Our local government has failed El Pasoans. It is critical for the City to expand contact tracing to interrupt the spread of COVID and contain the virus in our community. Council should also hold the City Manager accountable for the delay in hiring a Director of Public Health--a position needed to improve coordination and communication with the El Paso County government. We also need to investigate testing delays, and push for more sites to open across the city to make testing more accessible to communities who need it the most.
Jobs and Economy
The COVID pandemic has exposed just how many of our neighbors were one paycheck away or one illness away from despair. In order to safely open up our economy and help get people back to work, we must help our small businesses stay afloat with grants and low-interest loans. This investment in family-owned businesses will improve our quality of life in El Paso beyond the pandemic. As City Representative, I will also focus on attracting business to our region that will create more high-quality, high-paying jobs for our residents. Our tax dollars should not be offered as incentives for businesses who are not going to offer good-paying jobs to our community. This lack of job quality has also led to the hemorrhaging brain drain that has plagued our region for many decades. Our home-grown college graduates often find higher quality jobs outside of El Paso and those communities end up benefiting from our top talent. We must improve the quality of life in our region so that we may spur greater economic development, increase the commercial tax base, and provide relief to residential tax payers.
I will prioritize reforming public safety by improving the hiring process of police officers and thoroughly screening recruits for any history of violence or discrimination. We need to expand the training and investment in anti-racism, mediation, crisis management, and supporting survivors of violence and assault. Our community also needs more investment in homelessness prevention, mental health services, substance abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity, universal pre-k, afterschool programs, and the arts. Investing in such programs would address some of the safety challenges in our community before our police officers are forced to respond to them. This investment process would be gradual in order to ensure adequate levels of resources within our existing infrastructure.
Infrastructure and Beautification
District 2 is often referred to as the “Heart of El Paso.” We are proud of our historic architecture and unique landmarks that represent El Paso’s rich culture. As such, we need to be intentional about the improvement and preservation of our older buildings and development. As City Representative, I will promote infill development incentives to get these valuable properties back to their original state. This not only helps beautify our neighborhoods but also increases our tax base and gives the taxpayer a higher return on their investment. I will also prioritize the beautification of public infrastructure and its surrounding land that have been ignored for decades. District 2 is home to many railroad bridges, alleys, wooden light posts, and canals that need to be fixed, paved, and cleaned. I will work with the agencies of jurisdiction to make sure our neighborhood is free of eye-sores and safe for our residents.