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The election is over; involvement continues

Casey Thomas | 5/20/2013, 10:23 a.m.

On Saturday, we saw only 4 percent of registered voters in Dallas County turn out and participate in this year’s municipal and school board elections. Here in Dallas, all four of the Black City Council members – Carolyn Davis, Dwaine Caraway, Vonciel Jones Hill and Tennell Atkins – were re-elected and will have a chance to successfully complete eight years representing their respective districts. None of them are eligible for re-election due to term limits, so this opens the door for new voices down at Dallas City Hall (I will speak more about that at a later time).

The only Black Dallas ISD School board trustee on the ballot was Dr. Lew Blackburn. He was also re-elected. Since there are no term-limits on the school board, Blackburn is free to serve as long as his constituents will have him.

The most important factor is not who was re-elected, but how will we stay involved with issues that affect us year round. Black students are still scoring lower than every other ethnic group in Dallas ISD across the board. The Black community is still impacted by high poverty and low economic development.

There is much work to do. We must partner with our elected officials and become involved in PTA, Crime Watch groups and our homeowners’ associations. We must be the eyes and ears for our neighbors when they are not home. We must rebuild the village concept that contributed to the safety and protection that we once had. We must also regain the sense of pride that helped us make it through so many challenges along the way.

While we should hold our elected officials accountable to fulfill the promises that they have made, it will be our fault if we don’t stand up and fight for what we believe in. It’s up to us to do our part, and for them to do theirs. Let’s get busy!