What Wednesday’s Vote Means for Dallas, the Shale, and the Rest of the Universe

Dallas and the UniverseWednesday's vote on the Trinity East permits was not only an historic one. It's a long overdue turning point.

The bloody knuckle political fight over urban gas drilling in Dallas in 2013 is the fight local environmentalists owed Fort Worth in 2006.  Our collective failure in Cowtown gave the gas industry a too-friendly template for every other DFW city that's come after Fort Worth's gas rush.

Wednesday that template got tossed. A clearly frustrated Trinity East lobbyist complained that the company wouldn't even have had to participate in a Council hearing like this one if the same permits were being sought in Fort Worth. Welcome to Big D.

We can't undo old wrongs, but we can start changing the pattern of behavior that keeps churning out new ones. Wednesday's vote by the Dallas City Council was, by far, the highest-profile rebuke of the gas industry in a region it thinks its owns lock, stock and barrel. As he Dallas Morning News put it, "the defeat could be the death knell for natural gas drilling in a city known around the world for its ties to the petroleum industry." Politically, we aren't in Fort Worth anymore.

So what else is new after yesterday? From micro to macro:

From just a basic civics perspective, it's hard not to be impressed with the job that residents did in mobilizing themselves into a persistent and contentious force for change. This wasn't just an environmental victory. It was a victory for grassroots organizing. Residents had to fight not only the gas industry, but Dallas City Hall staff and the Mayor, who were all doing their best to rig the process in Trinity East's favor. Moreover, they had to fight on multiple fronts at the same time, both within the regulatory process to deny the permits outright, and in the Spring's city council elections to make sure they had the votes once the permits got to the horseshoe on Marilla. And oh yeah, they've had to put together and lobby for the toughest regulations to be included in a new ordinance being written, also at the same time.

That said, the last nine months have seen the biggest show of green political muscle in the city's history. If you total up the numbers of people involved, throw in a scandalous secret memo that brings down a City Manager, add triumphs in half the council elections you enter, and pile on winning-over the local conservative daily newspaper, then there's just no comparison. The momentum carried into Wednesday's meeting when opponents got two more votes than the four that were needed to block the permits, for a total of six. That's a far cry from the two or three everyone was sure about when this started last winter. We've seen the Dallas environmental movement grow up right before our eyes into something nobody, including environmentalists, thought it was capable of being when this started.

The fruit of this new growth was on display at City Hall (Coverge from the DMN, KERA, CultureMap and the Observer). There's no precedent for the kind of coalition that turned-out, except maybe the anti-Trinity Tollroad coalition that almost upended the Citizens Council's plans for solar-powered water taxis and riverside freeways in the 1990's. There were West Dallas residents from La Bajada, Oak Cliff dwellers, North and East Dallas homeowners association presidents, Students, teachers, professionals, gas lease owners, environmentalists, neighborhood activists, an Irving city council member, young mothers, young grandmothers and everything in between. Reflecting this diversity was a Council coalition that included both Hispanic Council members, Adam Medrano and Monica Alonzo, African-American Carolyn Davis, newcomer Philip Kingston, and stalwarts Sandy Greyson and Scott Griggs. If this alliance of interests holds together, it stands a very good chance of getting a strong new ordinance in the coming months.

And what about that new ordinance? With the old business of Trinity East now concluded, all attention is directed at Dallas writing and passing the most protective gas drilling ordinance in the Barnett Shale by the end of the year. The chances of that happening went up dramatically with Wednesday's vote.

One of the most unexpected results coming out of the confrontation was Mayor Rawlings' seemingly blunt declaration that he was four-square against urban drilling in Dallas. Saying the city could afford to be picky about the kind of development it seeks, he stated he didn't think gas drilling was a good match for Dallas and looked forward to passing a strong new ordinance. We'll see. Actions speak louder than words, and so far the Mayor's actions on this issue have all been in service to approving the Trinity East permits. With that fight resolved, can he be trusted to embrace a new philosophy? We'll be able to tell soon enough with a draft ordinance due to be delivered by the Plan Commission to the Council in late September. At any rate, his public confession on Wednesday is another sign of how far the Dallas movement has come. It's impossible to imagine Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price uttering the same words.

