Dallas South Weeklong Series: People I’m Following

I’m going to start releasing more lists because as Chris Arnold says: “People love lists” (I know I do). They will all be based on the number seven (I wonder why?). In this Twitter crazed society -not that there’s anything wrong with that- I thought I would outline people that I’m following. This week the topic is “7 People I’m Following in Dallas.” Tomorrow will be “7 People I’m Following on the Web.”

7 People I’m Following In Dallas

Danielle Ayers – Minister of Justice, Friendship-West

I’m a member of Friendship-West Baptist Church, so I have had a chance to watch Danielle Ayers come up through the ranks. She’s a student of the African-American Struggle in this country, and a 21st Century Harriet Tubman/Angela Davis.

Her role within the church is to insure that “the least of these” are given a fair shake, whether in the legal system, housing, or politics. She’s comfortable interacting with anyone from citizens needing assistance with their utility bills, to titans of the civil rights movement like Rev. Al Sharpton or Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Dwaine Caraway – Dallas City Councilman

When the Honorable Dwaine Caraway announced he was running for Dallas City Council, all I had to go on was a less than flattering article that was written about him in D Magazine. Fortunately the voters of District 4 were not swayed when they elected him as their representive.

I really (really) enjoy the fact that he is an overt champion for the city. Pessimism had become a prerequisite for city leadership for a while, but Mr. Caraway is one of the biggest advocates that our city has.

Caraway has reached out to disadvantaged African-American males, is leading the charge to reinvigorate the Lancaster-Kiest corridor, and is one half of the dynamic duo with his wife State Representative Barbara Mallory-Caraway.

Rawlins Gilliland – Writer

Rawlins is an American original. Whether it’s during his appearances on KERA or in his articles in the Dallas Morning News, Gilliland displays a relationship with the English language that few of us will ever know.

As a champion for Southeast Dallas, I think his message is starting to breakthrough. What seemed like nitpicking -insisting that Pleasant Grove isn’t used as a catch-all term- is now being recognized as good sense. Residents have supported and echoed the call to have their neighborhoods recognized correctly. The media is taking note.

Gordon Jackson – Managing Editor, Dallas Weekly

I still don’t know why the Dallas Examiner dropped Gordon Jackson, but one paper’s loss is another’s gain. Cheryl Smith brought Mr. Jackson on earlier this year, and the Dallas Weekly is better for it.

When I’m out covering events -whether at Southwest Center Mall or the Democratic Convention- I often bump into Mr. Jackson, which usually means that I’m in the right place. He asks great questions, writes thoughtful articles, and was the first member of the African-American press to take note of Dallas South.

Angela Hunt – Dallas City Councilwoman

To say Angela Hunt is the maverick of the Dallas City Council is an understatement. She’s been willing to go against her colleagues on issues like the Trinity Tollway and champion the cause of Jenny the Elephant. But her constituents always have her back because they realize that she always has theirs.

I literally follow Angela through her various postings on the web. She has been the only member of Dallas government to embrace social media in any meaningful way. Angela has been blogging for quite a while and I often check in on her Facebook page.

Recently she chronicled a trip she took to Seattle, commenting on the bike friendly nature and efficient transit system of the city. Last night I saw Angela was out getting snowcones, and it lead me to run down the street and get some tasty treats for my family as well.

Elvis Andrus – Texas Rangers Shortstop

When Michael Young was told that he was going to be moved from shortstop (the same year he won the Golden Glove Award) in favor of a rookie, he was angered to the point of suggesting he should be traded. Young obviously had not seen Elvis Andrus play the position before this year.

It seems like every night Tiny Elvis makes a highlight reel play in the field. And his skills with the bat have been better than advertised. Besides his stellar play, the Rangers have benefited from the energy and excitement that the 20 year-old brings to the ballpark everyday.

Eric Johnson – Candidate, TX District 100

I first became aware of Eric Johnson and his wife Nakita when they created the Si Se Puede PAC earlier this year. I bumped into him again at a gathering which they hosted last month to connect nonprofits throughout the city.

Now, Eric has thrown his hat into the ring as a challenger to St. Rep. Terri Hodge for Texas House District 100, which includes parts of Oak Lawn, West Dallas, South Dallas, and Southeast Dallas. His candidacy was even discussed on Sunday’s Inside Texas Politics. Eric has positioned himself as a strong candidate to challenge the incumbent Hodge.

Tuesday: People I Follow on the Web

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