Mayor Mike Rawlings read a proclamation at noon today (Wednesday, June 15) declaring June to be LGBT Pride Month in Dallas. He also announced that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has pledged $1 million toward Oak Lawn safety.
The proclamation recognizes the strides that have been made in the LGBT community, mentioning the Lawrence v. Texas decision that declared the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional in 2003, and the marriage equality ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. But it also acknowledged that more work needs to be done in light of the June 12 Orlando massacre. Jalinzski Brown from United Black Ellument accepted the proclamation on behalf of the community.
“This was supposed to be an up celebration,” Rawlings said before describing how the Orlando massacre affected him personally, calling Orlando a neighbor and saying he wakes up in fear something similar could happen here.
“We’ve got to do better,” he said.
Rawlings announced that Cuban called him on Sunday and pledged $1 million that will be used toward overtime pay for police officers. That will pay for about 16,000 hours of overtime pay that DPD will devote to counter-terrorism efforts in Oak Lawn. He said Cuban asked him to relay the message that he’s proud to help.
Cuban didn’t attend the City Hall event because he is in Los Angeles filming Shark Tank.
The Pride at City Hall event was planned several months ago by the Mayor’s LGBT Task Force. Councilman Adam Medrano, who heads the task force, recognized a number of people for their contributions to the city.
Omar Narvaez, Sr. Cpl. Brittani Pilcik and Jesse Vallejo read the names of the Orlando massacre victims.
The Task Force awarded Special Recognition to Dallas Black Pride for its June Pride event that takes place this weekend. Kirk Myers of Abounding Prosperity accepted the award from Councilwoman Tiffanni Young.
The Ally Award went to the city council and mayor. All were in attendance to accept the recognition for voting 15-0 to clarify wording in city ordinances.
The Community Award went to the DFW Sisters. Medrano mentioned their work to distribute whistles throughout the community as a way of calling for help if attacked or in a dangerous situation. The group works diligently to raise money to distribute through the community whenever it’s needed.
The Leadership Award went to Take Back Oak Lawn. Burke Burnett and Michael Dominguez, two of the founders of the group, also created SOS, the survivors support group. John Anderson has been reporting street lights that are out. Alexandre’s owner Lee Daugherty has been at the forefront of boosting security at the bars. Daniel Cates organized the rally and march for Orlando this weekend and other rallies in support of attack survivors. Medrano called him the group’s loudmouth. Organizer Cannon Brown and Resource Center’s Rafael McDonnell were also recognized for their work with Take Back Oak Lawn.