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Dallas's Dem Mayor switches to GOP? Excuse me?

Whatever party this guy affiliates with I'm for him. He gets results and isn't afraid to speak his mind (in this case which is the truth).


Mayor Eric Johnson: America’s Cities Need Republicans, and I’m Becoming One

While Dallas has thrived, elsewhere Democratic policies have exacerbated crime and homelessness.

By Eric Johnson, WSJ

Sept. 22, 2023 11:01 am ET


I have been mayor of Dallas for more than four years. During that time, my priority has been to make the city safer, stronger and more vibrant. That meant saying no to those who wanted to defund the police. It meant fighting for lower taxes and a friendlier business climate. And it meant investing in family friendly infrastructure such as better parks and trails.


That approach is working. Alone among America’s 10 most populous cities, Dallas has brought violent crime down in every major category, including murder, year-over-year for the past two years. In a recent Gallup poll asking Americans to rate the safety of major cities, Dallas came out on top. We have also reduced our property tax rate every year since I took office, signaling to investors that Dallas intends to remain the nation’s most pro-business city. This philosophy has helped attract growing small businesses and several Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, the construction-engineering firm Aecom and the global commercial real-estate outfit CBRE.


After these wins for the people of Dallas—and after securing 98.7% of the vote in my re-election campaign this year—I have no intention of changing my approach to my job. But today I am changing my party affiliation. Next spring, I will be voting in the Republican primary. When my career in elected office ends in 2027 on the inauguration of my successor as mayor, I will leave office as a Republican.


I realize this will come as a surprise to many. During the decade I spent serving my hometown in the Texas House of Representatives, I was a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Legislature. I prided myself on finding common-sense solutions and worked closely with my conservative colleagues to improve policing, public education and water infrastructure. I was never a favorite of the Democratic caucus, and the feeling was mutual. By the time I was elected mayor—a nonpartisan office—in 2019, I was relieved to be free from hyperpartisanship and ready to focus on solving problems.


But I don’t believe I can stay on the sidelines any longer. I have always tried to be honest and say what I think is right for my city. The future of America’s great urban centers depends on the willingness of the nation’s mayors to champion law and order and practice fiscal conservatism. Our cities desperately need the genuine commitment to these principles (as opposed to the inconsistent, poll-driven commitment of many Democrats) that has long been a defining characteristic of the GOP.


In other words, American cities need Republicans—and Republicans need American cities. When my political hero Theodore Roosevelt was born, only 20% of Americans lived in urban areas. By the time he was elected president, that share had doubled to 40%. Today, it stands at 80%. As America’s cities go, so goes America.


Unfortunately, many of our cities are in disarray. Mayors and other local elected officials have failed to make public safety a priority or to exercise fiscal restraint. Most of these local leaders are proud Democrats who view cities as laboratories for liberalism rather than as havens for opportunity and free enterprise.


Too often, local tax dollars are spent on policies that exacerbate homelessness, coddle criminals and make it harder for ordinary people to make a living. And too many local Democrats insist on virtue signaling—proposing half-baked government programs that aim to solve every single societal ill—and on finding new ways to thumb their noses at Republicans at the state or federal level. Enough. This makes for good headlines, but not for safer, stronger, more vibrant cities.


In the coming years, I will continue to pursue my three-pronged goal for Dallas: to become the safest major city in America with the best park system in Texas and the lowest taxes in our fast-growing North Texas region.


And I intend to keep the promise I made to Dallas voters in 2019 and refrain from endorsing candidates seeking partisan political office while I am mayor. This is about promoting policies and principles, not personalities and politicians.


Still, with my change in party affiliation, I recognize that the number of Republican mayors leading the nation’s 10 largest cities has increased from zero to one. This is hardly a red wave. But it is clear that the nation and its cities have reached a time for choosing. And the overwhelming majority of Americans who call our cities home deserve to have real choices—not “progressive” echo chambers—at city hall.


Mr. Johnson, a Republican, is mayor of Dallas.



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