I Love El Paso

El Paso is a great town. The people are friendly and unpretentious. The weather’s good, mostly. The sunsets are often spectacular. A foreign country is just minutes away, and some of Mexico’s culture has seeped into our city.

I grew up here, so I’ve got that cultural thing down. And El Paso is culturally unique. No other city in the world is like El Paso. If you’ve mastered a skill set that works in El Paso, you’ll never use all of it anyplace else.

But man, the local government sold us out. I guess they don’t like El Paso.

And they’re adamant about it.

Tell me, what are El Paso’s shortcomings, and what will “downtown revitalization” do to alleviate them?

Educational attainment? Yeah, that’s a problem. But ballparks and arenas won’t cure that. And the money we spend on ballparks and arenas is money that we won’t be able to spend on education.

A lack of industry? Local government and their shills tell you that El Paso needs a vibrant downtown to attract out-of-town businesses. You know. “Every great city has a great downtown.” In reality, “downtown revitalization” is a growth industry these days. Every city big and small in America is either pushing downtown revitalization or has already fleeced the taxpayer with a downtown revitalization plan. “Downtown revitalization” is a convenient rubric for giving taxpayer money to private interests, often through public/private partnerships. Los Angeles became a great city before it had a great downtown. Their downtown revitalization started in the early 2000s. El Lay was a great city way before that.

Low wages? High taxes? Obesity?

A lack of baby-changing stations in City buildings?

Wasting money on downtown revitalization won’t fix any of El Paso’s problems. Anyone who tells you different is lying.


  1. We have had some dumb governing bodies. I served in the Marketing committee of the Chamber of Commerce for 8 years (longest serving member) and did nothing constructive because we had no funding. The “Paseo de las Luces” plan was never done the way it was designed. The programs that I suggested were never done like the Frontier Village (A mining town concept at McKellingan Canyon )was never done. Excuse, there was no funding. Now all of a sudden there are plenty bucks to do what the hell they want. All of them stuck with our money. We know who is guiding the parade.

  2. Good piece. How can we make El Paso a better place without making the fatcats at City Hall fatter? All they care about is making their friends richer, displacing the poor, stepping all over us and spending our tax dollars.
    I ask, instead of building metallic structures in the name of “quality of life”, how do we improve El Paso for our children?

    1. I don’t care if the fat cats get fatter, but I wish there were some collateral benefit for the taxpayers. The way it is now, only the fat cats benefit.

  3. So, what do WE do in order to benefit? You said “The way it is now”, well what way is there for everyone to get something out of it?

    1. I think the problem is that El Pasoans are too nice and polite. We’re reluctant to call out those politicos who smile in our face and stab us in the back. I think El Chuqueño and some of the other websites have done a lot lately to hold some politicians accountable for their decisions.

      The politicians are starting to realize that we don’t forget. The personalities behind the opinions aren’t trapped in the current news cycle. We can say, “Hey, what’s that arena for again?” “You never told us that.” “I thought you said you talked to Union Pacific.”

      And so far we haven’t made a ripple at the polls. Not yet. But more people are hearing our voices.

      But we need candidates. We need a ground game, people to talk to voters.

      We’ll see. Maybe I’m just dreaming.

      1. I understand if we change the people in power, we can change the dynamic. After that, how can WE benefit from that? The fat cats are getting fatter and you said that is fine as long as we get something out of it. What can we get out of it? Please provide some examples, I am extremely confused.

        1. Well, if we’re not throwing money away at vanity projects, maybe the City can realize its obligation on things like pension funds. Maybe we can maintain our streets. Maybe we can have sufficient police so every minor collision isn’t a source of major frustration for so many El Pasoans.

          Maybe we can have more money for the things that government is really supposed to do, and not all these frills that only benefit a select few.

          I don’t care if the fat cats get fatter. I just don’t want them doing it standing on our shoulders.

  4. Well, if they would just do what they were supposed to do (streets, pension funds, police), our taxes would go down and we can enjoy our City the way it is. Fat cats don’t care about us, I wish they would just leave us alone and keep things the way they are!

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