In this roundup of Dallas news, masks are still on. A famous auction house is being accused of fraud. Texas is one step closer to having one of the nation’s most restrictive voting laws. And the city is hosting an online summit.
Here's what's happened in Dallas this week:
Go Judge Clay
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins prevailed in a challenge by Governor Greg Abbott over Jenkins' mask mandate. In a hearing on August 24, the judge said the county would suffer injury if Jenkins were kept from exercising his authority with a mask mandate. Masks are still required at county buildings, schools, and businesses.
Jenkins graciously said that it was not a victory against a person or an entity, but instead for "humans who live in Dallas County against the virus."
"We should not personalize this as us against them. It is all of us against the virus, not the vaccinated against the unvaccinated or the Democrats against the Republicans," he said.
Heritage Auctions gaming
A gaming aficionado has accused Dallas-based Heritage Auctions of fraudulent behavior in its sales of video games. In a YouTube video, Karl Jobst highlights conflict of interest between Wata Games, an agency that grades games, and Heritage Auctions, which has recently had a number of record-breaking sales. "There is a select group of very wealthy, very powerful people pulling the strings behind this recent spike in video game prices and the same people are making money hand over fist," Jobst says.
Heritage has sold a number of video games in recent years, one of which enjoyed a 6500 percent increase in value/sale price.
Wata Games' website showed that Heritage Auctions founder Jim Halperin was at one time listed as an advisor, and Heritage Auctions was identified as a business partner to Wata Games dating back to when it was founded in 2017. UPDATE 8-28-2021: Wata sent a statement saying the claims in the video are "baseless and defamatory."
The City of Dallas Planning & Urban Design will host the ForwardDallas Neighborhood Summit on Saturday August 28 from 9:30-11:30 am. The summit will be a virtual event for Dallas neighborhood leaders and residents interested in working together to make Dallas a better place. This event will kick off the update of the ForwardDallas Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
The ForwardDallas Plan was adopted by City Council in 2006 to provide the citywide vision for future land development and establish policy to guide zoning. Dallas has undergone substantial changes and growth since 2006. The Dallas Planning & Urban Design Department will soon begin a major update to this plan.
The sessions will also include Land Use & Zoning basics; Understanding Environmental Impacts; and Connecting Transportation Plans.
Voting bill SB 1 is moving through the Texas House, taking Texas one step closer to having one of the nation’s most restrictive voting laws. Yay us.
SB 1 contains provisions that would make it harder to vote by mail, make voter intimidation easier by emboldening poll watchers, put up barriers for voters with disabilities, make election workers vulnerable to lawsuits, and eliminate voting options like drive-thru and 24-hour voting.
According to TexasDemocats.org, Republicans added several restrictive amendments to the original bill, bringing the House version of the bill closely in line with the Senate version of the bill to fast-track the process.
A delegation of Texas House Democrats are still in Washington DC, lobbying federal lawmakers to pass national voting rights protections into law.