State Sen. José Rodríguez issued the following statement regarding the decision by the El Paso City Council to renew its commitment to restoring community use of Lincoln Center:
First, people need to understand what the Lincoln Center is. It was used as the first school for Mexican-American and African-American students at a time when schools were segregated. It has served as a community gathering place for generations in a neighborhood that has disproportionately borne the burden of regional infrastructure -- from I-10 to US-54 to properties taken for the Bridges of the Americas facilities and properties taken for then-Thomason Hospital. Yet through all of that this building, and its community, have endured. They are asking for the renewal of Lincoln Center -- hundreds of people showed up for a rally Sunday -- and they should get it.
Today, after an extensive discussion where the Mayor and all Council members reaffirmed their support for preserving the Lincoln Center, the City directed its City Attorney to begin negotiating with TXDOT and asked that I work with Rep. Joe Pickett and others to assist those negotiations. We will continue to work with TXDOT and the City, and any other interested parties, in coming to an agreement with TXDOT that preserves the Center and protects any future investment by the City.