A Fort Worth-sponsored survey showed that most residents want the number of council member districts expanded from eight to 10 to provide better representation. Increasing the number of districts is expected to reduce the average number of residents per district from 92,000 to about 74,000 and provide minorities with a louder voice at City Hall.
“In 10 years, the populations of the districts are going to be between 110,000 and 115,000,” said Fernando Florez, a member of the grassroots Coalition for a Better Fort Worth. “We think it is too big to manage that large of a population in a single district.”
Entrenched politicians typically don’t tinker with things that might alter their support base. The Fort Worth City Council decided this week to stay at eight districts. The chance of political fallout is slim — few residents bothered to show up at various public discussions on redistricting. It’s not a hot-button issue.
But it might become one now since the “city council, in their usual fashion, has decided to sit on their ass and do nothing,” said Coalition member Louis McBee.
The Coalition is vowing to start a petition drive in early December, get 20,000 signatures, and force the city to let voters decide on the number of districts.
Brink of Greatness
Over beer and enchiladas at the La Puertita Chapel (converted by the Joe T. Garcia family from worshiping God to worshiping food) the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association will honor the winners of its annual awards, the Lanny Priddy Pursuit of Justice Award and the H.G. Wells Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award.
The Wells award, named for a “widely respected” plaintiff’s lawyer who died in 2008, goes to local attorney Hal Monk, known as “a lawyer for the people,” according to association president Ken Kraatz.
Monk sat for the bar exam in 1977 despite being a high school dropout. (Folks could still do that that way back then.) He never forgot his humble beginnings, Kraatz said, and has given “selfless service to the bar and the community.”
The Priddy award, named for the late lawyer who made a career of helping those among us with the least power, goes to longtime Fort Worth Weekly staff writer Betty Brink, for showing a “courageous pursuit of justice” during her journalism career. TCTLA president elect Jason Smith said Brink has kept “a lot of people in this town honest by asking hard questions.” (She’s kept a lot of people really pissed off too. Way to go, Betty.)