It also gives the new members of the City Council some cover to vote for tougher regulations as well. Rumor has it that Jennifer Staubach-Gates was agonizing over the Trinity East vote even as she entered the Council Chambers. She eventually voted with the Mayor but as an ex- school nurse who's dealt with asthmatic kids firsthand, she's concerned about air pollution and other public health consequences of fracking. The Mayor's coming out against drilling in Dallas may embolden her and others to get on the band wagon. Rawlings' statement also sets a high bar for the slew of Mayoral candidates coming up in the next election cycle.

Residents now must focus on the last two Plan Commission meetings and hearings that are deciding what kind of new gas drilling ordinance Dallas will write. And they represent very full plates of issues indeed:

On Thursday, September 12th, at 8:30 am the Commission will begin work on the topics of "Air Quality," "Water," "Pipelines" and "Compressor Stations" in their morning workshop. At 1:30 pm that same day they'll get around to holding another one of their unique (anti-public) public hearings at City Hall on those same subjects. It's vital that residents remain plugged into this process and show up to speak on these incredibly important issues.

Just as opponents all got behind the idea of 1,500 foot setbacks and made it a mantra, we no need to coalesce around three or four central and simple concepts for the 12th including: 1) Air Pollution Off-sets, 2) Special Zoning Districts for Compressors,  and 3) much higher water rates for taking water permanently out of the hydrological cycle.

 – Off-sets would require that gas operators estimate how much new greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution they'll emit into the air every year based on EPA numbers and their own self-reporting, and then off-set those increases in air pollution by paying for pre-approved air pollution control projects in Dallas that would reduce pollution. If you expect to release 5 tons of emissions from your gas operations, you will have to pay for reducing five tons of air pollution in the city by electrifying a car fleet, improving energy efficiency measures in homes and buildings, putting more bikes on the street and so forth. In this way, off-sets also act as a strong incentive to decrease emissions as much as possible at the sources themselves. The less you pollute i nthe first place, the less you have to pay to off-set that pollution.

Unlike every other heavy industry that does business in a smog "non-attainment" area such as DFW, the gas industry is exempt from having to do this at the federal level. So we want Dallas to be the first city in the nation to fix that loophole by requiring local off-sets. This would be a precedent-setting piece of policy-making that citizens could then take to other Barnett Shale cities and counties. A grassroots regional policy could grow out of the Dallas template – much like it did when Dallas passed the first "green cement" procurement policy in 2007. That campaign lead to the eventual closing of all seven old wet kilns in Midlothian and millions of pounds of air pollution permanently eliminated. It forced the cement industry to clean up. We want to do the same thing with the gas industry and offsets.

This new policy could be the beginning of a tool that we can use to significantly reduce gas industry air pollution, not only in DFW, but in smoggy metro areas throughout the U.S. that now also host gas drilling, like Denver, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles.

 – Compressor Stations are the big league polluters of the natural gas fuel cycle, running 24/7 365 days a year and emitting voluminous amounts of air pollution. Some compressor stations release more Volatile Organic Compounds than the Midlothian cement plants and they're huge greenhouse gas polluters. A recent study from the Houston Advanced Research Center found that a single flare or compressor could raise downwind smog levels by 3-5 parts per billion or more within five miles. Compressors should be required to get their own Special Zoning District with strict rules on sound, pollution and setbacks.

– Water is precious in NorthTexas and industries that take it permanently out of the hydrological cycle should pay more than those that don't. A lot more, because it means we have to go out and find that water anew. Likewise, during drought conditions, water should be for drinking, not fracking. It's critical we make the industry pay for the real costs of using so much of this absolutely necessary resource and then throwing it away for good down a hole.

