Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The next installment of "The City That Works"...

My latest attempt to help raise awareness about the City of Dallas’ proposed budget comes from in the form of an email plea from a fellow art/cultural provider:

From: M. W. Conley
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 2:29 PM
Subject: Last City Budget Forum

The last of four budget forums will be held tomorrow at 6:30 Thursday at Winfrey point -- I strongly encourage you and everyone you can muster to attend. The City Manager's office is proposing doing away with the Office of Cultural Affairs and slotting the function under Libraries -- that on top of roughly a 40% cut in budget (they will say about 30% - but just learned today that that number already factors the $2M taken from WRR's fund - so in truth it's more like 40%), more than any other department as far as we can find out -- This in the year that our Arts District is finally coming on line. This is a remarkable slap in the face to the art's community in Dallas.

We knew cuts were coming and were prepared for it - we've been working with our groups since last year to prepare - but this is an outrage. 60% of the city budget is sacrosanct, "Public Safety", and will not be cut -- but other than police and fire, what does it contain? I defy you to parse the details in the briefing

Without raising taxes, the plan is to lay off about 1,000 city employees, gut health and human services, cultural offerings and cultural and community centers, libraries and educational enhancements, after-school and summer programs that target our youth. I tell you, that's a recipe for needing those extra 200 police if I ever heard one.

If they charged every person in Dallas $154.10 - that would make up the $190M deficit. Of course, I know we can't do it like that - but simply as a reference point.

Art's and Cultural Organizations have a huge economic impact on this city. What happens now? Please help and let your voice be heard.

Thank you

You can read my previous attempts to raise awareness about this subject HERE and HERE.

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