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Tag Archives: el paso

City Awarded $100K Grant to Support Growth of Local Minority-Owned Businesses

El Paso is one of five cities selected for this year’s expanded City Accelerator program, an initiative helping communities create jobs by growing their network of local minority-owned local businesses.

El Paso and other cities chosen to participate in the program by the Citi Foundation and Living Cities will receive a $100,000 grant and other services such as coaching, technical assistance, and implementation resources to advance entrepreneurial efforts aimed at growing locally minority-owned businesses.

Other cities selected for the program include Atlanta, Long Beach, Newark and Rochester.

“This grant presented a unique opportunity for the City to expand services that support our regional entrepreneurs,” said Jessica Herrera, Economic and International Development Director.

Throughout the next year, El Paso as part of this program will focus on expanding small business services offered through the El Paso Public Library.

“The El Paso Public Library System is a support mechanism within our community that aims to enhance economic and educational opportunities, especially for our minority population. El Paso has over 54,000 minority-owned local businesses and with the City Accelerator Program we will enhance and cultivate the business community to support regional entrepreneurial efforts,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

For additional information, please visit Governing Magazine, Citi’s blog to follow the progress of the City Accelerator participants.

Website Ranks El Paso Among Top 10 ‘Best Places to Live’

The City of El Paso ranked #7 in the Best Places to Live in 2018 in the Top 10 Best Cities by


“El Paso continues to be recognized for the great City we are,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “In the past year alone, the City was awarded the Governor’s Achievement Award, was selected as an All-America City, was named the best managed city, was second highest in job and wage growth, and has been named the 5th Best Small City in America.”

The Sun City ranked above Irving, Lincoln, Austin, and just behind Gilbert, Arizona.

“City staff has worked hard to continue helping El Paso become the best place to live,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “El Paso residents and businesses deserve the best, and we are striving to provide them with an improved quality of life and continued economic growth.”

According to the Areavibes website, their ranking process begins with collecting more than 100 cities with populations over 200,000. Then they apply their Livability Score  – using a number of factors to establish each city’s score, including the city’s cost of living, employment figures and crime rates.

The Best Places to Live were selected on:

  • Amenities: Higher scores for more nearby amenities like: grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, schools, parks, libraries, etc.
  • Cost of Living: Higher scores for lower cost of goods and services, groceries, health care, housing, transportation and utilities.
  • Crime: Higher scores for low violent crime and property crime. Violent crimes are more heavily weighted.
  • Education: Higher scores for high test scores and low student to teacher ratio.
  • Employment: Higher scores for high median household income and low unemployment rates.
  • Housing: Higher scores for low housing price to median household ratio and high appreciation rates.
  • Weather: Higher scores for average temperatures between 70°-75° and low precipitation.

The list for 2018 saw a few changes over last year’s rankings, including the addition of two new cities.

For more information, visit

City Recognized for “Ask Laura” App

The City of El Paso was recognized as a 2018 Best of Texas Awards Winner by the Center for Digital Government at the annual Texas Digital Government Summit.

“Ask Laura,” the City of El Paso’s virtual information officer, was recognized as the Best Application Serving the Public. The Center for Digital Government identified the customizable look and voice and the software providing analytics and reporting as reasons for the recognition.

“The City of El Paso was honored for implementing ‘Ask Laura,’ a chatbot avatar with audible and on-screen messaging,” said Department of Information Technology Services (DoITS) Director Enrique Martinez. “Four departments are currently using ‘Ask Laura’, and we have plans to expand this customer service avatar to other departments to deliver outstanding customer service to the citizens.”

“Ask Laura” is currently available on the Purchasing and Strategic Sourcing, Tax Office, Planning and Inspections, and Airport websites.

The Best of Texas Awards program recognizes public-sector professionals and local government organizations for their dedication and contributions to advancing information technology in Texas.

Winners are selected based on a number of criteria, including collaboration among agencies, innovative use of technology, economic benefits and improving public services and business processes.

Visit for more information.

El Paso Featured in Where to Retire Magazine

El Paso has been selected a top retirement destination by Where to Retire, the only magazine in America geared toward helping people with retirement relocation decisions.

El Paso is profiled in a feature titled “8 Cities for Downtown Living” in the July/August 2018 issue, available nationwide on June 12.

According to Annette Fuller, Editor of Where to Retire Magazine, many retirees like to carve out a niche for themselves in a larger city’s lively, walkable downtown.

