A Better Site for the Mexican American Cultural Center

I think the City spends our money poorly.

The City spends our money courting out-of-town businesses that compete with our local businesses. Instead of adding value to the community, these out-of-town businesses compete for the same disposable income that every other local business is fighting for, and then these out-of-town businesses take their profits out of town. All we get are a handful of minimum wage jobs.

The City incentivizes sprawl, by giving tax incentives to companies who want to build developments out on the city limits.

Taxes go up. Property values go up. Our street infrastructure literally crumbles.

I’d just as soon stop the City’s spending all together. But if we can’t do that, I’d rather the City spends our money more wisely.

So instead of putting the Mexican American Cultural Center in the El Paso Municipal Library, I’d rather the City looked into buying the Las Alas Building at the corner of Kansas and Paisano.

As I recall, the building housed, at one time, the American Tobacco Company, or something like that. Lately it’s been home to a church. According to the Central Appraisal District’s website, the property enjoys an EX-XI exemption, Youth spiritual, mental, and physical development organizations, so they’re not paying any property taxes on the building.

The owners might be happy to make a deal.

The location is right on the edge of the Segundo Barrio. It’s two blocks from the former Douglas School. It’s on the trolley line! And it has parking.

And look at that building. That building has been waiting its whole life to be a Mexican American Cultural Center.

Of course, it’ll never happen. It makes too much sense.


  1. Yes, I think that it was the American Tobacco Company, and they not only had some great prices, but were distributors all over the area for Tobacco and other products. And, as you say, this would be too good a fit for our current crop of self-serving suckups called City Council to ever consider. Maybe after you get elected, you can make a difference, Rich.

  2. It’s really up to those who took control of the issue — Lily Limon, Jose Rodriguez, Sylvester Reyes and the few who pledged money. They were given control of the project by the former Mayor and Council. If they want that building, no doubt the city would buy it. But… there’s no money to remodel it as the group has failed to come up with ANY money to do so, despite the promises they have made in multiple presentations to Council.

  3. l’ve got some really great news! Even though it took me a while to locate it because it’s just a very tiny little place on a map that virtually no one has ever heard of, l DID find a Mexican Cultural Center pretty close to my home. l believe it’s called Juarez. Before l take a well earned nap, let me leave you with this question: Why do l have to do all of the thinking around here?

  4. The should put the MEXICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER in the whitest part of town. How about in the new tower that is being erected in the Coronado area? Some education might do some of those folks good.

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