Beto O'Rourke Blasts Arlington for Lack of Mass Transit, Mayor Says Senate Hopeful Uninformed

DeSOTO -- After talking to a group of local pastors and stopping by Top 5 BBQ for what he described as one of the best brisket sandwiches in Texas, Democratic Senate hopeful Beto O'Rourke set aside national concerns and explored issues close to the hearts of some North Texas voters.He criticized the cities of Arlington and DeSoto for lacking mass transit systems, telling suburban voters that his crusade against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was also about righting historic wrongs."Arlington is the largest city in American without a mass transit system. It is not by accident. It is by design," O'Rourke said at a town hall meeting in DeSoto. "There were some people who were not supposed to come into Arlington, Texas 50, 60, 70 years ago, when these systems were being planned out. There were some people that were not supposed to come to DeSoto, Texas. Back then DeSoto, Texas was not 80 percent African American. DeSoto, Texas, was 80 percent Anglo Americans."O'Rourke, a Democratic congressman from El Paso, then called on elected leaders and others to "call out "structural inequities that exist and be bigger and bolder than that.""It may be transit systems in places like Arlington and DeSoto," O'Rourke said. "There's so much left for us to do, and it won't happen unless we do it."Was he off base?Part of O'Rourke's underdog campaign against Cruz involves building a grassroots network that springs from all part of Texas, particularly in places like DeSoto, one of the most prolific voting areas for Democrats in North Texas.Not only did O'Rourke talk about building mass transit systems, but he also said reform was needed in the criminal justice system and with education.But as O'Rourke was trying to fire up his base, were his facts in North Texas transportation a little dated?Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams thinks so, telling me that O'Rourke has obviously missed news reports of innovation public transportation plans in Arlington."We were all over the national news last month with all our transportation efforts," Williams said. "I imagine he's not aware of what was going on."  Continue reading...

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