On Saturday, Sept. 6, the El Paso Times ran a guest column written by two individuals representing companies hired by the City to create what I believe is a damage-control narrative designed to twist facts and misrepresent the reality about how progress and quality of life is attained here in our city.
This is my personal response to their El Paso Times column – Jud Burgess
Mr. Bill Burton and Ms. Rodriguez, I take offense at your highly spun and lip-glossed opinion column attempting to present serious issues about El Paso’s future as simple as calling citizens to join your hastily produced “movement” called El Paso Forward, a media blitz designed to put El Paso on spin cycle in the midst of the current negative perception the public has of City government and how it treats El Paso’s citizens.
I know how advertising works* and Mithoff-Burton Partners along with the Raben Group PR firm are engaged in an attempt to change the current negative perception as these types of firms are hired to do. Advertising is all about manipulating facts to create a perception that sells an idea, service or product.
(* I’ve had my own successful 30-year business as a graphic design studio and have avoided working with ad agencies due to the pervasively disingenuous business culture.)
You present a saccharine and manufactured view of El Paso on the precipice of greatness and call it reality without any connection to real facts. Every administration has been declaring El Paso on the cusp of a renaissance and exploding growth but none have delivered it. Your “El Paso Deserves It” video subjects are multi-million dollar Quality of Life projects that have nearly all been underfunded.
Let’s call it what it is…a propaganda campaign to help usher in the sure-to-lose-millions, heritage and culture killing, taxpayer-abusing El Paso sports arena FUSTERCLUCK.
It’s a multi-media spin cycle effort designed to keep citizens ignorantly happy while City leaders continue jacking up the price tags of their pet projects like the ballpark and the now $60 million children’s museum while insultingly underfunding and haphazardly combining the $5 million Mexican-American Cultural Center with the beloved downtown library.
One major problem with your invitation is you neglect to inform El Pasoans that it will continue to plunge us deeper into serious and almost insurmountable debt at this point. All to appease our City leaders who more than likely hired your firm at taxpayer expense, the ultimate cruelty but not surprising given our mayor who has proven to have an insatiable appetite for issuing taxes every which way but loose.
Your column refers to community grumbling — a thinly veiled and insulting reference to the thousands of El Pasoans who demand government transparency, citizen participation in improving our city, ethical behavior from our public servants and an end to abusive taxation and expensive QOL projects.
Without so many words, you paint us as people who are holding progress down and hurting the misguided efforts of city leaders who in all truthfulness are taxing us into oblivion as the wheels of “progress” begin to come loose.
Since when is progress accomplished on the backs of El Paso’s taxpayers?
Since when is progress measured by how deep in debt City leaders subject our citizens to?
We are El Pasoans who want to see El Paso thrive but not by over-taxation and continued tax breaks for the wealthy at our expense.
We want to build pride by embracing the heritage, culture and people of the real El Paso…not the bland and derivative fake Starbucks culture that City leaders and real estate investors always seem to gravitate to.
Join the movement to hold city leaders accountable and put a stop to their reckless spending in the name of “progress” and “quality of life”.
Jud Burgess is a local graphic designer, business owner, and blogger who is involved in local activism efforts. judburgess.com / James No Bond on FB
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