An Old Canard, Revived

Here’s an entertaining post from District 3 Representative Cassandra Hernandez, hyping the benefits of the Children’s Museum. Which is curious, no? I haven’t heard anyone opposing the Children’s Museum much. Only that it’s costing the City twice as much as was approved by the QOL bonds.

Like many parents in the region, the 2012 Quality of Life Bond project that is most appealing to me and my family is the El Paso Children’s Museum. El Paso is the 19th largest city in the United States, and it is a shame that with over 400 children’s museums in the country, we lack this type of amenity.

Did you know that the City of El Paso is bigger than the City of Denver? Than Miami?

Of course, the Denver metroplex is one contiguous urban area comprised of Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Centennial, Westminster, and Thornton. The metroplex stretches almost unabated to Golden and Boulder. The Denver Metropolitan Statistical Area was home to 2,888,227 in 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The Miami MSA, AKA South Florida, was home to 2,751,796 in 2017.

The El Paso MSA, which includes Hudspeth County, had a population of 844,818 in 2017. The El Paso – Las Cruces Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,060,397. Also, we’re poor.

Of course, we could throw Juarez’ 1.4 million residents into the mix, except probably more than three fourths of the people in Ciudad Juarez can’t legally cross the border, and Juarez has its own children’s museum. Maybe it’s better if we just leave them out of the equation altogether.

Rep. Brown goes on the postulate on the economic impact the Children’s Museum will have. Except for the people coming from out-of-town to visit the Children’s Museum (a dubious proposition, given how far El Paso is from almost anywhere) were is the net economic benefit? The money that will be spent at the Children’s Museum is money that would have been spent somewhere else in town, at Chuck E. Cheese, or Adventure Zone, and presumably our children will get more out of the museum than tickets to exchange for some Chinese plastic.

We’re not creating any new money with the Children’s Museum. We’re not creating new wealth. We’re just re-slicing the pie.

I’m willing to see what’s going to happen. I’m suspending my judgement until I see how it will turn out. I’ve got kids. But to promote the new Children’s Museum as an economic boon, or as a catalyst for development, is a stretch. Even for the 19the biggest city in the U.S.

4 comments

  1. Gee, funny thing. We used to have a pretty good kids’ museum, didn’t we? Right downtown, next to City Hall? Oh, wait. That’s right. We let some folks tear it all down, didn’t we? Oops. My bad. BTW, mention of Cd. Juarez as part of our total regional population is no longer possible, since the creation of homeland security, and the metamorphosis of the Border Patrol and U. S. Customs and Immigration into the Gestapo. When it was so much easier to cross the border, we did indeed share many cultural and social things with our family and friends over there.

  2. What’s also not mentioned was that this was supposed to be under MCAD. The museum is slated to be bigger than the other three museims combined, have a bigger staff, and cost more to run. It’s now going to be a public/private benture, which will require an admission fee. Wasn’t what Lynx was doing WITHOUT city funding?

  3. I suggest that you refer to the stirring oratory of Cortney Niland when she pointed to the multiplier effect of these projects. She once waxed poetic and claimed that the new San Jacinto Plaza would knock the socks off of people from Van Horn. You can’t put a price on that kind of wow factor. God I miss her.

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