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Home | Tag Archives: el paso

Tag Archives: el paso

El Paso participates in the 2019 Sister Cities Conference

The City of El Paso is participating in the Cities Mean Business: 2019 Annual Conference in Houston, Texas as part of the Sister Cities International organization.

“Sister Cities International allows El Paso to connect globally and thrive locally and thus helps us to promote our culture, tourism and regional economy,” said Jessica Herrera Director of Economic and International Development.

“By building and strengthening relationships with cities from around the world we can collaborate and share best practices, which will help us to grow and strengthen our vibrant regional economy.”

City officials are also participating in the 4th China – U.S. Mayor’s Summit as part of the conference and have met with various country representatives.

El Paso currently has a sister city agreement with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Hadera, Israel.

As part of the sister city agreement with Juarez, El Paso is scheduled to host the 2020 U.S. – Mexico Mayor’s Summit early next year, which will be attended by elected officials and business leaders.

Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for sister city programs in nearly 500 communities, with relationships in over 2,000 communities in more than 140 countries.

The Summit is the fourth in its ongoing bi-national series of Summits to reaffirm and strengthen sister city relationships in key countries.

The purpose is to bring together mayors, elected officials, business executives, city managers, and educators.

To learn more about Sister Cities International, visit their website.

City of El Paso earns two top national rankings

Officials with the City of El Paso shared announcements regarding the city’s quality of life and recognition by national websites.

“The City of El Paso continues to climb up the national ranks as it receives two new national accolades for being the best place for rock climbing and having one of the friendliest neighborhoods,” officials shared via a Wednesday morning news release.

El Paso has been named as the #1 city on Livability.com’s list of the 5 Best Places to Live for People Passionate about Rock Climbing.

The rock quality and the number of routes in Hueco Tanks and the Franklin Mountain State Park have put the Sun City at the top of the list.

In addition, Livability.com recognizes El Paso’s quality of jobs in a variety of sectors, its rich culture, food, excellent healthcare and hip neighborhoods.

Neighborhoods in the City of El Paso are also in the national spotlight as MSN.com and Resonance Consultancy have named Chihuahuita and Segundo Barrio as one of the 28 Friendliest Neighborhoods in U.S. Cities.

The two oldest neighborhoods in the City were established during the Mexican Revolution by fleeing immigrants. The neighborhoods’ Hispanic culture is vividly illustrated through murals found throughout the streets of Chihuahuita and Segundo Barrio.

Factors such as walkability, home affordability, public spaces and the prevalence of third spaces such as restaurants, cafes and more were taken into consideration to compile the list.

Bianca’s Borderland Beat: The Poppin’ heard ‘Round the World

If you put your ear to the El Paso earth, a good listener will catch the faint rumble of a desert daisy bashing its way through the surface. The approaching week will see a flower burst into bloom by way of written word wizardry, an upcoming pivotal performance and an ensuing storm of supporters chanting her name.

In the past 7 years, Krystall Poppin’s tectonic career shifts have catapulted her to an unforseen career peak thus far, and recent upheavals have pushed the mountain of her music journey to new heights.

Come May 21, the Latina rapper will shine as bright as the El Paso star in the biggest performance of her hip hop orbit, heating up the stage for headliner Cardi B at the El Paso County Coliseum.

“I still can’t believe it,” Krystall Poppin said of the invitation to perform as the opening act. “To this day, I’m like, is this really happening?”

Krystall, who also goes by KP, was on the Halos and Horns tour with Houston rapper GT Garza when her manager DS Junior got the call from the Cardi B concert promoters. For KP and her team, it could potentially be the climactic moment they’ve been waiting for in their years-long pilgrimage with her music.

“I’m doing everything in my power that I put on the best show possible and that everyone knows who Krystall Poppin is at the end of that show,” she said.

Her Power and its Path

So what is the origin of this Poppin power?

A good chunk of it is siphoned from the unconditional support of her immediate team, long-time manager DS Junior and her DJ, 3AM who have been alongside KP for the majority of her musical path.

That path began in 2012 when the early seeds of hip hop were planted in a young woman named Krystal Garcia, whose poetry channeled its way out one night during a rap cypher at a house party. The words flowed out of her in clean cadence, candidly impressing the audience with the surprise of her verbal ferocity.

