Feature: Wednesday, April 24, 2003
‘It’s so Fort Worth,\r\nit’s embarrassing.’
Holy & Rollin’

Fort Worth’s two\r\nwhite-hat white-bread mayoral candidates\r\nwant to rise with the poor — if not from them.\r\n

By Betty Brink

From a multi-million-dollar budget shortfall to a citizenry raising varying degrees of hell over trash, hotels, annexation, and where to hide the poor, exiting Fort Worth Mayor Kenneth Barr will be leaving a city hip-deep in troubled waters for his successor to wade into following the May 3 election. There’s little to find funny at City Hall these days.

Two weeks ago, nonetheless, halfway into a candidates’ debate at Botanic Gardens, three not-ready-for-prime-time players were breaking the audience up with their quirky ideas for solving the city’s problems.

The city-owned hotel? Restore Hell’s Half Acre along with a hefty vice tax and use that money to pay for it, said Andrew Hill, a writer, documentary filmmaker, and, at 25, the youngest of the crew. “If we’re going to have Boss Tweed-type corruption from the white-conservative-male-millionaire oligarchy that runs this city,” he said, “let’s at least fund it from a nice, pleasant red-light district.”

Marilyn Hodge, an accountant and Everman school board member, will solve the trash problem instantly: “Put those monster blue barrels in the street and let the garbage trucks run over ’em.”

And Elliot “I Guarantee” Goldman, a small businessman and former staffer for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, will lower taxes and bring back twice-a-week garbage pick-up (“Who wants to have smelly diapers in the kitchen all week?”) or, he roared, “I guarantee I won’t run for reelection!”

“Well, at least he’d be a one-termer,” quipped council member Clyde Picht.

Two other candidates, George Host and Joseph Sandoval, skipped the event. But when Mike Moncrief and Cathy Hirt, the stars of Cowtown’s best political road show in years, took center stage with their four-point agendas and straight-forward answers to tough questions, there was little doubt that this race is really between these two pros. Acknowledging that city hall is viewed with deep distrust by Fort Worth’s rank and file for its years of excluding the common folk from the decision-making table, each vowed to give the city back to its people.

So, in a majority-minority city, the best chance of help for “the people,” it seems, will come from one or the other member of the city’s wealthy white circles. Does it really matter which one ends up with the $75-a-week job?

On the issues, they sound much alike. Moncrief’s record from 30 years of public life, as a county judge and state senator, suggests he’ll lean toward tight purse strings and liberal support for the poor and powerless. Neighborhoods are Hirt’s passion; she’s an attorney and former city council member. Both seem good at building coalitions to solve problems.

Even their campaign bucks, it seems, have similar bloodlines. In the most startling irony of this campaign, both are funded in large part from the ancestral pot of the same family of wealthy Fort Worth benefactors — the oil-rich Moncriefs. Hirt’s share of it comes from Tex Moncrief Jr., who is so pissed off at his nephew that he backed up his personal Brink’s truck to the door of Mike’s leading opponent — a funny windfall that could backfire on Hirt and, in the meantime, is giving the race a kind of Dynasty, comic soap opera feel.

Personally, Hirt hones in on the details while Moncrief looks at the big picture; she is an enthusiastic, almost non-stop talker; he is reticent, thoughtful. They launched a few broad-brush barbs at each other earlier in the campaign — he accused her of starting the recycling fiasco when she was on the council; she blamed him for the $10 billion budget shortfall in Austin. But lately, the slick campaign literature stuffing Fort Worth mailboxes has begun to look a little mud-smeared.

So what’s an ordinary working-class voter to do in this race between the rich and the richer, both of whom say they want nothing more than to make Fort Worth a better place for all of its citizens? In the end — short of making Andrew Hill minister of culture — could either one really make substantial changes in this button-down town?

The answer may depend as much on whose money is in this race, and the voters’ perception of what that money is buying, as on the track record of the two front-runners. But while the race seems to be turning into a sideshow at times, the stakes for Fort Worth are high, economically and socially. The winner could change the face of this city for decades. And that makes the fact that some of Fort Worth’s biggest downtown money boys are sitting this one out another curious footnote in a race that just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

“This is grass-roots democracy at its best,” Debby Stein said at the April 10 forum. The community activist and twice-defeated school board candidate worked as an aide to Hirt during the two years she represented District 9 on the city council. She is now Hirt’s volunteer campaign manager. “If Cathy weren’t running, I’d vote for Andrew [Hill],” she said, laughing.

