Begin forwarded message:
Subject: TELL COUNCIL to vote ‘NO’ on Fair Park and Bailout plus better support for OCA
Dear friends, family and colleagues,
THIS IS TIME SENSITIVE – Some issues in this email are being discussed by City Council tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Others, will be discussed this week and until the end of the month. PLEASE RESPOND RIGHT AWAY.
PLEASE SEND the following letter to your city council person, and also send to as many people as possible. With such a low voter turnout in Dallas, if a city council member receives enough letters in their inbox for a particular issue, we can command their attention. It is important to keep forwarding this letter to as many people as possible and encouraging our contacts to continue forwarding and forwarding and forwarding.
To send the following letter to your council person, please go to the following link and click on your representative to send this email – http://dallascityhall.com/government/Pages/contact_mcc.aspx
If you do not live in Dallas, please use the council member for where you work. If you are from around the state or country, please send to the Mayor Mike Rawlings.
If you do not agree with all of the items below, please feel free to amend to your own interests and concerns. Above, we want our voices to be heard and our elected officials to act on our behalf.
SUBJECT LINE: VOTE ‘NO’ on Fair Park Contract and ATTPAC Debt Relief plus requests for OCA
I urge the Dallas City Council to vote ‘NO’ on two major votes and take action on lack of transparency, accountability, community engagement, and inequity within the city, especially within the Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs:
- Vote ‘NO’ on the public private partnership with the Texas Fair Park Foundation, Inc until there is a complete plan. Walt Humann’s letter to the Board President of Parks and Recreation demanding that he control the agenda on July 21 in favor of the public private partnership has been exposed. Private interests should not secretly dictate citizen’s tax dollars and the city’s assets. Currently, the foundation does not even have a plan. Hence, this partnership does not deserve approval. We want the City Council to include community input in crafting a transparent plan and contract for such a partnership. (For article and video on Humann letter – http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/investigates/letter-about-meeting-on-fair-parks-future-raises-questions/287260589)
- Vote ‘NO’ on the $15,000,000 debt relief ($1.5 million per year for the next ten years) for the AT&T Performing Arts Center. To quote City Council Member Phillip Kingston: “It’s frustrating to have to bail out the facility because of bad decisions and lack of transparency of the people responsible for building it.” Furthermore, according to Robert Wilonsky’s June 9 article on DallasNews.Com, ATTPAC CEO Doug Curtis said if the council votes against the $15 million, it will make settling ATTPAC’s debt harder, but not impossible. It is important to note that we do not simply advocate to take $1.5 million per year from ATTPAC but redirect it to the Office of Cultural Affairs to invest in existing arts facilities, public art, new spaces, and support programs for artists and arts organizations. This $1.5 million per year for the next ten years can support the growing number of independent arts groups and individual artists that serve much more diverse and wider audiences than are served in the costly Dallas Arts District.
- Outside of the Dallas Arts District, there are not enough performing arts spaces for the growing number of arts groups. This has directly resulted in the use of nontraditional spaces such as art galleries and warehouses. However, the Fire Marshall has shut down performances after performances by groups without resources to comply. We ask that the City Council to consider how to provide solutions to providing proper space for small groups (library black boxes are not suitable) and avoid future closures of arts events at the hands of the Fire Marshall. (For article on recent closing – http://www.dallasobserver.com/arts/after-cracking-down-on-diy-music-venues-fire-marshals-have-turned-to-small-art-gatherings-8490378)
- We strongly urge council to immediately modify and / or introduce new procedures and zoning in relation to art galleries & pop-up art programming that allows for small business owners and entrepreneurs to flourish and contribute to the vibrancy of arts and culture in Dallas. Currently, the creative class is being suppressed by antiquated zoning laws which make it impossible to prosper.
- Moving forward, we want the Office of Cultural Affairs to create clear procedures for transparency, accountability, community engagement and equity. We request that concerns voiced by the community and the cultural affairs commission regarding questionable or inappropriate practices by OCA, arts organizations or individuals be immediately addressed by OCA staff in an open and transparent review. We request that members of the artistic community co-draft and approve the next cultural policy for the City of Dallas. To lead the City of Dallas towards greater transparency and accountability, we ask that all OCA staff go through equity training.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope that you will listen to your constituency and to the needs of the greater community.