Not only was she a female jumping fearlessly into a pit of male lyricists, she was a female that could rap well. With a slight push of inner confidence, Krystal Garcia unknowingly gave birth to her rap career as Krystall Poppin.

Shortly after, KP was approached by a local rap group requesting her vocals for one of their songs. They brought studio equipment to her home, and it was in her bedroom where KP recorded her first track as a rapper with the group. She immediately called in her mom for parental endorsement.

“I asked her, ‘you wanna hear it?’ and she said ok,” KP reminisces with a giant grin. “I put the headphones on her, and I could hear the song starting, and as soon as she heard my voice she started crying. I wanted to cry and I knew at that very moment she supported me.”

And the tears followed from the rest of KP’s family, who has been on board since day one of her life as a musician.

“They probably believed in it more than I did at the moment,” she said. “And I just want to do everything I can to make sure I make it, for them. Because at the end of the day, when I think of my success in my head, it’s not me just in a mansion chillin’ in a jacuzzi. My vision is to have a huge ranch with my whole family living in there, no worries, living our best lives together.”

Over the years, her new creative outlet led her to collaborate with other hungry artists and producers in El Paso, including well-known local group, Live From the Da Corner (LFDC) crew with Tobias Brown and Mikey Cloud. She juggled several performances with LFDC and as an independent artist both locally and nationally, further polishing her naturally infectious stage presence and surging her digital following to thousands.

The early orbit of her career circled around the release of her first full solo project “Starstruck” with SoundStage 9 records in 2016.

She had moved to Las Vegas with DS Junior about a year prior and returned to El Paso to complete the project at McGee Studios. A billboard promoting her album release on I-10 reinforced her tenacity to make it as a rap artist.

“Everyone was excited, they were like, Krystall Poppin, she’s doing this, she’s doing that,” KP said. “All attention was on us.”

Her single, Miss Poppin garnered tens of thousands of views on YouTube, bringing the likes of local celebrities Chuck Debroder and DJ Jonny Kage. To the eyes of her fans, KP was headed to the top with nothing stopping her.

And then she stopped.

The Blackout

It was 2016, not long after the release of “Starstruck” when the sudden disappearance of her visual rap resume became evident on her digital networks. KP was gone, and she would remain in the social media shadows for two years before fans would hear another pop from Miss Poppin.

“After the album released, I realized there was so much that I didn’t know,” she explained. “I just felt that I needed to take the time to really understand what I wanted, what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it because up until that point I was basically being told what to do.”

KP, though in good hands with producers and immediate supporters, was uncomfortably standing solely on her rapping skillset, with no knowledge of the complexities behind the scenes from recording to management to running her social media.

“This is what I wanted to do my whole life, and I needed to know the ropes, I needed to know what was going on” she said. “So, I decided to take a step back, out of the eyes of the public, so I could find myself, discover who I was and what kind of music I wanted to make, the sound I wanted.”

A spiral of confusion would send KP’s outlook on music to near extinction as internal battles with doubt, identity and homesickness poisoned the once unstoppable desert daisy.

Secrets in Vegas

Curiosity and exploration held together the marrow of KP’s creative spirit amidst her musical enigma. Barely keeping her dimming desire afloat while feeling anchored in the uncertainty of her music direction, she immersed herself into experimental avenues in search of what was missing.

This was a trying moment for her tens of thousands of fans and particularly DS Junior, the hardworking, full-time mastermind behind her explosive image and visual production.

“It was hard for me as a manager because we had already gained so much traction, we had already invested so much of everything” DS said. “The city was loving it, we were doing all this work and it was getting to the point where we were starting to see the fruits of her work.”

Nonetheless, DS Junior fully supported KP’s decision to take a step back, even embracing the unforeseen chasm by joining her creative trials. She dabbled with the bass, learning from teachers on YouTube and began toying with software to produce her own beats. KP also tinkered with a piano and guitar, even stretching her vocals beyond rapping to sing collabs with DS Junior.

Before fully committing as Krystall Poppin’s manager, DS Junior once pursued a music career as a vocalist and collaborator with other local rappers, including Tobias Brown.

A silver lining to KP’s sudden public detachment was the rebirth of his talents, awakening him to form what they call their “secret band.”

