If ever Fort Worth has wondered whether Dallas is paying attention to us, we need wonder no more.
Wednesday, the Dallas Morning News devoted an editorial and a column to our city image versus that of Dallas. That’s a lot of journalistic real estate, and we want to thank Big D’s paper of record for considering us worthy of so much attention.
However, we felt a little insulted by the columnist’s continued reference to Fort Worth as Dallas’ “little brother” and the suggestion we just embrace our status as “a junior partner” and get over our “image problem.”
The columnist made a parallel to his four older siblings and having to sit at the kiddies table during holidays where adults paid him little attention. Sounds like he’s working through something traumatic. Perhaps the image problem is his, not ours.
Fort Worth is nobody’s little brother. The people who live here are the city’s biggest fans.
We love Cowtown’s western history, its first-class arts district and a lively downtown filled with people day and night.
As for the image issue — it relates to observations made by consultants who recently completed an economic development study for the City of Fort Worth.
In it the consultants documented strengths and weaknesses that will guide Fort Worth as it seeks to attract higher-paying jobs, first-rate business development and quality of life investments.
The DMN editorial fairly mentioned as have we that consultants noted, “Fort Worth struggles with establishing visibility and name recognition, especially in comparison to Dallas,” and “Fort Worth appears to be on its way to becoming a suburb of Dallas County.”
Those pronouncements generated an outpouring of vitriol from Star-Telegram readers angered by the suggestion of secondary status:
“We live in Fort Worth because it’s not Dallas-like,” said one.
“Fort Worth has the most wonderful small town feel for such a large city. I love it and am thrilled it is so different from Dallas,” said another.
Finally: “Don’t Dallas my Fort Worth.”
This Editorial Board has applauded the city for commissioning an unvarnished report that looks at all the factors — good, bad and promising —and provides leaders with a real blueprint for planning. City officials say they want to get busy, and will begin implementing some of the ideas as early as next month.
Our readers are also chiming in with some constructive suggestions for how Fort Worth can make a great city even better. Suggestions include higher profile entertainment events, improved education and better paying jobs.
We think all of this discussion is just the beginning of a constructive community conversation we’re going to have on how to create a vibrant future for our city and this region.
We’re glad the Dallas Morning News also finds it noteworthy. And we welcome our Dallas friends to come for a visit any time. We’d be glad to take you to some of our favorite restaurants or watering holes, where we’ll all be sitting at the same table.