On Thursday September 26th the Plan Commission will hold its final public hearing on the new gas ordinance. Then it will vote on a draft to send the City Council. Again, citizens need a good turnout for sending this document off, whether it has everything in it we want, or it's lacking in some important way. We need to be there.

We are only these two September hearings away from showing up at the Dallas City Council with the most protective gas drilling ordinance in the Barnett Shale and providing the region and the country a new alternative for the obsolete Fort Worth model.

If you came down to City Hall, if you e-mailed, or phoned or wrote – Thank you for your contribution to the fight. It took exactly the amount of effort you and everyone else gave to make Wednesday's victory happen. It will take it again to pass a great ordinance.

But stick with us. We're making history.

Final Trinity East Gas Permit Showdown: Send an e-mail Now, Testify on Wednesday, and Then Celebrate After the Historic Vote

showdownThis Wednesday, August 28th, sometime after lunch, the Dallas City Council will finally decide the fate of the three Trinity East gas permits that have refused to die since they were foisted on residents by Mayor Rawlings just after Thanksgiving. This looks to the definitive last nail in the coffin of the "Zombie Permits" that are so bad, even the considerable contorting of the permitting process by the Powers-That-Be could not save them from not one, but two denials by the City Plan Commission.

Council members Adam Medrano, Scott Griggs, Philip Kingston, and Sandy Greyson have all committed to voting against the permits. Normally that would mean defeat in a 15-member Council, but since the Plan Commission voted to deny, the rules say it takes a super-majority of 3/4 of the Council to overturn such a denial. With these four council members on our side, we have exactly the number to prevent a super majority of approval, with no room to spare.

So we need your help again to make sure this happens and that this is the last time we call folks out to fight these very bad permits. We're asking you to do three things:

1) Spend 30 seconds sending an e-mail to all 15 Dallas City Council members that urges them to vote against the permits on Wednesday. Since we only have about 24 hours left before the vote, please do this now by stopping by our "Featured Citizen Action" page here.

This form e-mail has some good talking points for Wednesday but you can also add your own comments at the end if you like.

If you don't want to use that system, please feel free to compose your own e-mails and send them to the council at these addresses:

jerry.allen@dallascityhall.com, District11@dallascityhall.com, jennifer.gates@dallascityhall.com, monica.alonzo@dallascityhall.com, tennell.atkins@dallascityhall.com, dwaine.caraway@dallascityhall.com, carolyn.davis@dallascityhall.com, sandy.greyson@dallascityhall.com, scott.griggs@dallascityhall.com, vonciel.hill@dallascityhall.com, sheffield.kadane@dallascityhall.com, adam.medrano@dallascityhall.com, rick.callahan@dallascityhall.com mike.rawlings@dallascityhall.com, philip.kingston@dallascityhall.com,

But time is of the essence. Please do this right now. Let's make sure they know we're still watching them.

2) Come down to City Hall at 12:30 pm and be prepared to tell the City Council why these permits should be denied. Since the permits are regular agenda items, anyone can can sign-up and speak about them for 2 minutes each. We need a lot of speakers to balance out what we expect to be another attempt to turn out folks from the industry. It's late-breaking concern over what Dallas is doing is the highest compliment to the effectiveness of your work so far. Don't let it go for naught by taking this last piece of action for granted. This is the first vote by a Dallas City Council on gas permits. It's the first time any of these Council members will have voted on anything to do with gas drilling. It's a landmark vote. We need you to be there to demonstrate not only your widespread opposition to the Trinity East permits, but your support for a much stronger gas ordinance. This is the same council that will be receiving the final draft of the new gas drilling ordinance in just a month.

With these Trinity East permits, there is always the chance of last-minute skullduggery by the Mayor and staff to try and win approval by applying heavy pressure about lawsuit threats etc. We need you there in numbers to prevent such a last-minute move from being successful, or as a last-resort, to raise Holy Hell if it does.

