I met with Dr. Wallis today and after an insightful and enjoyable chat, I have decided to officially endorse him for Wylie City Council Place 5.
What I noticed first about Dr. Wallis is that he feels strongly about creating a better city for all of Wylie's citizens. More important, not once did our discussion ever suggest that he was running to feed a pet project. His goal is to represent all citizens. Period.
One of the issues that held me back from an initial endorsement, is the topic of whether Wallis would be accessible to citizens and council activities due to his busy work schedule. He assured me and provided examples of how he has flexibility in his on-call status as a veterinarian. It is clear that urgent meetings would not pose a significant issue for him, certainly not any more than any other working council member.
Wallis is engaging and smart, and most of all, he is concerned about making the right decision for all citizens of Wylie, not just a micro-group.
Conversely, I have not met with his opponent, Zwege "Ziggy" Kagnew, but the body of evidence as to why he is running is quickly becoming apparent. His social footprint paints a rather vivid picture.
In the video below, there is clearly a lot of rhetoric and outright exaggeration of Ethiopian Americans in the DFW area. The meeting was not inclusive of all voters, as much of it was not even in English. Additionally, he is campaigning with Jack Blackshear, a Democrat who Republican Angie Chen Button defeated for the Texas House last year in Garland. Why campaign in Garland? They don't vote in Wylie elections. This is cause for concern about who exactly comprise his campaign supporters.
It is disturbing that this video provides staggering "us vs. them" rhetoric, and imagine what it says to non-Ethiopian's in Wylie. Rather than take the stance that he is an American first and foremost, Kagnew and his associates appear to be partitioning and organizing themselves for battle.
What strikes me as most unusual is the tactic of setting up voter registration outside of the ENAT grocery store, which is an Ethiopian grocer. Is Kagnew's only focus in running for council, Ethiopians? It sure seems that way.
After meeting Dr. Wallis, the choice for City Council Place 5 is a natural one; I am interested in supporting a candidate who's actions and words show he supports all citizens of Wylie, not just those he identifies with most.