The first thing Jesus “Luis” Lujan will tell you is he’s not a politician.

The 29-year-old Vickery Meadow resident currently works for a local event production company.  He studied theater in college, and he’s a writer.

With no previous bureaucratic experience, Lujan has thrown his hat into the ring for the District 13 seat on Dallas City Council. He’s unhappy with the “very troubling things in politics the past year or so,” he says, and felt compelled to do something besides rant on Facebook.

“There are 1.3 million people in Dallas, and there’s 50 open seats for the public in the city council room,” he says. “That says a lot to me about the expectation of how many people would be involved in the city council.”

So Lujan, who only has lived in Dallas’ city limits for one year, now plans to go door-to-door to introduce himself to community members. His grassroots efforts contrast his opponent Jennifer Gates, who was sworn-in as councilwoman in 2013 and is a well-established fundraising powerhouse.

The competition doesn’t seem to concern him either.

“I’m not really worried or thinking too much about who I’m running against,” Lujan says.  “I’m not thinking about it in terms of challenging her.”

Lujan listed a number of citywide and neighborhood-specific issues that he hopes to help solve, ranging from the Dallas Police Fire and Pension Fund crisis to increased homelessness to the quality of life in Vickery Meadow. The area is detached from the remainder of District 13, he says, and the disparity that residents who live in low-income housing experience needs to be addressed.

“I’m not a politician. I’ve had every type of job you can imagine. I’ve been there with the blue-collar people. I know what it is to skip around when you can’t find your place.”

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