FEEDBACK: Stonewall Dems still relevant

Stonewall Dems still relevant

Stonewall Democrats continues to be an important and relevant voice in the civic life of GLBT Dallas. In fact, most candidates seek out the opportunity to interview and screen with Stonewall in election years.

If Stonewall were irrelevant, as some seem to imply from recent comments via Instant Tea and elsewhere, these candidates would not take the time to seek out the endorsement.

Whenever there is a hotly contested election, invariably one side gets upset and calls the organization “irrelevant.” That is a natural response.

Stonewall Democrats of Dallas has a fair, and open endorsement process, and any member in good standing is welcome to participate in that process.

With that said, however, I think I need to say that we don’t automatically endorse a candidate just because he or she happens to be gay. We consider each candidate in his or her entirety.

We certainly consider whether a candidate is a member of the GLBT community, but that isn’t the only thing we consider when making endorsements.

As a longtime member and former officer of Stonewall, I have seen and participated in many endorsement and candidate screenings over the years. This time it is fair and accurate to say that our Membership and Endorsement Committee was split right down the middle with regard to Angela Hunt and James Nowlin in the race for Dallas City Council District 14.

I couldn’t help but notice what seemed to be a generational divide in this particular race. What I noticed was that younger Stonewall members — under 40 — tended to back Nowlin. Those who are more mature (ok, call us old if you must) Stonewall members — over 40 — tended to back Hunt.

There were exceptions of course. But I think this is, overall, a fair and accurate statement.

While the vote on the Endorsement Committee was razor-thin, at the end of the day Nowlin received the most votes and, hence, he received the Stonewall endorsement. I personally supported Angela Hunt because I think she has done a superb job as a member of the City Council. She does her homework and knows the issues facing this city inside and out.

Another reason I personally chose to back Angela Hunt is because she’s not afraid to buck the establishment when necessary. I think it’s important to have people on the Dallas City Council who are fighters, and won’t just be a rubber stamp.

At the end of the day, Hunt won almost every single precinct in District 14, so the voters not only in the M Streets and Lakewood area, but also in Turtle Creek/Uptown, Oak Lawn, all the way up to Greenway Parks and Bluffview clearly feel like Ms. Hunt is doing a good job representing them.

I applaud Mr. Nowlin’s enthusiasm. He’s a bright and articulate young man, and I think he learned an important lesson by running, namely that it’s difficult to beat a very popular incumbent.

Jay Narey
Dallas

—  John Wright

Reactions to Freedom of Speech Night debate?

There was a huge crowd at Buzzbrews Kitchen on Lemmon Avenue tonight for a debate between Blake Wilkinson and Rick Vanderslice of Queer Liberaction, and Jay Narey and Mike Lo Vuolo, who are board members for Stonewall Democrats but weren’t representing the organization in an official capacity. Because I served as one of the moderators and was to some extent a participant, I’d be interested to hear audience members’ thoughts about how it went. As always, if you choose to comment, please keep it civil.

—  John Wright