Oak Lawn not safe, despite stats
RE: "Crime drops 16% near Cedar Springs," Dallas Voice, Jan. 16.

I seriously think that crime in the area is being underreported. I was robbed at gunpoint leaving TMC on Jan 11. Even though I called the police immediately following the incident, I am still waiting for the detective to call me back to do a formal police report. I know that the robber used my credit card at the 7-Eleven on Oak Lawn, but as far as I know the police have not contacted the owner to review any surveillance footage that could help them catch this guy.

I understand your data is from 2008 and does not take January into account, but it is extremely dangerous to downplay the amount of crime around the bars. People need to be aware that this is going on and they need to be more vigilant when they leave the bars.

Jorge Esteban

Don’t need help from Log Cabin, Stonewall

This letter is in response to recent letters from people in both political parties.

First I would like to respond to the letter by Rob Schlein, president of the Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas ("Log Cabin will hold Obama responsible," Dallas Voice, Jan. 2). In his letter, Mr. Schlein had the nerve to say he will hold Barack Obama responsible for gay issues after he and his group of hypocrites sat back for the past eight years while their party did everything they could to strip us of our rights. Gay Republicans always use the excuse that being gay doesn’t define them when it is their own party that makes an issue of it.

The truth is Barack Obama is the most gay-friendly president we have ever had. He has stood up in church and denounced homophobia, and for the first time, gay people were involved in an inauguration.

Log Cabin Republicans will say anything to excuse the fact that their party has created an atmosphere of hate towards us in this country. Mr. Schlein is the one who will be held accountable.

I also take issue with Jesse Garcia and the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas. Last spring I went to a town hall meeting held by both Democratic candidates (Obama and Hillary Clinton). Jesse Garcia immediately attacked Obama’s campaign before even hearing what they had to say. The Stonewall Democrats shunned anyone who dared to support Obama during the primary, dividing the party when they should have been uniting us. They tried to take credit when Clinton won the Texas Primary, then became silent when Obama won more Texas delegates.

Only when it became clear that Obama would win the nomination did Stonewall Democrats decide to support him.

The bottom line is, I don’t need any political group telling me who to support. I am capable of deciding that for myself. These groups should follow President Obama’s lead and start uniting us instead of dividing us.

Jim Mitchell

A call to action: Gay rights now!
Fellow activists, brothers and sisters, LGBT community:

Robin Tyler — a veteran gay rights activist, lesbian organizer and one of the leaders of all four past national gay rights marches on Washington —hit the nail right on the head when she said recently that it is time for another national gay march on Washington.

She issued a call for it. Are we going to respond?

The question is, when will it be? What will the focus be? And who is going to start doing the organizing to get it underway? It won’t be an easy task, and it will require everyone doing their part. But we can turn out millions of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders — and show the nation that we deserve our rights — all of them — and we deserve them now.

As Tyler points out, the past experience gained in all four previous national gay rights marches has shown that only one year of planning and organizing is not enough. Even two or three years of lead time wouldn’t be too much.

When do we have it? It is an appealing idea to have it on a symbolic date — such as the Fourth of July. But on the other hand, it is essential to have it when Congress is in session so we can lobby the hell out of our legislators face to face.

This year is definitely too soon. There isn’t enough time to get it organized. It is tempting to aim for 2010 when congressional elections are coming up. But a year and a half may not be enough time either.

That leaves the distant but extremely tempting year of 2012, with the presidential primaries in the spring and the congressional elections in November when all seats in the U.S. House and about half those in the Senate and in governors’ mansions around the country will be facing elections. And of course, there will be the Democratic and Republican national conventions in August and September.

I know, 3 years seems like a long time to wait. But the steering committee will just have to get as much input as possible from everyone about all the decisions and possible dates and then make the best choice they can.

To start things off, I have $10,000 in the bank, and I am just itching to donate it as seed money the minute a central steering committee coalesces. And as soon as they decide on a definite date and a definite focus, I have $500,000 more — that’s right, a cool half-million; that’s how important I think this is — ready to donate as well.

As for focus, my own view is that it would be best to be broad and encompassing instead of just aiming at one issue like same-sex marriage or "Don’t ask, don’t tell." I say let’s demand all our rights, right now. But the central organizing committee would be the ones to make that decision.

I hope to see a lot of public response to this letter coming from all points of view — from veterans of previous national gay rights marches and also from new, young activists freshly empowered and galvanized by the success of Proposition 8 in California.

In closing, let me say again I think our energy, our focus and our money would be best used in a unified effort, a national march on Washington instead of on smaller marches in individual states or cities. I am ready for the struggle ahead, and I am ready for a national march. Are you?

Jim Dobkins

To send a letter
We welcome letters from readers. Shorter letters are more likely to be printed, as are those that address only a single topic. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity, but we attempt to maintain the writer’s substance and tone. Include your home address and a daytime phone number for verification. Send letters to the senior editor, preferably by e-mail (editor@dallasvoice.com). Letters also may be faxed (214-969-7271) or mailed (Dallas Voice, 4145 Travis St., Third Floor, Dallas, TX 72504).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 23, 2009.

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