Stein had just stepped out of the Botanic Garden auditorium after listening to the wannabe mayors debate. She heaped praise on the new entrants into Fort Worth’s political life for forcing the candidates to talk about the nitty-gritty matters that face city government. “We’re talking about real quality-of-life issues in this campaign,” she said. “Trash pick-up, potholes, taxes, safe neighborhoods, well-kept parks, good schools.”

That may be true, but now, in a wacky twist that could happen only in Cowtown, the race has been dubbed “Family Feud.” In late March, five members of the family of multi-millionaire oilman W.A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr., uncle and long-time nemesis of Mike, sweetened Hirt’s political pot to the tune of $201,000, accounting for almost 80 percent of her reported $254,000 in campaign contributions. Until then, Hirt’s largest single contribution was $2,000 from a Colleyville resident.

Tex, who ponied up $150,000 of the family money, is not known to give so generously to local candidates. He did so, he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “to level the playing field.”

Mike Moncrief’s supporters think his motives are more sinister. “This is stunning. It’s an unheard-of amount of money from a single source in a city council race, or any other local race for that matter,” said an elected official who knows both sides of the family and asked not to be named. “She is beholden to Tex, no matter how she cuts it.”

Hirt makes no apologies for taking the uncle’s money. “It came with no strings attached,” she said, “and it has made me competitive with Mike.”

Moncrief, however, laughs at the notion that he came into the race with $300,000 in campaign funds from his senate races as reported in the Star-Telegram. “I came in with about half that,” he said, “and it’s gone.” But, he said, he will put whatever it takes of his own money into this race to “get my message out.” His first city campaign finance report shows no funds raised and about $12,000 spent. The next mayoral filing is due Friday.

Many here say that Hirt, 48, who moved here 11 years ago with her physician husband Darrell, knows little about the Moncrief family’s tumultuous history and may have made a fatal political stumble by accepting the Tex Moncrief family money.

“This is about a family grudge,” said another politician who asked for anonymity. “It is so Fort Worth, it’s embarrassing.”

Mike Moncrief is the adopted son of the late Richard Barto Moncrief — Tex’s brother — and Dee Faxel. Now 59, he came into the race with his own millions plus a stash of campaign money left over from his Texas Senate races and a long list of supporters from both sides of the political aisle. He chose not to run in 2002 after his heavily Democratic urban district, which encompassed all of Fort Worth, was carved up by a Republican-dominated panel. Moncrief wound up in a mostly suburban Tarrant County district with a 70 percent majority of voting Republicans. He quit. Republicans such as county chairwoman Pat Carlson cheered. “He is too liberal for Tarrant County,” she told Fort Worth Weekly at the time.

Prior to his senate days, he served for 12 years as Tarrant County judge and spent one term in the Texas house. Unlike many of the Democrats he served with over the years, he never contemplated switching parties, he said in an earlier interview. “I am a Democrat and proud to be. If I were to switch just to get elected, I would hope the Republicans would reject me, as they rightly should.”

The family’s inherited wealth came from Mike’s grandfather, W.A. Moncrief, Sr., a 1930s wildcatter who struck it rich in the Texas oilfields. W.A. and his descendents have been news fodder ever since. They’ve been praised for sharing their wealth with their hometown, donating millions to universities, hospitals, family-planning clinics, and establishing the city’s first cancer radiation center. They’ve also made headlines for their very public scandals and squabbles.

Many of the latter have Tex’s signature on them. There’s the juicy ongoing court fight with his former bookkeeper who claimed she and the married Tex had carried on a clandestine love affair for decades. Before that came Tex’s public humiliation when IRS and FBI agents raided his downtown office and hauled off boxes of documents as local tv cameras rolled. And, probably most important to this race, there’s the lawsuit Mike filed accusing Tex of cheating him out of family money.

Both the feds’ interest and Mike’s suit were engendered by a former accountant who blew the whistle to the IRS, alleging that Tex was cooking the books of the Moncrief company, Montex Drilling, to avoid paying income taxes. Tex eventually settled with the IRS, paying $25 million in back taxes. Tex Moncrief was never charged with a crime. Mike dropped the lawsuit and apologized to the family, but Tex has never forgiven him.

