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Former Councilwoman and Arts District Head Veletta Lill Endorses Bobby Abtahi For District 14

Lill, with husband John. Photo: John Wythe
Lill, with husband John. Photo: John Wythe

Philip Kingston went and grabbed the endorsement of current District 14 councilperson Angela Hunt, so Bobby Abtahi reached back and grabbed the former District 14 rep. Veletta Lill — also the most recent head of the city’s Arts District — threw her support behind Abtahi’s campaign Tuesday.

“What I was looking for in a candidate was someone who’s collaborative, intuitive, and strategic,” she said in an interview. “Collaborative to work with his colleagues and city staff, strategic to update some of those city plans.”

Lill stressed Abtahi’s planning experience, and his willingness to work with City Plan Commission members. District 14 is a strangely shaped district that includes parts of Uptown and downtown, Oak Lawn, the M Streets, Lower Greenville, and East Dallas. If you cross your eyes slightly while looking at a map, it looks like a horse, galloping northeast.

“You have to love the whole district,” she added.  “It is a wide-ranging one, and you must love it all for its diversity and for its many personalities.  And I thought he had that capability, that sort-of understanding of why you have to love it all.”

Last year, Hunt endorsed her former campaign treasurer in a letter:

What has most impressed me about Philip is his ability to bring people together and create coalitions. For the last several years, Philip has volunteered on behalf of more than a dozen East Dallas neighborhoods to build consensus on complex zoning cases. He’s championed neighborhood causes countless times before the City Plan Commission and City Council, played an integral role in improving the St. Patrick’s Day experience for residents, and led the coalition of neighborhood associations focusing on improving Lower Greenville Avenue.

The diversity of our neighborhoods demands a leader who listens to residents, understands the issues, and believes in neighborhood self-determination. Philip will be a great partner at Dallas City Hall, and I hope you will join me in supporting his campaign with your vote, your endorsement, and your support.

In a twist, Hunt’s husband Paul Sims will serve as Kingston’s campaign treasurer.

Abtahi and Kingston are running in a crowded field that also includes David Blewett, Kevin Curley, Chuck Kobdish, Judy Liimatainen, and Jim Rogers. No word on whether any of them have reached back to more distant District 14 reps.