3) Come Celebrate a Citizens Victory. After what we hope will be a victorious vote Wednesday afternoon, you're invited to drive a few blocks down from City Hall to a nice little bar and restaurant called Lee Harvey's (1807 Gould St  Dallas, TX 75215 214-428-1555) to celebrate. Our fight against these permits has seen the modern maturation of the Dallas environmental movement as a force to be reckoned with. We've created the most successful citizens coalition in recent memory. This has been, as the Morning News stated, one of the most important zoning fights in Dallas history, not to mention public health and safety. These kinds of victories are too few and far between not to be officially recognized. We know you've spent a lot of time fighting these permits, now please come spend an hour or so reveling in your success. You deserve it.

However, If something unexpected does occur and somehow the permits are still alive on Wednesday afternoon, we'll need a watering hole close by to debrief and plan, so come on over and plot with us win, lose or draw.

To recap, three easy steps to killing the TrinityEast zombie gas permits:

1) Send an e-mail to the Council right now.

2) Bring your butt down to the 6th floor Council chambers at City Hall again at 12:30 pm Wednesday and show this City Council these permits and their scandal still matters to you. Don't let industry out-organize you now.

3) Bring you butt over to Lee Harvey's after the Council's vote to celebrate or commiserate.

See you on Wednesday. Thanks for all your effort on this issue.

Dallas Morning News Editorial On New Gas Ordinance

Drilling in Dallas - floodplainGets a lot of things right, but also leaves out a lot, like floodplains, air pollution, compressor stations, and full disclosure.

The next City Plan Commission meeting on the drafting of the new ordinance is at 9 am,Thursday July 11th at Dallas City Hall in 5ES on the fifth floor. They're due to talk about operational conditions, i.e., hours, dust, noise, chemical disclosures, landscaping, monitoting an baseline testing.

Seems like a good time to mention that you can send the City Plan Commission a quick e-mail about what the new gas ordinance should contain by going to our "Featured Citizen Action of the Week."

Despite Staff Riding Roughshod, Dallas Plan Commission EXTENDS Gas Well Setbacks to 1500 Feet

cat-herding1Rebuking city attorneys, the Dallas City Plan Commission agreed on Thursday to require 1500 foot setbacks, or buffer zones from gas wells to "protected uses" such as homes, businesses, hospitals, schools, recreation areas, and parks.  A waiver to get as close as 1000 feet would have to come with a three-fourths vote by the City Council. No well could be closer than 1000 feet.

City staff was pushing hard to retain the 2012 gas task force recommendations of 1000 feet, with a waiver to as close as 500 feet, something even the Dallas Morning News said was unacceptable. Those less-protective distances are seen as a way to get the twice-rejected Trinity East permits approved under a new ordinance.

Plan commission members also agreed to include more kinds of businesses in the protected use category, such as laundry services and vehicle pool operations, somewhat erasing the blue collar/white collar double-standard of protection sanctioned by the task force.

Left pending, and full of skullduggery potential for city attorneys, is where to begin and end that 1500 feet. Most citizens would probably go from property line to property line to ensure the entire protection of the "protected use." But city attorneys want to begin at the well bore hole itself and go to the "structure" of the protected use – not your front yard, but your front door; not the soccer field itself, but the recreation center next to it. This will be the next big battle over how to define these setbacks.

Also left pending were what, if any, exceptions for park drilling there should be in the new ordinance. Even more important to the Trinity East permits than the residential setback requirement is the current prohibition on drilling in parks. Here, city staff also was lobbying very, very hard to retain the special loophole for the Trinity East permits the task force abruptly voted to make at their very last meeting and without any public comment. Preservation of this loophole – you can drill on "unused" park land despite there being no legal definition supporting that term – means that Trinity East would have a fighting chance to come back and re-file.

