The upcoming May 9 Dallas City Council election will determine whether Dallas fights for the right to control its own economic destiny or continues the status quo that has failed for 40 years.

Dallas is divided into 14 districts. Each has its own council member. This year, six of the 14 seats are open.

This is an unprecedented opportunity to identify and elect leaders who are committed to rebuilding our urban core. With the May 9 election, we will have six new representatives who will either bring development and jobs to the city, or who will serve merely as voyeurs, watching the city become weaker and weaker, thereby squandering a historic chance for growth and economic development. In a city where a mere 6.96 percent of its citizens voted in the last Dallas City Council elections, a few votes here and there will change the course of our future. Every effort must be made to educate, create awareness, and mobilize.

Good To Know: Dallas is run by a 14-member city council and our city manager. Each council member has one vote. The mayor has one vote (that is why ours is called a “weak mayor” system). Thus a majority of the Dallas City Council in the aggregate wields all of the power. That’s why this election is so crucial to the future of our city.

This is not about Dallas versus the suburbs. Our suburbs are among the most desirable in the U.S., and one of the great success stories in regional development. Dallas once served as the economic engine that built DFW Airport, the Tollway, and the suburbs. Without a strong urban core, the entire region will suffer. That’s why so many suburban leaders applaud our efforts. They realize that a stronger Dallas strengthens their communities.