Commentary: El Paso- Paso del Sur announces the launch of a new citizens initiative petitioning the City Council of El Paso to pass an ordinance so that voters can decide on proposed changes to Proposition 2 of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Election. These changes represent a viable solution for the problems that the City is facing in fulfilling its promises to the people of El Paso.
In 2012, voters were promised numerous projects through the Quality of Life Bond and voters approved $228 million for Proposition 2. The particular amounts allocated by City Council for each project were not stated in either the ordinance or the ballot. Therefore, the voters did not approve the amounts set out for each project. Although the City Council has authority to change the amounts allocated to each project, they have remained steadfast with the original allocation. The main projects included in Proposition 2 were a Children’s Museum ($19 million), a multi-purpose performing arts facility ($180 million), and a Mexican American Cultural Center ($5.75 million).
The multipurpose performing arts facility is embroiled in litigation due to the City’s decision to locate it in the historically significant neighborhood of Duranguito. The City’s insistence in designing the performing arts facility for sporting events was disapproved by a state district court judge and the case is on appeal. The Mexican American Cultural Center cannot be constructed because of insufficient funding.
Paso del Sur and other supporters believe that the solution is in cancelling the construction of a new multipurpose performing arts facility, reallocating the funds and enhancing existing assets. Rather than construct a new performing arts facility, the existing Abraham Chavez Theater can be renovated and expanded. The Mexican American Cultural Center and Corridor can be located in and become a part of a transformed old town Duranguito that will include a historic corridor reflecting and leading to the global roots of our City. This would create a thriving residential neighborhood and tourist attraction.
· What: Citizen’s Initiative Requesting an Election to make changes in the 2012 Bond Projects.
· When: Monday, June 25, 2018 at 9 a.m.
· Where: Firefighters Memorial Park, 316 W. Overland
· Contact: Carmen Rodríguez 915-490-9117; David Romo, 915-630-9502