“Retirees often look for locales that provide easy access to dining, shopping and entertainment, and downtown districts often afford these and more within a confined area. The popularity of these cultural cores is sparking revitalizations across the country, but El Paso’s officials began revamping the downtown area more than a decade ago,” Fuller said.

“The renovation is evident in the conversion of the historic Blue Flame building into housing, bringing in the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas baseball team and redoing the city’s center, the San Jacinto Plaza. One retiree told our writer, ‘The cost of living, specifically housing, makes it the most affordable small big town in Texas.’”

The article sites research that,  “700,000 Americans relocate to new towns to retire. Generally, relocating retirees are healthier, better educated and more affluent than those who choose to not relocate. They bring significant economic benefits to their new states and hometowns. Nationally, two dozen states and hundreds of towns seek to attract retirees as a source of economic development.”

Where to Retire, now in its 26th year of print, is published six times a year. The magazine covers the best retirement regions, towns and master-planned communities, and recently released its 10th biennial list naming the 50 best master-planned communities in the U.S.

8 Cities for Downtown Living:

Charlotte, NC

El Paso, TX

Little Rock, AR

Madison, WI

Richmond, VA

St. Petersburg, FL

Sarasota, FL

Tempe, AZ.

City to Celebrate 145th Birthday Thursday

 The City of El Paso is hosting a birthday celebration in honor of its foundation 145 years ago.

The free celebration at the convention center in Downtown is open to the public. Organizers say there will be special guests, free refreshments, music and cake.

In addition, IBF World Featherweight Champion Jennifer Han will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans.

After the celebration, party goers are invited to the Chihuahua baseball game with fireworks and more. Tickets are available online, and fans can use the Promo Code: EPBDAY

A portion of these tickets will help send community champions to participate in the All-America City Presentation in Denver.

Who: City of El Paso, Destination El Paso

What: El Paso’s 145th Birthday Celebration

When: Thursday, May 17, 2018 5 PM

Where: El Paso Convention Center Plaza

The Doctor and the Marketer: Duo Teams Up to Promote the Possibilities of El Paso

I often tell people that El Paso is a city unlike any other. There is nothing to compare us to. The people, the food, the sunsets. Even the way we do business is different than the rest of the world. We are unique in a million different ways.

One of the things that’s different about El Paso, as I said, is business. What works in Austin, NYC, Chicago, or even Smallville, USA, is not going to work here. (Well, that’s my opinion at least.)

“In El Paso,” said Gilbert, “the way things are done is not the standard. It’s a standard we made ourselves. What is standard is what they do in Hollywood. How they do national spots, that’s a standard.”

Gilbert continued, “I think we try to bring that here.”

Gilbert Jorgenson and Dr. Benjamin Leyva are the partners behind Leo Marketing. Both bring a wide range of skills to bear, having worked the gamut of television in the case of Gilbert, and creating his own marketing in the case of Benjamin.

What makes them special? What makes them worth writing about? Let me tell you.

“I had an opportunity, so did Ben,” says Gilbert. “It’s not often that young extraneous partner up to do something great.”

Gilbert goes on to say that a lot of people when they open their business, become complacent. They tend to think that they are an island unto themselves, excluding all else. They become overly comfortable in what they are doing, and that it.

The sad part is, I know what Ben is talking about. When I opened my first business, I thought what I had, the customer base I had was enough. I didn’t need anyone else. The problem was, most of them moved away, and by the time I realized I needed to reach out to the community for new customers, it was already too late.

“When Ben came along,” Gilbert told me, “I instantly saw his vision. That he thinks big.”

Like Gilbert, Ben is not satisfied with mediocrity. Both have had businesses in the past. Both have a shared vision to change the El Paso paradigm.

Leo Marketing is suffering growing pains, with it’s ever expanding client base – Wing Daddy’s, BRAVO Chevrolet, Bell Sucre, and more – they are poised to take El Paso by storm.

“People don’t talk like that in El Paso,” says Gilbert, of Ben’s vision. “Most people talk about what they could have done, would have done, can do, or may do in the future one day.”

“We are about to do something very big,” says Benjamin. “We are out to change the game in marketing. We are going to change it, and it’s going to be impressive.”

Both Benjamin and Gilbert exemplify certain values. Hard work, commitment, drive. Both can and will take your vision and bring it to life. As I said, they want to see each of their clients succeed. That is a rare thing indeed.