In a recent interview in his 10th-floor oil-business office in the Fort Worth Club Tower, Moncrief refused to comment on the family feud or the wisdom of Hirt’s taking his uncle’s money.

But others who know the family’s history think she may come to regret it. “Cathy hurt herself by taking Tex’s money,” said Wilhelmina Gladden, a legislative specialist for the American Association of Retired Persons and, at 81, a decades-long Democratic Party worker who is supporting Moncrief. “This is from the Westover Hills crowd [an incorporated enclave of wealth on Fort Worth’s West Side, where Tex Moncrief lives], and they can’t even vote in this election. But what’s worse, it’s all about Tex holding a grudge against Mike. It has nothing to do with good government.”

Moncrief supporter Roy Brooks, long-time administrator of Tarrant County Commissioner Dionne Bagsby’s office, is also a good friend of Hirt. He thinks she should have taken the high road. “If it had been me, I would have chosen to turn the money down,” he said. “This is a family feud, and it has no bearing on who leads the city of Fort Worth.”

The money, Tex’s motives, and the old wounds may now dominate the debate, “and that will be very unfortunate,” Brooks said. He’s especially worried that the distraction will overshadow any discussion of the legislature’s draconian cuts in basic human services due to the state’s budget shortfall, and what that will mean to Fort Worth taxpayers, as the burden to provide those services is shifted to the cities.

“We need to know how these candidates will deal with that,” he said.

Hirt dismissed the notion that taking the money will hurt her in the voting booth or distract from campaign issues. “It levels the playing field,” she said last week. “I didn’t sell out,” she said. “There was nothing to sell. I didn’t promise Tex Moncrief anything. He came to me and said he wanted to help me because he knew Mike so well, and he knew he wouldn’t be good for Fort Worth. I took him at his word.”

Hirt campaign worker and one-time school board candidate Jeff Menges also defended the decision, with a bit more twist of the knife. “[Tex] has said that Mike is a liar and can’t be trusted,” Menges said. “Who better to know than his uncle?”

And Stein said that even though Hirt has been steadily raising funds, the money from the Tex Moncrief clan “was a shot in the arm. We can do things now that weren’t possible before to get Cathy’s message out to more people.”

But that money seems to have clouded that message and may even be helping her opponent. In yet another ironic twist to this family farce, “A Message from ‘Tex’ Moncrief” began showing up in voters’ mailboxes Monday. The four-page full-color glossy warned: “Because of name confusion, some people in Fort Worth may not know that we are supporting Cathy Hirt for mayor.

“Over the last few weeks,” Tex continued, “some folks have contacted members of the Moncrief family and said that they were going to vote for Mike Moncrief as a way of thanking us for things we’ve done in the community.” Please don’t, Tex begged. The mailer was signed by Tex and eight members of his clan, with a picture of the crew standing solemnly in front of the Moncrief Cancer Center. Mike just might have to send Tex a thank-you note.

Sitting at a small table at her favorite West Side coffee house, Cathy Csaky Hirt drinks dark roast and talks enthusiastically about why “it is my time to be the mayor of Fort Worth.” Her arms swing and her long, slender hands jab the air to make her points. She is tall, with short brown hair and intense blue-gray eyes; she wears little makeup.

Hirt served on the City Council from 1996 until 1999, earning respect as a fighter for the rights of the neighborhoods and the city’s neglected infrastructure while the majority of her colleagues focused on downtown business interests and the passing of huge tax abatements to lure billion-dollar companies to town — or keep them from leaving. Since then, she’s kept her neighborhood advocacy alive by serving as president of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations and on numerous volunteer community service boards.

“I am not a power person,” she said. “I don’t seek power. If that were what I was all about I would have never gotten off the council.” She decided not to run for reelection in 1999, she said, in order to spend more time with her children, who are now 15, 13, and 9. “I started late,” she laughed. “My Hungarian grandmother was sure I’d never marry or have children. She died before I proved her wrong.”

Hirt’s maternal grandparents owned textile mills in pre-Communist Budapest. In the 1930s, she said, her grandmother was a woman ahead of her time, insisting that her husband provide on-site daycare for the workers as well as hot lunches. “Can you imagine,” she said, with awe in her voice, “this woman was doing this in the 1930s?