“It’s going to come to light someday,” she laughed as she revealed one of the big mysteries behind her cyber silence. “We haven’t performed yet or anything like that, we just made the music, and we have so much music! It’s totally not what you would expect from us, it’s crazy.”

Rap and hip hop were obsolete in the duo’s music venture that experimental year in Las Vegas.

KP was learning how to produce, DS was once again playing instruments; it was the artist play time they never had time for during their “Starstruck” hustle.

“It made me happy to see him in the studio, creating,” KP beamed. “Not only was he creating, he was inventing this sound, and the vocals that I was experimenting with just… felt so good.”

With both their spirits reawakened and refreshed, the idea to road trip across the country in a camper came to light. The conversation was a subtle knock from destiny, as DS Junior later came to realize.

“As we were going through the process of creating all that, I’m looking at my phone’s notes from years before,” DS said. “I find a note from two, three years earlier that said ‘buy an RV, go around the country, make a blog, work on music.’ Whaaat?!”

DS Junior stared at the note in shock, realizing he had planted this very seed himself, and it was now manifesting into reality.

“I just couldn’t believe that we were at this point in time now doing that,” he exclaimed.

As their idea came to life and their vision of a music studio on wheels began to take shape, KP once again began to feel confident in her artistic skin to the point of yearning for her musical roots in hip hop.

“Once we started renovating the RV, I started missing rap,” she said. “I couldn’t leave it alone, so I started writing my raps again and it was crazy because I was sharper. A year of experimenting with the band made me a better rapper.”

Raps and a RV

Two concurrent evolutions – KP’s new music and the RV road trip – matured under wraps through 2017. By the spring of ’18, the story of the “Honey Whip” had gone public for the world to watch on YouTube as Krystall Poppin’, DS Junior and his younger brother Hiram Santoy documented their cross-country tour across 26 cities to meet new people, absorb culture and grow as artists.

“I feel the music I make now, is totally because of the experiences on the road,” KP said of her evolving sound. “My world is so much bigger now, I feel that broadened my vision for my writing as well.”

KP’s credits her storytelling evolution to interactions with strangers, collaborations with new artists and even the rocky times on the road. New, saturated layers of inspiration came from watching others’ creative processes while witnessing the compounding growth of her audience in full support of her journey as the Honey Whip hopped from town to town.

“The craziest thing is just running into people and them just believing in it, me and DS” KP said of her grassroots tour. “When I jumped into it, I believed in it with myall  heart and my soul, but meeting others, and them seeing what’s going on saying things like ‘wow, you’re on to something’ it just feels so good.”

The buildup of buzz with their Honey Whip odyssey caught the attention of local media stations and awoke her musically dormant online personality. KP was back full force with what she felt was ripe sound, dropping her first single in 2 years: Timmy Tah.
“We decided to put that one out first because I felt it really displayed the direction I wanted to go in now,” she said of the new music. “It went really well, I think people were really accepting to it.”

The evolved style KP adopted in Timmy Tah may have shaken away some of her older fan base, but the ballooning of her new audience was happening so quickly that it was hardly noticeable.

“It may not be the same as the music she started with,” DS chipped in. “Definitely a new sound, more fresh, more comfortable.”

KP’s musical maturity was palpable across the board. Her smile was brighter, her self-care was evident and her sound was notably sharper. It took the complete severing of her dream to rediscover the fire that led to its inception in the first place. It was by far the best career move for a rising star that was now shooting across the industry sky.

Heads turned during the cross-country cruise on the Honey Whip, which was partially documented on YouTube while the crew awaits potential network interest. KP was approached by rising Houston rapper GT Garza and invited to join his Halos and Horns tour in early 2019, rerouting the Honey Whip’s GPS and bringing on an old comrade from LFDC.

Remember Tobias Brown? An old friend of DS Junior and LFDC member that once shared the vibrant stage energy with KP would rejoin the Krystall Poppin crew as her DJ only weeks after his decision to begin learning the craft.

“When they got the tour going, I had actually just bought my first piece of DJ equipment,” 3AM said. “I told myself, just in case something pops off, and sure enough, something popped off!”

It was a perfect coincidence for 3AM to venture into DJing as the Halos and Horns tour launched. But it almost didn’t happen.

“I told him about the tour, and at first he said no,” DS laughed. “He was going to get some job, but then he called me back and said, ‘let’s go on tour!’”

