It’s time to ‘shame’ panhandlers, Fort Worth leader says

Fort Worth City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens
Fort Worth City Councilwoman Gyna Bivens

Fort Worth Councilwoman Gyna Bivens is growing more concerned about the number of panhandlers in her district and appears willing to take the matter into her own hands.

“I know my panhandlers by name, and they don’t speak to me anymore,” Bivens said. “I’ve cussed enough of them.”

Her comments came at the end of last week’s precouncil meeting — and on the heels of Councilman Cary Moon asking the city attorney for a clarification about city ordinances regarding panhandlers — when Bivens chimed in with an admittedly “somewhat illegal” idea to handle the issue.

Bivens wants to take the old West, most-wanted approach to clearing the city of panhandlers by taking and posting their picture.

“What can we do to impose shame?” she said. “It’s gotten so bad in my area. These panhandlers, we’ve got to do something.”

Democrats are coming to town

Texas Democrats soon are heading in mass to one of the reddest parts of the state — Fort Worth.

The Texas Democratic Party’s executive committee recently picked Fort Worth as its site for the 2018 state convention.

It came down to Fort Worth and El Paso and which city would be best to host about 8,000 delegates in a gubernatorial election year, said Manny Garcia, executive director of the Democratic Party.

“For us, there’s a great number of benefits,” he said. “It’s always great to build our local infrastructure, and the attention a convention brings to an area allows us to do that.

“And politically, SD 10 [now represented by state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, who replaced Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth] is a huge priority for us going into 2018,” Garcia said. “I’m proud we will be right in the middle of the battleground.”

The Republican Party of Texas held its state convention in Fort Worth in 2014 and 2012. The last time the Democratic Party held its state convention in Fort Worth was 2006.

“Fort Worth is about Texas values,” Garcia said. “We are so glad to be able to be there.”

Moving on

The Tarrant County Republican Party will soon be moving into new digs.

The local GOP hopes to move a few blocks away from its office on Gravel Drive in Northeast Tarrant County to settle into new space at 7524 Mosier View Court before Christmas, Chairwoman Jennifer Hall said.

“We need more room,” Hall said. “We were crammed in there.”

She and others have been looking for new office space for the past year and a half, finally deciding on the right space in recent weeks.

The party moved into the Gravel Drive headquarters in 2009.

Dole: No President Cruz

Former Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., the GOP standard-bearer in 1996, is still active at 92.

In an interview on MSNBC’S Andrea Mitchell Reports on Dec. 8, Dole, known for his sharp wit, gave a lot of opinions on the presidential candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Asked by Mitchell if he could support Cruz if he were the nominee, Dole muttered, “Well, I would — I might oversleep that day.”

Dole’s reason: “ ‘Cause he used to make these speeches. ‘Remember President Dole, do you remember President McCain, you remember President Romney?’ ” (Dole, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney were all losing GOP presidential nominees.)

“The inference was that we were all a bunch of liberals, and only he is a true conservative. And he uses the word ‘conservative’ … more than he ever uses the word ‘Republican.’ So it would be difficult.”

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley