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Open Letter to DISD


White Rock Lake Weekly September 30, 2010

Letter to the Editor

Dear DISD Board Member:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Community Members against Eminent Domain in the East Dallas, Jubilee Park area.  In an effort to further voice our position that DISD amends its plans to demolish our historic Oren Roberts Elementary school, and destroy a beloved neighborhood in the process, we have been diligently working to bring DISD's plans to light and to gather signatures from local residents who agree that DISD's current demolition and construction plans are not in the best interests of our community.

Enclosed you will find that more than 1,600 people have signed our petition in support of our argument that DISD should change the site for a new O.M. Roberts Elementary School to 4212 East Grand.  

As you must know, if DISD continues with its current plans regarding the destruction of O.M. Roberts, not only will our community be losing a great piece of history, the properties located on Philip Avenue and Gurley Avenue will be reduced to a parking lot and/or playground.  As a result, the remaining homes left in between the concrete land will be forced to endure a construction mess as well as a dramatic decrease in property value (in addition to what has already been lost due to the economy), and the potential increase in crime due to the baron land.  The families adversely affected consist of elderly, disabled and/or veteran residents who have lived in that area their entire lives.  DISD's current plan will in essence be giving nothing back to its most loyal voters and taxpayers, and will be creating a burden for the community by adding to the number of homeless if it proceeds with the current construction plans for a new school and parking lot at 4919 East Grand and the surrounding area. 

Please understand that we also want what is best for our community.  We live here.  We pay our taxes here.  We vote here.  If DISD truly believes that the destruction and reconstruction of a school is in fact in the best interests of the community, then DISD must listen to what we are saying and consider the alternate site at 4212 East Grand as proposed by the community.  That location has sufficient acreage for a new school without the necessity to displace residents who will suffer irreparable harm if they are forced off of their land.  In addition, the alternate site at 4212 East Grand is surrounded by vacant property on three sides which would create an all around safer environment for our young children.  For example, that location is farther away from the expanding freeway and it would move the school off of a busy street.  Since DISD already owns the land at 4212 East Grand, it should also eliminate many of the costs associated with the construction of a new school and leave more funds available to invest in our teachers' salaries and provide a better education for our students. 

We are hopeful that the Board will listen to its voters and taxpayers.  DISD must rethink its current plans on destroying O.M. Roberts and must consider the alternate site at 4212 East Grand.

Best Regards,

Norma Hernandez

On behalf of the Community Members Against Eminent Domain


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