The connection between the trio is infectiously inspirational. The sequence of events that brought them all to this point in time had been destiny’s meticulous plan all along.

“We already kind of had a little bit of history on stage together, and everything just kind of fell into place,” KP said of her team.

For 3AM, the journey is a no brainer, believing strongly that their connection is purposeful. His profession in film and his own music history pairs well with the creative capacities of DS Junior’s production abilities and KP’s internal fire that lights the way.

“I feel like we’ve got to a point where we have a product where there’s enough people putting time into it, enough dedication that it’s moving,” he said. “We in the front seat with our hands up!”

The KP Chronicles Continue

What’s next for KP and the Honey Whip crew? As the big day hovers over hours-long show practices and heavy promotion, KP, DS Junior and 3AM replenish their spirits at their El Paso homes any chance they get.

Scribbled dates, file stacks and a mountain of memory cards litter DS Junior’s mobile desk backpack. The team buzzes from city to city completing the Halos and Horns tour with intermittent rehearsals for the Cardi B concert coming up May 21.

At the same time, new projects are sprouting in Houston and Atlanta as the name Krystall Poppin’ reverberates off her road trip travels and new music releases.

Stay with us for Part 2 of the KP Chronicles: Life After Cardi B.

City of El Paso Named a Finalist for 2019 All-AmericaCity Award

On Thursday afternoon, elected officials from the City of El Paso held a news conference  to announce that the National Civic League (NCL) has named the City of El Paso as a finalist for the 2019 All-America City Award.

“We are pleased that the City of El Paso is once again a finalist for the All-America City Award. The City won in 1969, 2010 and 2018, and I am confident we will do extraordinarily well this year,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

The 2019 spotlight for the award is efforts focused on inclusive engagement practices that create healthy communities for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.

Finalist communities’ presentations will bring their written application to life and demonstrate the positive effects of using equitable engagement strategies to address issues such as promoting mental health, addressing obesity and building stronger neighborhoods.

The 20 cities named finalists will send a delegation to Denver, Colorado, in June to make a live presentation to a panel of judges. Each community will bring a team of residents, nonprofit leaders, business representatives, government officials and young people to participate in presentations and workshops for three days.

The 2019 AAC finalists represent collaborative, inclusive and innovative civic engagement.

“Mayor and Council, the City’s executive team, and City staff have all worked hard for this honor, and I am proud that we are one of only twenty cities nationwide to be selected as a finalist for the second year in a row,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez.

“We are excited to tell the City of El Paso’s story and once again showcase that El Paso is truly best in class with all that we do.”

The All-America City Award (AAC) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious civic recognition award.

Listed below are the 2019 All-America City finalists, in alphabetical order:

Battle Creek, Michigan

Clinton, North Carolina

Cornelius, Oregon

Doral, Florida

Dubuque, Iowa

Edinburg, Texas

El Paso, Texas

Gothenburg, Nebraska

Hallandale Beach, Florida

Houston, Texas

Livingston County, New York

Millcreek, Utah

Mission, Texas

Ontario, California

Pasco, Washington

Rancho Cordova, California

Rock Hill, South Carolina

San Antonio, Texas

West Hollywood, California

Wichita, Kansas

Video – Only in El Paso / Season 5: Comedy Under the Big Star

In this week’s episode of Only in El Paso, hear several local comedians talk about their trials and tribulations. Through all the cheers and jeers, open mics, and headliner shows, these comics stick it out for their passion. It’s a familiar story for any aspiring artist or veteran.

Directed by Cassius Casillas

***

Only in El Paso is a digital webseries telling unique and positive stories of people and places one can find only in El Paso. Created by KCOS, Destination EP & PBS Digital.

Upcoming Episodes

Isaac Marquez: A Perspective from El Paso
Cassius Casillas: El Paso Comedy
Weird Moved West: The History of Kern Place
Viridiana Villa: El Paso Murals
R-Unity Productions (Rafael PrietoAdrian Romero Richard Gonzalez): Life of a Border Student
Luis Galindo: El Paso Skate Park Association
Monica Riehl: Cinco Punto Press
Tony Dueñez: History of Durangito
Roberto Tibuni: The Boxing Museum

As always, a big hug to our sponsors.

