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5 of 24 The Untold Stories

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You don’t know me. In DISD’s eyes, I’m nobody important.

My husband and I moved to Dallas, Texas, seven years ago to find a nice quiet place to start a family.  We found a little piece of heaven in East Dallas that we loved dearly, and I can hardly put into words the beauty of the neighborhood, birds, a clear sky and lush trees that surrounded our home.  It is hard not to tear up while writing this, because shortly after moving into our piece of heaven everything changed for us.  It quickly became a living nightmare all thanks to Dallas ISD and their friends.  The telephone would not stop ringing and the nightmare that DISD wanted to steal away our home and community had begun.  DISD threatened to take our land away through eminent domain if we did not sign it over voluntarily.  With all their power, they wanted to bulldoze through our home to build a new school.  I personally believe that this wasn’t about what was best for the children, this was all in the name of profits for DISD and their friends.  The threats raging across the community were quickly building into a crisis.

I am not going to sugar coat what we were up against here.  There was vicious attacks by Dallas ISD, Principal Ortiz and Trustee Adam Medrano, who perpetuated chaos and hatred towards “us” the residents who were only defending our property rights.  Our once peaceful community became a divided neighborhood as a result of Principal Ortiz’s and Adam Medrano’s rallies.  Shortly after devastation and sadness moved into our lives as homes were seized, trees were uprooted and our homes, our land, and our way of life changed forever.  My husband and I held out as long as we could, but DISD’s representatives pressed onward with threats even though we were under a six month moratorium.  I cannot begin to tell you the emotional upheaval my family has felt over this.  It is like everything that we had planned for our whole lives has been taken right before our eyes.  We only received a “fair market value” deal.  To make matters even worse, my husband lost his job during the crisis.  So for a short while, we ended up living out of our car which was an alternative to sleeping on the streets.  The affected residents helped us with food and a place to sleep.  There are times when I broke down and cried because of the immense change we were forced to take. Today, we are still struggling to survive.

I may be a nobody to Dallas ISD, The City of Big D and Jubilee Center, but not to my family and to the affected community that remains.  I believe that people come in and out of our lives because we learn from them.  These residents are kind, genuine and loyal neighbors who stood by our side and helped us during our biggest crisis.  And I won’t stop telling my story because transparency remains hidden in a very dark cloud.  I am gravely concerned about the abuse of eminent domain used against my former neighbors and friends that remain.  Irrational supporters have been clamoring for what once was my land since day one of this DISD project.  Now calls for the land that remains are growing louder and more abundant in the gentrification movement that moves toward the community and they are being echoed by City and non-profit leaders.

Thank you for listening to my story.

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