“We have a specific strategy, but it’s a little bit of secret sauce,” is how Benjamin, all smiles, responded when I asked him how they planned to change the game.   What is that secret sauce?

“It all starts with getting people to work together, and get them to realize their potential,” says Gilbert.  “I think that too often people get complacent,” continues Gilbert. “We have as a community; myself included have at times. We need to snap out of that. We are a big city, and we need to start acting like it.”

They have a point. Anything and everything they have in Hollywood, the cameras, lights, lenses, they can be found right here in El Paso. I’m always surprised by the number of filmmakers we have here, the number of professional photographers we have here.

We hold on to a way of thinking from the 80’s – El Paso is a big city with a small-town feel – and that is what works against us often.

“We can do high-level stuff here,” said Gilbert. “I think there is a stigma about El Paso, that we are a poor border town. That we are a bunch of cow ranchers, poor. It’s not true. There is a lot of talent here.”

Gilbert mentioned that sometimes, whether we like it or not, El Paso is pulled kicking and screaming into progress, into the future. I know I don’t like the idea of moving out of my rut either, but we do need to move forward, collectively. If we want better restaurants, better stores, better event venues, we need to grow up a bit.

“We need to set an example of what can be done,” said Gilbert. “There’s every excuse as to why it can’t happen here. We’re too poor; we’re too dumb-“

“There’s a lot of stereotypes,” said Benjamin.

“I’m tired of hearing that,” says Gilbert, “I really am.”

“There are a lot of positive things people say about El Paso,” says Benjamin. “I think people that live here love the city, people who have been here, love El Paso. There’s a lot of love. Sometimes someone can say something negative, and it resonates a little more than all that love. What we want to do is tell that loving story just a little bit more.”

There is a lot of negativity of late. I’ve been told that I’ll never get anywhere with my writing or the documentaries I am making with survivors of the Holocaust. It’s hard. I’ve been told it will never happen, can’t motivate people to support my vision. El Paso is hard on its children, and I mentioned this fact to Gilbert and Benjamin.

“If you are from El Paso, you can be held accountable in many ways,” Benjamin began. “Your aunt, your uncle, your mom will get on you if you didn’t do a good job. That’s unique. That doesn’t happen in other cities.”

Benjamin went on to say that people in El Paso tend to have higher standards than most places. They mentioned community. We are a community driven city. If one person makes it, we all do. That’s where those standards come from. That’s why it’s hard to make it in El Paso. Everyone wants you to be your best, to shine brighter than anyone else.

“If you do well,” says Benjamin, “the whole community backs you. The community expects you to do well. They have high expectations. If you don’t do well, then the opposite happens.”

“El Paso is unique in a sense that it’s not known for embracing young entrepreneurs,” says Gilbert.

Boy isn’t that the truth. When I started my first business, a million years ago when I was just seventeen, no one was there. In fact, all I heard was that I was too young to do anything.

We should not look at that age. “In big cities,” says Gilbert, “they embrace that. In El Paso, youth is not seen as an asset.”

“I want to talk about the possibilities of El Paso. That’s the story I want to tell,” says Benjamin. “The possibilities of being born here, what you can do, what you can accomplish, the lack of limits. If you truly believe that, no matter what age you are, you can achieve whatever’s in your heart, your mind.”

“Don’t fear what you don’t want,” says Gilbert, sharing a quote from Leo Cancellare, his principal from Cathedral High.

Both Gilbert and Benjamin strike me as a pair that won’t show fear in the face of what they want. It is easy to see how this pair will inspire you, cause you to grow, and share your story, your vision with the world.

“Never give up on your dreams,” says Benjamin. “Don’t let other peoples opinions of you define you.”

“Be the best,” says Gilbert.

At the beginning of this article, I had two questions: What makes them special? What makes them worth writing about? Let me give you my answer.

Gilbert and Benjamin are not satisfied with the status quo that has defined El Paso over the past few decades. They can see the potential of the city, and every individual they encounter. They know for a fact that El Paso and every one of us here can shine. And they are ready to make that happen.

We are going to be hearing about them a lot. Not just locally, no. It won’t be long before we see them in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times Business section. Mark my words.

You can learn more about Leo Marketing by visiting their web page or on Facebook.

Forbes Magazine Ranks El Paso Top ‘Affordable City’ in US

The City of El Paso has been ranked as the city with the lowest cost of living by Forbes magazine.

