a year ago about my interest in succeeding her,” Nowlin said. “Angela has made every indication she is running for mayor and we believe her.”

Nowlin grew up in Lynchburg, Va., and moved to Dallas in 2006 after receiving his law degree from Duke University.

“I love living in a city with such energy, drive and passion,” he said of Dallas.

Nowlin pledged to work diligently to represent the LGBT community.

“I will work to pick up every gay trashcan on time and fill every gay pothole on time,” he joked, then promised to do the same for the rest of the district as well.

“Our council needs to reflect the diversity of the entire community,” Nowlin said. “When I take my seat on the council, we will all be standing up. And that includes the LGBT community.”

He said that if an instance arises when leadership at the top is needed to represent someone in his district or a member of the LGBT community citywide, he would be there to respond quickly.

But he added, issues that are of concern to the city as a whole are also often the same issues that matter to LGBT citizens.

“Safety is a very important issue to me,” Nowlin said. “It’s important in Oak Lawn and important across the district.”
Nowlin was Hunt’s appointee to the Citizen’s Police Review Board.

As a councilmember, he said, “I will see to it that our men and women in uniform both in police and fire departments have the resources they need to make sure our district is safe.”

Nowlin said as a councilman he would work on three things — infrastructure, economic development and jobs — and he cited a number of ways the council can make a difference.

He said that when businesses are considering a move to Dallas, their first impression must be good. And since Love Field is in District 14, “Often District 14 is the first thing people see when they visit Dallas,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure it looks good.”

Nowlin also said that he believes support for HIV/AIDS programs is critical.

“We’ve got to support the Resource Center. It’s a resource to our entire city of Dallas,” he said, adding that he serves on the board of another local AIDS service organization, AIDS Services of Dallas.

ASD President and CEO Don Maison called Nowlin a highly energized individual who has worked on Black Tie Dinner and No Tie Dinner, and is good at getting donations.

“He’s been a very good board member,” Maison said. “He participates. He’s active.”

But he’s not just involved raising needed funds for the organization. He’s busy doing whatever needs to be done.

“I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and getting work done,” Nowlin said.

Speaking at a business he called a GOGO — Gay Owned, Gay Operated — he said he was delighted to be talking about his campaign on Martin Luther King’s birthday.

“It’s especially meaningful to me to be interviewed on MLK Day,” he said. “One day this community will be judged by its leadership and its legislators.”

Nowlin met his partner after moving to Dallas four years ago. They started a consulting business together and moved from Oak Lawn to East Dallas.

While his partner prefers to remain out of the spotlight and focus on business, Nowlin proudly talked about his dogs, Cady and Abraham, pointing out they are rescue dogs.

If elected, Nowlin would be the youngest person ever elected to the Dallas City Council. He would be the first member of the LGBT community to sit on the council since Ed Oakley left in 2007.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Jan. 21, 2011.

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