Although seemingly rejecting the task force recommendations,  Plan Commission members still expressed desire to carve out some kinds of exceptions for park land that was perhaps not publicly or readily accessible, but had trouble articulating the definition of "unused."  Under the law, park land is park land; there is no A to F park grading system. That's why the easiest and most protetive thing to do is ban drilling from parks all together.

The devil will be in the details, but in the first real test vote for a more protective gas drilling ordinance, citizens won. And it drove city attorney Tammy Palomino crazy. As Plan Commission members got more and more independent over the course of the two-hour briefing, you expected her to start reaching for the cattle prod. After calling for a reconsideration not once, not twice, but three times after she got beat bad on the vote for the 15000 ft setback she announced that staff would return at the next meeting with a "presentation" on the 1500 foot setback. No doubt it will focus entirely on why it's a bad idea for all kinds of reasons other than it'll make it harder for Trinity East to get their permits.

Make no mistake, the City Manager's office, through staff like Palomino, is still fighting on behalf of those Trinity East permits, and the permits she expects to come after those. She's trying to minimize the number of protected uses and the spaces between them and your house, school or playground.

If you want to fight back but can't show up in person to tell the Commission what you think, please consider sending a qucik click N send e-mail message to the members via our "Featured Action of the Week."

The Plan Commission will be getting briefings from staff on different parts of the new ordinance every two weeks throughout the summer (July 11 and 25 August 8 and 22) with at least one or two public hearings on the finished product after that. All meetings begin at 9 am and are conducted at Room 5ES on the fifth floor of Dallas City Hall downtown. The next meeting is supposed to focus on the operations of a well site, i.e. hours of operation, noise, dust, plus the all-important landscaping requirements. Stay tuned.


Dallas Drilling Scandal: Act 3

CPC 2nd vote - line of speakersSee what happens when you show up?

Last Thursday's razor thin vote by the City Plan Commission to deny the Trinity East gas permits –  for a second time – was proof that Dallas environmentalists can marshal the political muscle it takes to beat City Hall on a critical issue of public policy, even when the system is scandalously rigged against us. Can anyone else remember the last time that happened? This is one of those turning points in the maturity of the city's green movement and the city itself.

By showing up in record numbers for the third meeting in as many months, you won the latest round in "one of the biggest zoning fights Dallas has ever seen" according to the Dallas Morning News. Plan Commission members remarked they had never seen the kind of crowds that turned out for the gas permit fight. Congratulations and thank you very much.

kids-thank-you-cardsWe know it's hard for you to take off work or home responsibilities and come down to City Hall for the day. But this was time well spent. By recommending to deny the permits, the Plan Commission forwards them to the entire City Council for a final vote that by rule will require a "super majority" of 12 council members to overturn. By our math, there is currently no such super majority in favor of the permits, although the margin is whisker close again. So where does that leave us? How do we finally kill the Dallas zombie gas permits?


The very first motion made at last Thursday's City Plan Commission meeting was by permit supporters and it called for postponing a vote until June – after a new city council is seated. That should be your first clue. Trinity East supporters must believe they stand a chance of electing a more pro-drilling city council than the one now seated.

Angela Hunt, Sandy Greyson, and Scott Griggs are steadfast opponents of the permits. Carolyn Davis is believed to be against them. Those are the four votes that can uphold the CPC denial of the permits and deny the supporters their 12- member super majority to overturn.

But it takes five council members to bring an item to the agenda for a vote. And there is no deadline for action by the Council – the CPC decision could lay out there for an indefinite amount of time with no follow-up by Council necessary. If supporters don't think they have at least 12 votes now, they can wait until they think they do…in June.

Rumor has it that Hunt, Greyson and Griggs are trying to find a fourth and fifth council member to help bring the Trinity East permits up for a vote now –  in April or May – and uphold the CPC denial. We support this strategy, and have an easy way for you to help make it happen. Our "Featured Citizen Action" has a new and direct message to all 15 members of the Dallas City Council: VOTE NOW AND VOTE NO. As always, you can add your own message as well. Be the first one on your block to send yours.