Forbes based the rankings on median income and the cost of necessities to arrive at the income needed to live comfortably. El Paso’s median income is $43,322, and the cost of necessities is $25,075.

The income needed to live comfortably in El Paso is $50,150.

The median household income in the United States is $57,617, but the cost of necessities is $57,311.

“El Paso is one of the best cities to live in,” stated City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Our low cost of living, excellent workforce, and ranking as one of the safest cities means a superior quality of place for our residents.”

While many of the cities with low cost of living have rampant crime rates, the City of El Paso has also been able to keep crime down and is only one of two cities ranked that is able to do so.

The Forbes article goes on to state, “Affordable cities might be getting rarer, but they’re not completely gone. According to a new report by GOBankingRates on the salary you need to afford living, out of the 60 largest cities in the U.S., you can live comfortably in only 13 of them earning an income of $60,000 a year or less.”

More information can be found at

Website Places El Paso in Top 25 Cities with Best Work-Life Balance

The City of El Paso has been ranked in the top 25 cities with the best work-life balance by SmartAsset.

“This recognition is one more example that El Paso is a destination city for businesses and families,” said Mayor Dee Margo.

SmartAsset considered employment, home affordability and lifestyle to find the best cities with the best work-life balance. Data was compiled from the 100 largest cities in the country.

“El Paso is one of the best cities to live in,” stated City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. Our low cost of living, excellent workforce, and ranking as one of the safest cities means a superior quality of place for our residents.”

SmartAsset measured entertainment establishments, bars and restaurants, housing costs, home values, average weeks and hours worked, average commute time, percent with long commutes, unemployment rate, and labor force participation rate.

More information can be found at the SmartAsset website.

Video+Story: ESD Announces Winners of “Recycle Right, El Paso” PSA Video Contest

Wednesday morning the City of El Paso’s Environmental Services Department (ESD) announced the winners of the 2018 “Recycle Right, El Paso” PSA vide contest for high school students.

The contest required students to create a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) video based on the theme “Recycle Right, El Paso” that focused on all recycling services offered by the ESD. A panel of judges from the ESD Earth Day Committee selected the winners.

The winners are:

  • First Place – Montwood High School – Carlos Olivares and Crystal Saavedra
  • Second Place – Montwood High School – Isabela Cardenas, Isaac Perea, and Noah Hernandez
  • Third Place – Del Valle High School – Valerie H’luz-Pastrana and Eileen Matamoros.

Winners will be officially recognized during the regular El Paso City Council meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 3. The winning videos will also air on the City’s government channel, CityTV and the City’s YouTube channel.

The “2018 Recycle Right, El Paso” video winners are also posted on the City’s YouTube Channel.

City Of El Paso Named a Finalist for 2018 All-America City Award

The City of El Paso announced Wednesday afternoon that the National Civic League (NCL) has named the City of El Paso as a finalist for the 2018 All-America City Award.

The All-America City Award (AAC) is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious civic recognition 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 and 2010, and I am confident we will do well this year,” said City of El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

Participants had to submit an award application outlining three community projects that address their communities’ most pressing challenges.

The City’s Department of Community and Human Development submitted the following projects that highlight the city’s efforts to improve quality of life:

  1. Empowering El Pasoans for Services and Leadership
  2. Career and Adult Educational Opportunities
  3. El Paso Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program.

The 20 cities named as 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 2018 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 two Texas cities to become a finalist,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “We are excited to tell the City of El Paso’s story and showcase all of the advancements we have made.”

Listed alphabetically by state are the 2018 All-America City finalists:

Allentown, PA

Ann Arbor MI

Battle Creek, MI

Beaverton, OR

Cincinnati, OH

Charlotte, NC

Columbia, SC

Decatur, GA

El Paso, Texas

Kershaw County, SC

Las Vegas, NV

Longmont, CO

Miami Beach, FL

Mount Pleasant, SC

Pasco, WA

Placentia, CA

San Antonio, TX

Springdale, AR

Stockton, CA

Tacoma, WA.

To see complete details, visit the All America City Award website

City Sends Delegation to ‘Sister Cities’ Mayoral Summit in Guadalajara

A delegation from El Paso comprised of City officials and business leaders is gathering in Guadalajara, Mexico, along with other cities and counties from the United States and Mexico, as part of the All Mexico – U.S. Sister Cities Mayor’s Summit that begins February 15.

