Four Dallas City Council seats decided


Cuoncilman-elect Erik Wilson

Four final seats on the Dallas City Council were decided in runoffs tonight.

District 3: Casey Thomas won with 53 percent of the vote. Opponent Joe Tave has Stonewall and DGLA support. Thomas is Vonciel Jones Hill’s handpicked successor. Hopefully he won’t be as completely obnoxious on the council as she has been.

District 7: Tiffinni Young beat Kevin Felder with 55 percent of the vote. Young had DGLA’s support,

District 8: Erik Wilson beat Dianne Gibson with 60 percent of the vote. Wilson will be an LGBT ally on the council.

District 10: Adam McGough is the apparent winner by just 45 votes out of 5965 cast. McGough has DGLA’s support.

They join Gail King Arnold in District 4 and Mark Clayton in District 9, who were elected in the May election.

Council members Scott Griggs, Adam Medrano, Lee Kleinman, Sandy Greyson, Jennifer Gates, Monica Alonzo, Rick Callahan and Philip Kingston were reelected and return for another term.

—  David Taffet

LGBT supporter Claudia Meyer files to run against anti-gay incumbent Hill

Raymond Crawford

Raymond Crawford

Back in October 2011 we reported on the plight of gay residents in the South Oak Cliff neighborhood of Kiestwood.

Kiestwood is currently represented by District 3 Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs, a strong LGBT ally. But in 2011 redistricting placed Griggs in District 1, where he’ll face off against fellow LGBT ally Delia Jasso this May. Meanwhile, the heavily gay Kiestwood remains in the redrawn District 3, where Vonciel Jones Hill is the incumbent.

Hill, the lone sitting member of the Dallas City Council who has refused to appear in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, once explained her boycott of Dallas’ gay Pride celebration as follows: “I believe that all people are loved by God, all people are created equal under God, but there are acts that God does not bless.”

Raymond Crawford, the gay president of the Kiestwood Historical Homeowners Association, warned in 2011 that Hill’s anti-gay views would come back to haunt her.

“The day she [Hill] comes to call to do some door-knocking or to get some votes, whether I’m the president or not, it’s going to be an interesting conversation with Councilmember Hill,” Crawford said then. “She’ll be in trouble in 2013 based on her previous statements.”

Which brings us to last Friday, the filing deadline for May elections, when Crawford sent word that longtime Mountain Creek resident Claudia Meyer is among three candidates challenging Hill.

“Claudia is a good friend of mine and would be a good friend, and solid supporter of the LGBT community at Dallas City Hall,” Crawford wrote.

The other candidates who’ve filed in District 3 are Michael J. Connally and Kermit Mitchell. Below is full press release announcing Meyer’s candidacy.

—  John Wright

UPDATE: Vonciel Jones Hill again snubs the gays, and we’re officially ‘castigating’ her for it

Vonciel Jones Hill

We’ve confirmed with a staff member in Dallas City Councilwoman Angela Hunt’s office who handles the invitations that Vonciel Jones Hill is the only councilmember, other than Mayor Tom Leppert, who doesn’t plan to attend gay Pride this year.

As we reported earlier, Leppert has a “longstanding personal commitment” on the day of the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, but he’s appeared at Pride twice before. Hill, on the other hand, has never appeared in the parade since joining the council in 2007 and has in fact stated that she never will.

No one answered the phone in Hill’s office Monday afternoon, but we’re assuming her reason for not attending the parade hasn’t changed from last year. Here’s what she told us a year ago:

“I won’t be participating [this year], and based on my present beliefs, I won’t be participating in the future,” Hill said. “There’s no reason I should be castigated for that.”

Asked what those beliefs are, Hill said: “I believe that all people are loved by God, all people are created equal under God, but there are acts that God does not bless. It does not mean the person is any less God’s child. I’m entitled to stand for what I believe, and I don’t appreciate anyone castigating me for standing for what I believe.”

Not only does Hill not believe in gay Pride, but she also even refuses to sign the letter from the City Council that appears in the Dallas Tavern Guild’s annual Pride guide, which will be distributed inside this coming Friday’s Dallas Voice. The letter simply congratulates and thanks the Tavern Guild for putting on another successful Pride celebration. The staff member in Hunt’s office said Hill is the only council member who refused to sign the letter.

With a city election in May 2011, we’re hoping this will be Hill’s last chance to totally disrespect her LGBT constituents in District 5.

—  John Wright