LGBT advocates plan to address council Wednesday
Dallas City Secretary Rosa Rios claims scheduling — and not necessarily opposition from Mayor Mike Rawlings — was the main reason an LGBT equality resolution didn’t make it onto this week’s City Council agenda.
As we reported Saturday, Mayor Pro Tem Pauline Medrano — who was acting mayor because Rawlings is overseas — sent Rios a request to place the resolution on the agenda at 3:43 p.m. Friday.
Rios said Medrano’s request didn’t provide enough time to add it to the agenda, which was published later that evening. Even though items can be submitted up to 72 hours before the the 9 a.m. June 12 meeting, Rios said the deadline is usually a week before so there’s time for the planning process.
“There wasn’t sufficient time to be able to coordinate getting it on there,” she said. “The primary reasoning was the scheduling.”
Rios forwarded the request to Rawlings and City Manager Mary Suhm because it came from a council member. When asked why she didn’t honor the request since Rawlings was out of the country and Medrano was acting mayor, Rios said Medrano would only be acting mayor if Rawlings was unable to perform his duties.
“But the mayor was available. He could be consulted by phone, etc. And I know they’ve been doing that throughout the week,” Rios said.
Following procedure, Rios said Suhm and Rawlings would have discussed the request.
Suhm didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.
Medrano said the reason the resolution wasn’t on the agenda was because the city attorney’s office had determined that Rawlings was still able to be reached while on official city business in Brazil. Therefore, she didn’t have the authority as acting mayor to place it on the agenda.
Paula Blackmon, Rawlings’ chief of staff, told us last week that she was not aware of any conversations Rawlings had about Medrano’s effort to place the resolution on the agenda. Blackmon said Monday that she didn’t know if Rawlings and Suhm had spoken.
“I do not have any knowledge of Mayor and Mary Suhm speaking on Friday,” Blackmon wrote in an email. “However the City Attorney has determined that the Mayor Pro Tem does not have ALL of the powers of the mayor just because he is not present in the city. Currently, the mayor is in Brazil acting and serving the capacity of the Mayor Dallas and having two mayors of the City of Dallas is not possible.”
Rawlings has called the resolution a “misuse” of the council’s time and refused to place it on the agenda since Councilwoman Delia Jasso removed her signature from a memo that would have required him to do so. Medrano’s request was a last-ditch effort by supporters to get the resolution on the agenda before a new council is sworn in later this month, and before the Supreme Court rules in two marriage-equality cases.
After a rally downtown this past Saturday, LGBT advocates reportedly plan to address the City Council on Wednesday about the resolution during public comments.
“I need your assistance sending a message to Dallas City Hall that our lives ARE important,” Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox said on Facebook earlier today. “I will be among several speakers Wednesday morning, June 12, to address the Dallas City Council about the recent debacle over LGBT equality resolutions. If you are able to attend, the meeting starts at 9 a.m. at City Hall, and wear red as a show of unity. We need to PACK THE CHAMBERS in red–please share this with your friends.”
Those who want to address the council about the LGBT resolution not making the agenda can do so by registering to speak with the city secretary at 214-670-3738 by 5 p.m. Tuesday.