Visit El Paso
Museums and Cultural Affairs Department – City of El Paso
El Paso Electric
PBS Digital Studios

A special thanks to our judges.

Kyle Alvarado
Chris Babcock
Natalie Eckberg
Mario Ramirez
Gracie Torres

Creative Director

Frank Luna

Operating Manager

Emily Martin Loya

Produced by

Kcos-Tv, El Paso PBS station

Video – Only in El Paso / Season 5: Drainage: Fragmented images of underground youth

“This is what El Paso was to me, and to many others. I know, it’s generational, yet the same dry-throat rebellion is what we’re all familiar with in our own way. This is an essay, a collection of a side of El Paso that is only known by the kids who live it.”

Isaac Marquez  – Only In El Paso Filmmaker

***

Only in El Paso is a digital webseries telling unique and positive stories of people and places one can find only in El Paso. Created by KCOS, Destination EP & PBS Digital.

Upcoming Episodes

Isaac Marquez: A Perspective from El Paso
Cassius Casillas: El Paso Comedy
Weird Moved West: The History of Kern Place
Viridiana Villa: El Paso Murals
R-Unity Productions (Rafael PrietoAdrian Romero Richard Gonzalez): Life of a Border Student
Luis Galindo: El Paso Skate Park Association
Monica Riehl: Cinco Punto Press
Tony Dueñez: History of Durangito
Roberto Tibuni: The Boxing Museum

As always, a big hug to our sponsors.

Visit El Paso
Museums and Cultural Affairs Department – City of El Paso
El Paso Electric
PBS Digital Studios

A special thanks to our judges.

Kyle Alvarado
Chris Babcock
Natalie Eckberg
Mario Ramirez
Gracie Torres

Creative Director

Frank Luna

Operating Manager

Emily Martin Loya

Produced by

Kcos-Tv, El Paso PBS station

Video+Info: Trump declares national emergency to build border wall

President Donald Trump made the national emergency announcement from the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.

Watch the president’s remarks in the player above, video stream courtesy PBS News Hour.

To read about the announcement, click here; to read about the lawsuit opposing the declaration, click here.

To read the actual “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019” click here.

For in-depth coverage/streaming visit:   CNN   |   Fox News   |   cSpan

***

Congresswoman Escobar Statement on President Trump’s Unlawful National Emergency Declaration

Today, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s unlawful national emergency declaration:

“President Trump’s national emergency declaration is a political stunt in order to further his administrations’ anti-immigrant agenda and deliver on a campaign promise to build a wasteful and hateful border wall.

“This attack on our democracy not only undermines Congressional and constitutional authority, it hurts the training, readiness, and quality of life of our service members and their families by potentially taking away more than $275 million from our Ft. Bliss Army Base. Furthermore, this promotes an erroneous narrative that portrays all border communities, including El Paso – a safe and vibrant border community – as a problem.

“El Pasoans and fronterizos across the country know that there is no national emergency. Instead, this administration has manufactured a crisis that has used their communities as ground-zero to implement President Trump’s cruel policies towards immigrants and asylum-seeking children and families.

“President Trump’s abuse of power and lies against our southern border will be challenged in Congress and in the courts. I urge my Republican colleagues to end this complicity, stand for what is right, and work towards understanding and addressing the root causes of our nation’s challenges.”

***

Texas Border Caucus Chair Rep. Blanco Responds to Trump’s National Emergency Declaration

“Trump’s national emergency declaration for his border wall is dangerous and radical. There is no national security crisis on the border. The only crisis we have is a humanitarian crisis.

“Trump and the Republicans had control of the Presidency, the House, and the Senate for two years and could not get his border wall funded.  This declaration is a dangerous step into dark territory for a president that acts on his worst political impulses. He has trampled on the rule of law and disregarded accepted facts, even from military Generals, the F.B.I., and the U.S. intelligence community. This declaration is purely political.”

Facts:

  • According to Customs and Border Protection, arrests along the southwest border — the standard metric used to calculate illegal border crossings — numbered 396,579 in fiscal year 2018, which ended Oct. 1. That’s lower than the average over the previous decade (400,751). It’s also lower than the number of border arrests in fiscal 2016, 2014 and 2013.
  • Violent crime has been dropping in El Paso since its modern-day peak in 1993 and was at historic lows before a fence was authorized by Congress in 2006. Violent crime actually ticked up during the border fence’s construction and after its completion, according to police data collected by the FBI.
  • For the third straight year, the city of El Paso was ranked as the safest of its size in the country…Congressional Quarterly ranks the border town as the safest of cities with a population greater than 500,000.