Look again at that list of the four council members who most observers believe make up the current firewall of opposition to the Trinity East permits.

Angela Hunt is term-limited. She won't be there in June. Her hand-picked successor is Phillip Kingston, a solidly anti-Trinity East permit candidate who faces a very well-funded pro-permit candidate. Environmentalists are backing Kingston, but he's not a shoo-in.

Scott Griggs is being forced to run against fellow incumbent Delia Jasso for a new North Oak Cliff district, which is also shaping up to be a tight race. If their attitudes regarding the revelation of City Manager Mary Suhm's secret agreement with Trinity East are any indication, Jasso is a permit supporter.

If both anti-permit candidates lose, and the rest of the current council remains the same, chances are very good the permits would have their super majority and breeze through in June. If you want these gas permits denied, you need to work and vote for Kingston and Griggs.

That's also why the Claudia Meyer vs Vonciel Hill race in District 3 in Southwest Dallas is also so important. It's the only city council race that features an over-the-top supporter of the Trinity East permits running against a longtime grassroots opponent. For environmentalists, it's the same kind of proxy war over drilling in Oak Cliff that took place two years ago when pro-drilling Dave Neumann lost – only now its even more important that the good guys win. This race could provide the margin of victory needed to make sure the CPC denial is upheld.


One of the largest contingents to show up last week in Dallas were the Irving residents who are just now waking up to the fact that they live only a short distance downwind of all of the Trinity East sites. This is the residential piece of the opposition puzzle that was missing until recently – a built in constituency.

Want to see the kind of cross-examination that Trinity East should receive in Dallas, but never has? You have to tune into Irving City Hall TV, where the day before the CPC vote, Councilwoman Rose Cannaday got to ask company president Tom Blaton lots of interesting questions about its intent with regard to those Dallas wells it wants to drill so close to the Irving city limits. One thing we learned was that although the company is drilling straight down in Dallas, it's making a lateral turn to the Northwest that takes all the wells under Irving. Funny thing about that – Trinity East doesn't have a contract with Irving to take its gas yet. So the company appears to be gambling everything on pursuing three Dallas permits before it even secures the gas rights it needs to exploit them.

It's unclear if Irving alone could or will stop Trinity from being able to do what it wants in Dallas. But what's apparent is that this is now as big a political issue in Irving as it is in Big D, or bigger.

By successfully pushing back last week, Dallas environmentalists have upped the ante. Now you have to follow through. If you're not already volunteering in one of the local council races that could make a huge difference in a June Trinity East permit vote – please do so this week. The election is May 11th and early voting begins April 29th. This is where the front lines of the fight are right now.

And don't forget to send your new message to the current city council: VOTE NOW AND VOTE NO.

We're in Act 3. We can write the happy ending. We can paint the picture. But we have to show up.

Want to Send Dallas City Hall a Message? Claudia Meyer For Dallas City Council

peoplepowerAs hard as it is to believe, despite everything that's happened, Dallas could wind up with a more pro-drilling City Council in May than it has right now. Angela Hunt is term-limited. Scott Griggs is being paired with another incumbent, Della Jasso, and one of them won't be back. That's two out of the three major drilling opponents. Only Sandy Greyson is safe.

That's why it's important to look at the only Dallas City Council race that pits a grassroots environmental leader of the drilling fight against an over-the-top supporter of more drilling – Claudia Meyer vs. Vonciel Hill in District 3, a new district that includes much of Griggs' Oak Cliff and Southwest Dallas turf along with precincts from Hill's old District 5.

ClaudiaMeyerPress_SMALL-1You know Claudia, even if you haven't met her personally – because she's one of you. She's a 20-year Dallas resident, who along with her husband Ed, was there at the very beginning of the Dallas fight four years ago. Like so many others, curiosity about a proposed well near her neighborhood initialed research and activism that continues today. She attended every single Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force Meeting. She's a co-founder of Dallas Residents at Risk. And if that's isn't enough bone fides for you, she's also an original Downwinder, a veteran of the TXI hazardous waste fight of the 1990's.

