Dallas City Council bans sex in the city

Council Vote

Dallas City Council vote tally per Fox 4’s Lori Brown

The Dallas City Council voted to keep the Kay Bailey Hutchison center pure and chaste by banning the porn expo eXXXotica from the booking at the city-owned facility.

The mayor and seven councilmen — McGough, Arnold, Thomas, Wilson, Gates, Callahan and Young — voted for the ban. The three amigos — Medrano, Kingston and Griggs — led the group of seven — Alonzo, Clayton, Greyson and Kleinman — opposing the ban on sex in the Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Councilman Scott Griggs posted on his Facebook page:

Exxxotica ban from City of Dallas facilities in an 8 – 7 vote. Although 15 voted today, a Federal Judge will be the 16th and final vote. The Mayor’s statements about the First Amendment and DPD vice data showing no crimes committed at last year’s event and no associated increase in crime from the event will be used against the City of Dallas.

The 16th vote will settle this matter in Federal Court at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Dallas taxpayers.

Councilman Philip Kingston noted that if the city doesn’t want to book controversial conventions in the Dallas Convention Center, we should get out of the money-losing convention business. It’s unlikely the council will debate gun shows in the Kay Bailey that take place regularly. Or gatherings of right-wing religious extremists like the TD Jakes event that happened last year.

—  David Taffet

Early voting begins today

vote-buttonEarly voting in the May runoff from the March primary begins Monday, May 19. If no candidate received 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the top two candidates face each other in the runoff.

Stonewall Democrats endorsed in the following runoff races:

  • U.S. Senate: David M. Alameel
  • Dallas County District Clerk: Felicia Pitre
  • Dallas County Treasurer: Pauline Medrano
  • State Rep. House District 105: Susan Motley
  • State Board Of Education, District 13: Erika Beltran
  • Justice Of The Peace, Pct. 4, Place 2: Katy Hubener
  • Justice Of The Peace, Pct. 5, Place 1: Sara Martinez
  • Constable, Precinct 5: Beth Villarreal


In the U.S. Senate race, David Alameel faces Keisha Rodgers. The Texas Democratic Party put out a warning on Rodgers because her main platform item is impeaching President Obama.

Despite a number of calls to the Alameel campaign and assurances from the campaign that he supports LGBT equality and would add it to his website, nothing on his website indicates any support for LGBT issues. When he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, he didn’t appear at the Stonewall Democrats candidate forum and didn’t return a Dallas Voice questionnaire. Rep. Marc Veasey won that race. He also sent anyone to represent him at Stonewall endorsements earlier this year.

However, Alameel is scheduled to appear at Tuesday’s Stonewall meeting. Other candidates expected to appear are Medrano, Beltran, Hubener, Martinez and Villareal.

Stonewall Democrats meeting takes place at Ojeda’s, 4617 Maple Ave. on May 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Early voting takes place May 19–23, 7 a.m.–7 p.m.

There is no voting location in Oak Lawn. The Grauwyler Library on Gilford Street location is the closest. It was moved from Grauwyler Recreation Center. The library is located off Harry Hines Boulevard in the same park as the recreation center.

Also close to Oak Lawn is the Records Building in Downtown Dallas. Meter fees are suspended outside the Records Building during early voting.

Early voting locations:

  • Bethany Lutheran Church, 10101 Walnut Hill Lane
  • Crosswinds High School, 1100 N Carrier Pkwy., Grand Prairie
  • DeSoto Town Center Library, 211 E Pleasant Run Road, Desoto
  • Duncanville Library, 201 James Collins Blvd., Duncanville
  • Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus, 802 S Buckner Blvd.
  • El Centro College-West Campus, 3330 N Hampton Road
  • Fretz Park Library, 6990 Belt Line Road
  • Grauwyler Park Library, 2146 Gilford St. (NOTE: moved from Grauwyler Park Recreation Center)
  • Irving City Hall, 825 W Irving Blvd., Irving
  • Josey Ranch Library, 1700 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton
  • Lakeside Activity Center, 101 Holley Park Dr., Mesquite
  • Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library, 1600 Veterans Memorial Pkwy., Lancaster
  • Lochwood Library, 11221 Lochwood Blvd.
  • Marsh Lane Baptist Church, 10716 Marsh Lane
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Core Bldg., 2922 MLK Blvd.
  • Martin Weiss Recreation Center., 1111 Martindell Ave.
  • Oak Cliff Sub-Courthouse, 410 S Beckley Ave.
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 7611 Park Lane
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Library, 2008 E Kiest Blvd.
  • Records Building (Main Location), 509 Main St.
  • Richardson Civic Center, 411 W Arapaho Road, Richardson
  • Richland College-Garland Campus, 675 W Walnut St., Garland
  • Rowlett City Hall Annex, 4004 Main St., Rowlett
  • Samuell Grand Rec. Center, 6200 East Grand Ave.
  • Valley Ranch Library, 401 Cimarron Trail, Irving


On Election Day, May 27, voters may cast a ballot only at their local precinct.