“This is the philosophy of giving that I grew up with,” she said. “She is my role model.” Hirt’s parents both left Hungary after World War II “with nothing but a suitcase and the ability to think.” They met in the States, married and settled in North Carolina, where her father was a professor of medicine at a university and her mother a law librarian.

Hirt is an attorney who worked for the U.S. Department of Education before coming to Texas. She met her husband in Nashville where they were both volunteering at a homeless shelter. “He is from Texas,” she said, “and I was making chili that night. He barked at me for not making it right, and I told him he was a jerk. I was just trying to feed a crowd.” The next night, she said, he came in with groceries for a gourmet meal and made it himself.

“‘Just because they’re homeless,’ he told me, ‘doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated like kings.’ I fell in love that moment.” She and Darrell Hirt, a Fort Worth kidney specialist, have been married 17 years.

She carefully avoids aligning herself with any political party. “Garbage and potholes are non-partisan,” she said. However, she has voted in Democratic primaries. One local Republican official who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that her campaign seems to be targeting Republican women. “My wife and I both vote regularly in Republican primaries,” he said, “but all of Cathy’s literature bombarding our mailbox is addressed to my wife, none to me.”

One of her staunchest supporters in this race, however, is her former council colleague Clyde Picht, a conservative and lifelong Republican, with whom she often disagreed when on the council. “I support her unequivocally,” he said. “She has probably learned more by being off the council than on it.”

While the stands she took on social issues while she was on the council put her in the liberal camp — she supported adding gays and lesbians to the list of protected classes in the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance — her fiscal policies are solidly conservative, Picht said. Like Picht, she sees a city-owned hotel and most tax abatements for mega-corporations as bad policy. “She realizes,” he said, “that the council has got to reduce that reach between what the public gets and what the big guns get.”

Hirt said she is an issues person who likes to solve problems, especially people’s problems. “That is my strength,” she said. On the council, she discovered how exciting local government can be, she said, and how basic. She remembers town hall meetings where “I had people standing on chairs, screaming at me about speed humps and signal lights.” She emotes happily about neighborhood groups that get together once a month “to discuss code compliance, 35 or 40 people sitting around a table talking about how they can clean up their community. It is heart-warming.”

There is nothing abstract about local government, she said. It’s about gritty, unsexy, quality-of-everyday-life issues. And that’s why she believes she will make a better mayor than Moncrief, who spent the last 10 years in the statehouse, a long way from speed humps and signal lights.

Hirt wants to turn the city’s focus back to the basics. For her that means the city must become aggressive in rebuilding its infrastructure and cleaning up its image. From sidewalks to abandoned buildings, the city has too many long-neglected areas that must be fixed, cleaned up, and made safe, she said. She wants to bring back a sense of community pride by giving neighborhoods clean parks, safe outdoor public gathering places, and neighborhood police who stay in the community, know the people, and build trust. She would shore up the city’s code compliance effort, to do a better job of keeping the city’s homes in livable conditions.

The first visual impression people or businesses have of a city is more important in their decision to move there than the schools or the cost of housing, she said. And she would help create more small businesses, “the places that provide the synergy to the community by creating jobs where people live.”

“We have gone through a crisis of citizens’ concerns,” she said, from annexation to the $160 million city-owned hotel to trash. And most of the council, she said, just doesn’t get it. “They were so out of touch; they were dumbfounded when they realized that 18,000 people in three weeks had put their names on a petition saying they wanted to vote on whether or not the city should go into the hotel business.”

Hirt is opposed to the hotel. She believes, however, that the people should have the right to vote on it, and if they want it, she’ll support it, she said. Just as she’s now supporting the Southwest Parkway, a project she vehemently opposed while on the council. But, she said, “I lost. Now it’s a done deal, and I’ll support it. That’s politics.”

She is a recycling advocate and sat on the council committee that first voted to allow a pilot project of the now citywide recycling program from hell, a fact that Moncrief chastised her for on the campaign trail. “I only voted on a pilot,” she said, “but it’s now obvious that we have to take another look at this.” Her campaign literature promises she will allow voluntary recycling and twice-a-week trash pickup in bags instead of the new barrels, a promise city officials say she can’t keep because the 10-year $132 million contracts for the new system have been signed and the city could face a hefty lawsuit if they were cancelled.