***

Senator Rodriguez statement in response to the President’s false declaration of a national emergency

State Sen. José Rodríguez, released the following statement after the President declared a false state of national emergency:

It is difficult to fathom an emergency declaration after having had two years to work with a compliant Congress to get done what the President thinks ought to be done. The fact that he was not able to convince his own party of the need when they had control and has openly stated that this is the issue upon which he is staking his re-election campaign should be enough for any self-proclaimed constitutionalist to look askance at his proposed actions.  

More importantly, in my opinion, is that the entire premise is a lie. There is no definition of “border security,” any more than there is “open borders.” Those are simply buzzwords meant to trigger people who know little to nothing about the realities of border enforcement and have unwarranted fears about immigrants.

El Pasoans know the reality of the border first-hand. While I, and frankly, the government’s own security agencies, categorically reject the notion that the border poses an unmet national security threat, we also all recognize the very real issue of smuggling of people and contraband that must be met with smart, focused law enforcement and adequate judiciary.  El Paso meets this challenge every day without demonizing immigrants or border communities.  

The last thing the country needs is an out-of-control president who cannot work with Congress or be trusted to honor an agreement – as happened when he shut down the government for 35 days, hurting millions of people – then attempts unilateral actions in response to criticism from talk show hosts who know or care little for the facts.  

Video+Story: Musician Jim Ward creates ‘Because of You Fund’ for El Paso

Musician Jim Ward’s commitment to his hometown of El Paso is no secret. No matter how big his bands At the Drive-in, Sparta or Sleepercar became, he never left. In fact, he invested in his community with businesses like Eloise and Tricky Falls.

Now he wants to give back in a bigger way, and wants fellow El Pasoans to help. Ward has created the Because of You Fund in the El Paso Community Fund.

It is a donor-advised fund that will support various endeavors, including the creation of a rock music camp for girls. Jim is hoping his audience will embrace philanthropy in their own ways.

“Our foundation is set in life, music and art. We have created a fund in the El Paso Community Foundation that will use live music events, like last November’s El Paso Forever concert, to raise money for a multitude of community needs,” Jim says.

“As members of the El Paso philanthropic community, we noticed a disconnect between generations of givers — younger people were either unaware or unable to participate in higher dollar donation situations, such as formal galas. We thought if we could introduce giving in circumstances these folks were already used to, such as concerts, we could begin to build their relationship with charitable giving.”

Jim announced the new fund in a TV interview, watch it above, courtesy KFOX-TV; to contribute now, visit the EPCF website.

Women’s March Take to the Streets Saturday; Rep. Escobar Featured Keynote Speaker

Women’s March El Paso will be hosting a march and gathering in the heart of Downtown El Paso, capped off by a keynote speech by newly-elected Congresswoman Veronica Escobar.

“I am a proud third generation fronteriza and represent a community that is tired of being portrayed in a way that is not factually accurate,” Escobar said. “It is an honor to serve in a way that represents all residents, regardless of race, religion or status. Women’s March El Paso has helped to amplify all voices in our community.”

Officials with Women’s March El Paso announced Congresswoman Escobar as their 2019 Keynote Speaker earlier this week.  Escobar is a native El Pasoan who made history this year by becoming one of Texas’ first Latina Congresswomen.

Congresswoman Escobar was just named to the House Judiciary Committee and House Armed Services Committee and has already served as Speaker Pro-Tempore in her short tenure in the House of Representatives.  Escobar previously served as a County Commissioner and County Judge of El Paso County from 2010-2017.

Escobar is known in El Paso for her lifelong commitment to service, through non-profit and government work and has been a longtime ally of Women’s March El Paso and other women’s service organizations in the Borderland.

Entertainment will begin at 9:30 am with Danza Azteca Omecoatl. Felipa Solis will serve as this year’s emcee as the program officially kicks off at 10 a.m.

This year’s speakers feature a variety of speakers and artists in our community who aim for gender, racial, economic and social justice within our communities and political system.

An approximately 1-mile march will begin at San Jacinto Plaza and make its way back to the Plaza before Congresswoman Escobar’s speech.