—  David Taffet

City unveils planned Cedar Springs improvements

Hunt, Medrano present plan to Merchants Association; will include new crosswalk lights, red lights


GETTING THE SIGNAL | A pedestrian runs to avoid traffic as he crosses Cedar Springs Road at Knight Street on Thursday, Jan. 12. The intersection will get a traffic signal under a pedestrian safety plan unveiled by the city this week. (John Wright/Dallas Voice)


JOHN WRIGHT  |  Senior Political Writer

In the wake of two pedestrian fatalities on the Cedar Springs strip in November, Dallas officials have unveiled a host of planned safety improvements ranging from crosswalk lights to a new traffic signal to, eventually, the possibility of narrowing the street to two lanes.

Dallas City Council members Angela Hunt and Pauline Medrano, along with city staff, unveiled the changes during a closed-door meeting at the Round-Up Saloon on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 12, with representatives from the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, the Dallas Tavern Guild and other community groups.

The city’s Cedar Springs pedestrian safety plan calls for new flashing lights at crosswalks on Cedar Springs by the end of this month. A new traffic signal at Knight Street — where one of the pedestrians was killed — is scheduled to be installed by June.

“They did come with concrete solutions and things that they’re starting immediately, which is pretty exciting,” Merchants Association Executive Director Scott Whittall said after the meeting. “This is a big deal, and we’re excited about it. It’s a situation where we’re taking something unfortunate and we’re going to get as much out of it as we can to improve the street.”

Hunt said prior to Thursday’s meeting that the improvements have already begun with the recent addition of three streetlights on Cedar Springs.

“I think it’s pretty aggressive,” Hunt said of the plan, “which it needs to be, given the fatalities and accidents we’ve had there.”

In addition to the two fatalities in November, two pedestrians were seriously injured when they were struck on Cedar Springs in December.

Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, said the pedestrian safety plan represents “some great work from the city and those in attendance were most impressed with the ideas.”

“We had a great turn-out,” Doughman said. “Some ideas may need some tweaking but generally speaking, it was very well received. We will be doing an education campaign soon that we will ask the Dallas Voice to participate in. This will include pedestrian safety rules as well as driver safety issues.”


Scott Whittall

According to a copy of the plan provided by Doughman, yellow warning flashers will be installed in both directions at four crosswalks on Cedar Springs, near Knight Street and Reagan Street. The two Reagan street crosswalks will remain in their current locations. The existing crosswalk at Knight Street will be moved to the south in front of Bank of America, while a crosswalk will be added between ilume and the city library.

Whittall said the flashing crosswalk lights will be at motorists’ eye level — and will be similar to the ones in place where Knox Street crosses the Katy Trail a few miles away. For the first 30 days, the crosswalk lights will flash around the clock, but after that pedestrians will have to activate them.

The city will also install a traffic signal at Cedar Springs and Knight Street by June, and begin an engineering study Feb. 1 to determine whether a traffic signal is warranted at Reagan Street. Also by June, the city will remove the right turn lane and island on the southeast corner of Cedar Springs and Douglas Avenue.

Other possible additions to the plan include banning left turns onto Cedar Springs from Reagan Street eastbound.

According to the plan, police have already increased traffic enforcement in the area, and Whittall said the Merchants Association has signed off on issuing jaywalking citations once the crosswalk improvements are in place.

“If we’re going to provide you with multiple safe crosswalk areas, they need to be utilized,” Whittall said. “You put your life at risk in an entertainment district if you try to cross somewhere that is not marked.”

Long term, the pedestrian safety plan calls for a “complete street” assessment of Cedar Springs, which could include revising the width of the street and reconfiguring lanes over the next three to five years.

“We’ve been harping and harping and harping on going to two lanes for a long time,” Whittall said. “Anything that would increase foot traffic on Cedar Springs and decrease traffic speed on Cedar Springs, we’re all for.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 13, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Candidate forums set for Saturday, Monday

Damien Duckett

As we noted in today’s cover story, candidates for Dallas mayor and City Council will attend a forum Saturday hosted by the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s Political Action Committee. The forum begins at 2 p.m. at Kiest Park Recreation Center, 3080 S. Hampton Road, and it will follow an open question-and-answer format.

The three major mayoral candidates — David Kunkle, Mike Rawlings and Ron Natinsky — all plan to attend the DGLA forum. Damien Duckett, chairman of the DGLA PAC, said other City Council candidates who are scheduled to attend include Casie Pierce, Pauline Medrano, Billy MacLeod, Luis Sepulveda, James Nowlin, Cynthia Durbin, Scott Griggs, Dave Neumann, Angela Hunt, Jerry Allen and Sheffie Kadane.

• The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League will host a political forum Monday evening, and District 3 City Council candidates Scott Griggs and Dave Neumann both reportedly plan to attend. OOCCL President Michael Amonett said each will have 40 minutes for questions and answers with the voters and the League.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Avalon at Kessler Park, 2522 Fort Worth Ave. (Avalon is next to the Fort Worth Avenue Home Depot.)

—  David Taffet