Vonciel Hill is a two-term incumbent who enthusiastically supports gas drilling and has shown a propensity for cronyism in office.

Most recently, you might remember her from her February 27th rant comparing City Manager Mary Suhm to Christ for having to suffer through Angela Hunt's cross-examination of Suhm about the circumstances of the secret agreement between Suhm and Trinity East over their pursuit of gas drilling permits in Dallas. The Dallas Observer's Jim Schutze wrote a column about it the next day headlined: "Vonciel Hill: City Council Member, Prophet, Theologian and Sell-Out:"

Yesterday in a Dallas City Council debate over gas drilling on city parkland, Hill compared council member Angela Hunt to Haman, the killer of Jews and symbol of all evil in the Book of Esther.


Not done yet. Next, Hill compared Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm to Jesus Christ. She predicted that Suhm would one day rise from the dead and enjoy her own personal version of Easter.

Council member Hunt had questioned City Manager Suhm sharply over a deception Suhm pulled on the council in 2008, promising to fight against gas drilling on parkland, then secretly signing a deal with a gas company saying she would win them permission to drill on parkland, then taking a $19 million check from them, on behalf of the city, in return for the deal that she hid for years from the council and from the public until Hunt and council member Scott Griggs got onto it recently.

"Recall in the story of Esther how Haman built the gallows for Mordecai, but it was Haman who hanged on the gallows. Those who affix the gallows for you may themselves hang on those gallows.

"And then reach forward from the Hebrew scriptures to the New Testament scriptures, where those who said of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, 'Well, he's done, he's dead, we've got him now,' wait three days, because Easter will come and there will be the resurrection. And those who pierced him on Good Friday are no longer known, and their names are not around, but two thousand and some years later, the name of the Christ is still ringing forth.

"Miss Suhm, this is a Good Friday moment, but I guarantee you from the faith well into which I reach, your Easter is coming, and you will sail forth."

One last thing about this. Since Hill is the one who chose to put the gas drilling debate on these terms, I think it's fair for me to turn it around and ask her a question on the same terms. And this is not a joke.

If Jesus Christ had signed a secret covenant with the Romans agreeing to look the other way while they screwed over the Jews, would we remember his name today? Really? Or wouldn't he have been just one more forgotten cheap politician who took on all sorts of cheap gaudy religious airs in order to pump up his profile? Like you, Ms. Hill. Exactly like you.

vonciel_hillSo many people were disgusted by her performance that day that Claudia was overwhelmed by requests to run against Hill. At the last minute, Claudia said yes. 

This race is now the necessary next step in the Dallas Drilling Fight. The stakes are very high. If Claudia runs and doesn't win, it not only sets the cause back, but residents could very well have a Dallas city council that will be more pro-drilling than now.

Claudia starts out in a familiar place: underfunded and overworked. That's why she's asking for your help. She's requesting that you please go to her website contribution page right now and send her some needed cash.  She needs to raise $9,000 by the end of the first week in April to be able to run the campaign she needs to run to win. Do this today if you want to send City Hall a message that you will continue to fight its drilling plans. 

Claudia also needs volunteers to help block walk and make telephone calls, and deliver yard signs. She needs the same army that shows up at City Hall to show up in District 3 to carry the day. Send an e-mail to elect.claudiameyer@gmail.com and let them know you want to volunteer for the campaign. Do it today please.

Remember how you're always saying you'd really like to work for a candidate you believe in? Remember saying how you wish you could send those so-and-so's down at City Hall a real sign of how you feel? The time is now. The opportunity is an e-mail away. In these campaigns, every day is like a week. Don't waste any time. Don't put it off. Or come May, you may find yourself with a City Council that wants to Drill, Baby Drill.