For more information, visit Women’s March El Paso’s Facebook page

El Paso Housing Market Recognized as “One of the Most Affordable” in Nation

On Wednesday, officials with the City of El Paso announced that the city has received national attention for its affordable housing market by two national organizations: Realtor.com and MSNBC.

“The recognition of our strong and affordable housing market shows the economic growth of our city and how El Paso continues to move forward as an attractive place to live and work,” said Cary Westin, Deputy City Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.

An article written by the economic team at Realtor.com, “The 10 Surprising Housing Markets Poised to Rule in 2019,” listed El Paso as the third best metropolitan area for affordable homes in the country.

The study highlights El Paso’s low cost of living, a boom in construction and new housing subdivisions, along with Fort Bliss, as reasons for a thriving and affordable housing market.

El Paso is the only city in Texas to make the top ten list. Other cities include Phoenix, Las Vegas and Miami.

In an MSNBC article titled “Americans flock to where they can buy a home on a $60,000 salary,” El Paso ranked fourth on the top ten list.

El Paso came in the top 10 because of its average price of a home ($158,200) and the amount of down payment required to purchase a home on a $60,000 salary or less.

Other cities that made the top ten list include Houston, New Orleans and Oklahoma City.

Both articles looked at cities that are flourishing with job growth and increased business, affordable housing as well as an abundance of places to live.

Videos+Story: Border Rights Advocates Push Back on Presidential Address

Before the first words of President Trump’s prime time Oval Office address Tuesday night, border human rights advocates already had a rebuttal ready.

“What we have seen at the border over the past two years are the impacts and chaos caused by a cruel and racist President who has no respect for the rule of law,” Fernando Garcia with the Border Network for Human Rights said just moments after the Presidential Address was over.

The first Presidential prime time address was meant to convince Americans that the government shutdown, now in its 17th day, is needed in order to hold out for funding for a steel fence along the nation’s southern border.

Many immigration advocates at Tuesday night’s event at BNHR say the address did little to provide concrete evidence of a sincere crisis at our southern border.

“Why, even if there was something urgent at the border right now, why this administration would choose to respond with a wall that will take years or decades to build,” said Garcia.

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who now has a massive online following, decided to take a direct approach to the assertion by President Trump that there is a national emergency at the border.

O’Rourke took to Facebook live to walk viewers around his Sunset Heights neighborhood, discuss the proximity of El Paso to Ciudad Juarez and our dependence on each other for economic and social prosperity. Former City Council member Steve Ortega and Joel Guzman, both fellow Sunset Heights residents joined in on the discussion.

While Trump was quick to bring up two recent murders in the U.S. allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants, he also failed to mention the deaths of Guatemalan migrant children Jakelin Caal or Felipe Alonso-Gomez, who both became ill and died while in custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Father Arturo Bañuelos with the Catholic Diocese argued that the lack of the President’s compassion for the true humanitarian crisis happening across the border was part of a larger problem.

“We need real, lasting, humane, and permanent solutions ro our immigration system that provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. and that builds a legal system that comforts with reality moving forward. With a President unable and unwilling to act, Congress must lead,” said Garcia.

During Christmas week, El Paso saw a massive surge of migrants being released by ICE from detention facilities, which sent organizations in the Sun City to scramble to house and feed the massive release of families.

On December 26, ICE released a record 522 migrants from detention in a single day. By Wednesday, January 9, all three of the emergency shelters that were opened by Annunciation House during Christmas to house the unexpected surge of migrants will be closed. The closures are representative of a return to ‘normal’ release numbers by ICE since New Year’s Day.

The overall flow of migrant families into the U.S. is still far more than it has been in recent memory according to Annunciation House Executive Director Ruben Garcia in a previous interview.

President Trump is expected to make a trip to McAllen on Thursday to survey the southern border for himself. While he has previously indicated he would consider declaring a national emergency in order to fund the construction of the Border Wall, he stopped short of any declaration on Tuesday during his address.

In a response via Twitter Tuesday night, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar said “Tonight’s speech offered nothing new, just another glimpse at a POTUS w/ no understanding of how to cope w/ challenges of changing migration patterns. When he goes to south TX on Thurs, he’ll do the usual photo ops w/ federal agents. Maybe he’ll wear cowboy boots and ride a horse.”

