sexually oriented Expo: An open letter to the citizens of Dallas

On Wednesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council will vote on whether to ink an agreement with the organizers of a pornography expo in the City-owned Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas later this year.  This “expo” is arguably little more than a traveling strip club, adult book store, and promoter of the sex trade. 

We urge the Mayor and City Council to enforce Chapter 41A of the City Code, which prohibits sexually oriented commercial enterprises from operating within 1,000 feet of public parks, schools, churches, and residential and historical districts.  Since the Convention Center is within 1,000 feet of numerous public parks, churches, child care facilities, and other sites that are off limits to all sexually oriented businesses, it is clear that to permit a pornography expo at the Convention Center would violate Chapter 41A on its face.

Wednesday’s vote is a chance for the Mayor and the City Council to uphold the integrity of its City Code.  In crafting Chapter 41A of City Code, the City has already done the hard work of prudently balancing the welfare of the citizens with the First Amendment rights of sexually oriented business owners.  Furthermore, there are other available venues in the City of Dallas to conduct a pornography expo without violating Chapter 41A.  As Chapter 41A contemplates, a pornography expo should not be conducted in our City-owned, taxpayer-funded Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in the heart of downtown Dallas.

What kind of a city do we want to be?  One that is afraid to enforce its own laws that by their own terms are designed to “promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of Dallas?”  The answer obviously is no.

We, as citizens of Dallas, must stand up to support our Mayor and the City Council in having the courage to do the right thing by enforcing Chapter 41A and thereby not profiting from pornography at our Convention Center.  We must maintain the integrity of our City Code as written and thereby the integrity of our City.

You can voice your support by:

  •  Attending the City Council meeting in the Council Chambers, 6th floor, City Hall 1500 Marilla, Dallas, TX 75201 at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10
     
  • Contacting your Councilmember. Find out the name of your representative and your voting district by calling the City Secretary’s Office - 214-670-3738 or by visiting http://dallascityhall.com/government/Pages/contact_mcc.aspx