My new column for the Dallas Morning News will be published soon, which discusses the city's responsibility to help the working poor and the elderly in tough times. I reference a proposal floating around City Hall to stop providing hot meals to the elderly at the MLK Rec Center and close several clinics that provide low cost immunizations and health care in South Dallas. These proposals are being made because someone thinks no one will raise a stink. Thankfully, City Councilman Dwaine Caraway vows to at least keep the meal program going.
My column also mentions the burden code enforcement can be on many. Due to space limitations, I didn't go into detail over how the code enforcement citation system works - and why some may argue that it is effective - but the bottom line is code enforcement investigators should begin working with their city council members and local civic and neighborhood groups to solve the core issues behind the citations. Yes, it is a lot of extra work and responsibility, but it is an investment in the future of our communities. The system the way it is now does not work. We can't play "gotcha" with our citizens. We must give them the tools to become better neighbors. More on this to come.