The El Paso Herald Post will continue to offer coverage of the proposed Border Wall and the Government Shutdown.

Watch Full Border Network for Human Rights Press Conference Below

President Trump’s Address to the Nation on Border Security (Courtesy CSpan)

 

 

 

New ‘All-America City’ Signs to Welcome Drivers to El Paso

New signs at the five entrances into El Paso will showcase the community as one of the great cities in America.

“To maximize our visibility and promote our achievements we are replacing old signs by the highways with new ones highlighting our status as an All-America City. This effort should entice travelers to take a closer look at our City of Champions,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

On average, each day more than 300,000 vehicles pass through the city limits of El Paso, the nation’s 19th largest city and the sixth largest in Texas. Last year alone the economic impact of visitors to El Paso exceeded $3 million.

El Paso has earned three All-America titles, the most recent one awarded this year by the National Civic League. The organization recognizes communities each year for outstanding civic accomplishments.

To earn the recognition, each community must demonstrate innovation, inclusiveness, civic engagement, and cross sector collaboration by describing successful efforts to address pressing local challenges.

The City earned the other awards in 1969 and 2010.

Installation on the new 6-feet wide and 3-feet tall aluminum roads signs has begun and should be completed by early December. The work is being done by the City’s Streets and Maintenance Department.

Audio: Testify Sidebar – Child Crisis Center of El Paso

In light of their latest episode, Deserted, Charlie and Andra sought out advice from the Child Crisis Center of El Paso.

Executive Director Lorraine Gomez shared her insightful thoughts into the needs of the El Paso community when it comes to caring for children who are at risk for neglect or abuse.

The center has been in operation since 1980 and offers many services that El Pasoans may not be aware of. One of their most important services is drop in, no questions asked, childcare for parents who are in need of a break from their children.

If you would like to donate or help the Child Crisis Center, or if you are in need or their assistance, please visit their website or call them at (915) 562-7955.

You can also help the Child Crisis Center of El Paso by supporting their Discovery Thrift Shop located at 9122 Dyer Street in the Bradley Shopping Centre.

Testify Closing Arguments: Deserted with Genevive Curtis

This week, Andra and Charlie invited KFOX 14 Investigative Journalist Genevive Curtis about the 2013 death of Jackson Farrey.

Curtis recalls the mood and approach to coverage surrounding the disappearance of the Farrey family and the fallout from the subsequent discovery of Jackson’s body in an isolated New Mexico desert.

For more information on how to subscribe to Testify visit our website www.testifypodcast.com.

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In partnership with the Herald-Post, users can listen to Testify Podcasts via their webpage, or via Patreon or via the sites below.

  

 

‘Grand Tour’ of El Paso Border History Set for Sunday

Residents and visitors alike are invited to take a grand tour of the El Paso border with Mexico and learn about 175 years of El Paso border history, thanks to Celebration of Our Mountains.

A map with directions of the tour will be distributed at the American Dam and the tour begins promptly at 9 a.m.

To access the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) field office at 2616 West Paisano, take Executive Boulevard. to Paisano and go left. Get into the right lane as quickly as you can. The first turnout on the right will take you to the office and parking is available along the roadside.

The tour will begin at the American Dam Field Office of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), Tour members will take a short walk across the American Canal to Boundary Marker #1.

As tour particpants read the marker and listen to guide Mike Landis of the IBWC, they can straddle the border with one foot in the U.S.

Photo courtesy Celebrating our Mountain

and the other in Mexico.

From there the tour will continue east on Paisano to Old Fort Bliss, Hart’s Mill and the historic La Hacienda Restaurant.

There, Robert Diaz, President of the El Paso Historical Society, will talk about the border history from 1840 to 1900.

Finally,  the tour winds its way down Paisano to the Chamizal National Memorial. There, Ranger Rodney Sauter will explore and share the history of how the Chamizal Convention of 1963 finally ended a century-long border dispute.

Photo courtesy Celebrating our Mountain

After the tour, participants are invited to have a taste of border food history, as the newly re-opened Amigos Restaurant – located at 2000 Montana Avenue – was established after La Hacienda closed.

The chef and waiters from La Hacienda moved there and the menu is the same.

For more information visit the Celebration of Our Mountains website.

 

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