Hirt said that, during the years she’s been off the council, she’s become “very grounded. I know in my heart that this is where I now need to be.” She didn’t just decide that overnight, of course. Hirt’s been working with neighborhood associations all across the city for the last two years, building support for a run at the mayor’s job. She hoped her opponent would be Barr.

It was hardly a secret that Hirt left the council in no small part because she was growing increasingly frustrated with what she called Barr’s “big-business, big-city agenda” to the neglect of neighborhoods and basic city services. For two years, she’s been building her case against him.

But shortly after she announced, Barr decided not to run, a decision for which she takes credit. “The polls were not good for him,” she said. “He was finding out that I could beat him, and he didn’t want to lose.” As has been his practice for several years, Barr did not return calls from Fort Worth Weekly for comment.

Hirt said the mantle was passed to Moncrief by Fort Worth’s downtown power brokers who “don’t want someone they can’t control” in the mayor’s chair.

But one of the most powerful of those downtown power brokers is attorney Dee Kelly, Sr., arguably Fort Worth’s most influential attorney, who counts the City of Fort Worth, American Airlines and members of the billionaire Bass family among his clients.

Kelly has never been a friend of Moncrief’s. In fact, Moncrief supporters believe that Kelly Sr. was the power broker behind the redistricting committee decision to carve up Moncrief’s district, virtually assuring him of losing. In 2002, had he run, his opponent in the newly created Republican district was set to be Dee Kelly, Jr., a partner in his father’s law firm.

But in this mayor’s race, unlike all others in recent memory, neither Kelly, Sr., nor any of the multiple Bass family PACs that he controls have shown up, to date, on the financial contributors list of any of the mayoral candidates, an unlikely happening if these powerful downtown players were engaged in anointing someone.

With Kelly’s fingerprints nowhere to be seen in this mayor’s race, changes at city hall may already be in motion before the first vote is counted.

“I’m more excited about this race than any in a long, long time.” Sitting behind a large desk at the far end of his comfortably appointed office in the Fort Worth Club Tower on 7th Street, Mike Moncrief uttered those words in a voice so solemn as to almost belie their meaning.

“I love Fort Worth,” he said. “I have deep roots in this community and I’m close to its people. I have no hidden agenda. Providing sound leadership to this city would simply be a continuation of what I’ve done for 30 years.”

Moncrief’s reputation as a rich man with a conscience is supported by a 12-year tenure in the Texas senate where, as a Democrat in a sea of Republicans, he made the needs of the poor, women, children, the elderly, and the handicapped his own. He sponsored a lengthy list of legislation on behalf of those with no voice, from children’s health insurance to anti-stalking bills to contract-for-deed protections to a ban on executions of the mentally handicapped to nursing home reform. As Tarrant County judge, he refused to cave to right-wing religious pressure to deny poor women abortions at the county hospital.

After so many years in Austin, he said, “It will be a pleasant change not to have the partisanship to deal with. [The city council] is government closest to the people.” He has been described as a “liberal Democrat,” he said, and agrees that his record on social issues falls into that category. “But I am a fiscal conservative,” he said. “And my record reflects that as well.”

Moncrief’s business is oil and investments. He inherited family money from his father, but the bulk of the estate left by his grandparents is in the W.A. and Elizabeth Moncrief Foundation, a nonprofit trust with $8 million in assets that was established to continue their philanthropic work. His grandmother Elizabeth was a founder of Tarrant County’s first Planned Parenthood office. All Saints Hospital received millions of their largesse; their best-known gift, the Moncrief Cancer Center, is now run in partnership with Southwestern Medical School. Mike has no control, he said, over where the money goes today; Tex Moncrief’s branch of the family controls the trust.

Mike has been married to Rosie Brewer for 22 years, the one person, he says, who keeps him grounded. They are partners, he said, in all of his endeavors. His conversation is sprinkled with “Rosie and I ...” and his desk is crowded with photos of kids and grandkids.

Moncrief dismisses Hirt’s suggestion that he’s been away from local government too long. As a county judge for 12 years and a 14-year veteran of the Texas Legislature, he said, he has the experience, the understanding of how government works from the courthouse to the statehouse, and the skills honed in often-bitter partisan battles to get things done for his constituents.

For supporters such as Roy Brooks and Wilhelmina Gladden, both of whom give Hirt marks for her support of neighborhood issues, the race is no contest.

