Voting duties don’t end with presidential race
I was very happy to see the increase in voter turnout for the entire city and especially the LGBT precincts during our recent Democratic Primary election. However, the runoff election turnout was terrible.
During the primary we had more than 30 percent turnout, but in the runoff turnout was only 1 percent.
The antiquated voting rules here in Texas require a runoff election if more than two candidates run for an office and the winner doesn’t have over 50 percent of the vote. The latest example that comes to mind is the election for Tax Assessor-Collector of Dallas County.
The LGBT-friendly — and most qualified — candidate, Diana Lackey, received upward of 36,000 votes more than the next candidate. But she didn’t receive 50 percent of the total votes and had to run again last month in the runoff election.
In the runoff, only 11,000 people voted in her race, and Diana lost the election by 709 votes.
Although most of us in the LGBT community don’t have children, we should still be informed on the Dallas Independent School District board elections coming up on May 10. With dropout rates as high as they are in this city, it is important that we research and elect good school board members, because school dropout rates, and success rates, directly affect those of us without children as well.
Dropout rates lead to more crime, unemployment and many other unpleasant things in our city.
District 8 is a contested race this year. Adam Medrano is running again after serving two years on the school board. He runs two of the recreation centers in the city and is currently involved with children during and after school. His opponent has gone on the record as saying that he only decided to run for the position because he firmly believes that the public should not have time limits while speaking at a school board meeting.
As a community development commissioner for the city, I do believe that time limits should be set for the public to speak at board and commission meetings. A well-prepared speaker can get his or her point across with limited time and can always follow up by writing.
It’s been my experience that public speakers at city council or board meetings who go over their time limits are usually unprepared and most often still haven’t gotten their point across by the time they have finished. Is this a good enough reason to run for public office?
So I strongly urge all of you to research the candidates and cast your vote in the school board election, even if you don’t have children. Because local elections affect all of us just as much as national elections do.
Questioning superdelegate’s thinking
This letter is in regards to the article "Gay superdelegate leaning toward Clinton after Pa. win" (Dallas Voice, April 25).
David Hardt’s comments regarding Obama’s inability to get the support of white, working- class voters are troubling. Hillary Clinton has alienated many in the African-American community. Following Mr. Hardt’s line of thinking, Clinton should not get his (Hardt’s) vote because she has consistently failed to make inroads with blacks, a large part of the Democratic Party.
She hasn’t been able to "close the deal."
Are white, working-class votes considered more valuable than other groups? Is it fair for Obama to be denied the nomination because he can’t win over a group who will never support him because of his skin color?
The gay community should be more sensitive to discrimination of any kind. Would it be right to dismiss a gay candidate because they could not get homophobic people to vote for him or her, no matter how hard they tried to engage that group?
I am not a superdelegate, but if I were, I would vote based on who the best candidate is. In my opinion, it is clearly Obama.
He is ahead in terms of the popular vote and pledged delegates. Obama has energized people of all demographic groups. His message of hope and change might be frightening to those who are clinging to the past, but we as a nation must move forward.
I hope that Mr. Hardt and other superdelegates do what is right, not what is easy.
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These letters appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 2, 2008.