Both cite his senate legislation on behalf of “the least among us,” such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program that’s being decimated by the legislature’s to-the-bone budget cuts.

Moncrief said that the destruction of CHIP is heartbreaking. “I don’t think the people realize the effect this will have on our community,” he said, not the least in the large numbers of poor families that will once again have to turn to the county hospital for primary health care. Working to meet this and other human needs that the legislature will drop into the laps of the cities will be “a true test for our creativity as a community” in deciding what the city’s priorities are going to be.

Gladden, a member of the Tarrant County Senior Alliance, said Moncrief’s commitment to the needs of the elderly “never wavered.” As she lobbied in Austin over the years, she said, “Mike was always accessible. He has a good head on his shoulders and a wonderful way of negotiating with people without offending.”

Moncrief ticked off a laundry list of things he said will be his priorities once he’s elected, beginning with a “user-friendly” city hall.

While he hasn’t criticized his old friend Barr directly for losing the trust of the people, as others in the campaign have, he acknowledged that people who come before the council are leaving frustrated. “Government is there to serve the people. We will respond to citizens in a timely manner.”

He wants to reopen the joint meetings once held between the school board and the council and find ways to share “the tremendous resources of the city with the schools,” especially in addressing dropout problems and teen pregnancies. There is a great need for more after-school programs for teens, he said, and the city can help. Both Moncrief and his wife Rosie work with Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, and he pointed out that the time and place that most teens get pregnant is at their homes in the afternoon, when no parent is home.

Safety, he said, is at the top of the list. “If the streets aren’t safe, nothing else matters.” He will use his close working relationship with U.S. Reps. Martin Frost and Kay Granger — both of whom are on his list of supporters — to insure that Fort Worth gets its share of public safety funding, he said.

The city must find a way “to use the county jail again,” he said, and said his close ties to the county commissioners will allow him to reopen negotiations. Last year Fort Worth lost the contract with the county to house its prisoners in the county jail and began using Mansfield’s. “It’s not working,” Moncrief said, citing overcrowding and time-consuming driving distances.

Regarding the raging recycling issues, he will tweak, not trash, the new system. He supports recycling, for the sake of the environment and to extend the life of the landfills, he said. But Fort Worth’s program isn’t working, “because it wasn’t well thought out.”

“I am very bothered by stories of elderly women who fell and were injured” trying to get the big blue barrels to the curb, he said. “That’s unacceptable.” Fort Worth must provide help for the frail and the handicapped, he said — and get smaller recycling barrels for those who want them. He will also work to soften the rules on the mandatory paper bags for yard waste, which he said are too expensive.

As for the city-owned hotel, Hirt has made a point of the fact that he signed the petition that called for a referendum but later asked that his name be removed. She said he wanted to play it safe after he decided to run for mayor and not tick off the hotel’s supporters. Not true, he said. It was because the issue had become too politicized.

He hasn’t dodged the issue on the campaign trail, coming out flatly against the hotel. He will encourage private ownership of such a hotel, he said, and support the idea of city help for companies that will upgrade existing hotels.On the other hand, he criticized the management of the downtown Radisson hotel, which underwrote the petition drive that eventually caused the idea of the city-owned hotel to be pulled back. “I would challenge them to upgrade as well,” he said. “The quality of the rooms in that facility is not acceptable. They are an embarrassment to this city.” He cited the hotel’s “great history” as the once-grand Hotel Texas where President John F. Kennedy spent his last night.

Tax abatements are simply one way, he said, of helping the city grow and provide jobs. But he would make them tough to come by, and they would be done on a case-by-case basis. He was solidly behind the abatements to keep RadioShack and Pier 1 in Fort Worth, he said.

Neighborhood restoration in long-depressed areas such as the far eastern edge of the city, where abandoned and boarded-up apartments and empty strip malls have sat deteriorating for twenty years, is on the list.

In making his ideas a reality, he said, the citizens will be heard in all stages of decision-making.

“Listen,” he said, leaning across the desk and emphasizing his words for the first time, “Government must be a partnership between the people and their elected. Government has to be inclusive, not exclusive. All of our community deserves equal treatment, decent parks, decent streets, decent security, and good schools. All need a voice. And they will have that voice. That’s my promise to Fort Worth.”

Such a civilized race, to be financed on both sides by a wildcatter’s fortune.

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