“The City continues to take advantage of every opportunity to promote our community, both economically and culturally. This summit opens relationships between Guadalajara and the El Paso del Norte regional businesses, higher education institutions, and civic associations. The positive outcome here is the beginning of new development between our two cities and the world,” said City Council Representative Peter Svarzbein.

The Summit is an effort to discuss ways to advance sister city programs between the United States and Mexico and is the third of an ongoing bi-national series of Summits to reaffirm and strengthen sister city relationships in key countries.

The conference theme of Independence & Interdependence focuses on celebrating the historical ties between the United States and Mexican civic society, business, cultural and education institutions.

“The Resilient El Paso strategy is a roadmap for collaboration regionally, nationally and globally. The City is committed to cultivating local, regional and global relationships supportive of prosperity for our people and sustainability for our city,” said Nicole Ferrini, Chief Resilient Officer and Director of Community and Human Development.

Ferrini added, “The path forward is paved by global connectivity, international best practices and cutting-edge local experimentation.  As a desert-oriented, binational metroplex, we are positioned to lead the world in the practice of urban resilience.”

For more information, visit the summit’s website.  Below is a list of those in the El Paso delegation.

e-Commerce South Shore Furniture to Build Warehouse in El Paso

E-commerce specialist South Shore Furniture announces the acquisition of over 6 acres of land and an investment of $8 million in El Paso.

“El Paso’s strategic location along the U.S.-Mexico border and its connectivity throughout North America makes it the obvious place for us to create a foundation for further growth,” said Jean Fortin Vice-president of Supply Chain and Logistics at South Shore.

South Shore officials said the company will build a brand new 132,000 sq.ft. building and will create 18 new jobs that will pay above the median hourly wage for El Paso County.

“The e-commerce battle is complex. To be a leader, a company needs a sophisticated and vertically integrated IT and logistics system, as well as amazing, personalized customer service and trendy and smart product solutions. We need committed people to continue innovating and growing,” states Jean Laflamme, president and CEO of South Shore Furniture. “One of our key success factors as a company is to devote a lot of energy to employee development by promoting training and enjoyment on the job.”

The company fosters and encourages internal transfers and promotions. Currently, the company is recruiting in Distribution & Logistics, Customer Service and IT for its operations in El Paso’s Vista del Sol District.

The new 132,000 sq.ft. building will feature a colorful and vibrant work environment to help employees embody the company’s values of teamwork, innovation and fun at work.

“El Paso’s business friendly environment and our strategic location keeps attracting leading companies to invest in our region and in our people. We are excited about South Shore’s decision to grow its operations here and look forward to working with the company,” said El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

“It’s encouraging and very telling when you see companies that once leased space make the long term investment to actually purchase land and establish their company in our community. Companies like South Shore, who already do business in El Paso, decided to grow with our community given the clear value they’ve experienced in our location, competitive cost of living, our talented workforce and business friendly environment. We look forward to seeing South Shore flourish and continue building its presence in our community,” said El Paso County Judge Ruben Vogt.

“We have been saying that the borderplex region is the center of commerce for North America and South Shore’s announcement shows why this is true,” added Jon Barela, Chief Executive Officer at Borderplex Alliance. “They are betting that our region can help them strengthen their logistics network and that our workforce embodies the values that have allowed South Shore to grow and stay an industry leader.”

Using South Shore Furniture’s new online store, consumers can shop for affordable ready-to-assemble furniture and décor products from the comfort of their home. The company’s vision is to make furniture and décor shopping inspiring, but simple, every step of the way. To learn more visit:

Established in 1940, today the company also takes advantage of the powerful web platforms run by the most important online players such as Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, and many others.

Founded in 1940, South Shore Furniture is one of the first manufacturing companies to specialize in the online sale of furniture. Its success hinges on a team of over 1,000 employees who work at one of its 6 locations, 3 of which are located in the United States.

South Shore Furniture offers a range of over 1,000 products divided into several categories: bedroom furniture, office furniture, storage solutions, furniture for babies and kids, as well as mattresses, sofas, bedding and other décor accents.

Video+Gallery+Story: Minnesota Teens Volunteer to Build Homes in Juarez

Late last year, a busload of teenagers pulled into Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM), in El Paso’s Lower Valley. More than a few of the kids had a look of expectant wonder on their faces as they had made this trip before. Others were beginning to wonder what they had signed up for.

Yet, here they were, ready to begin a trip that would help shape their futures.

I’ve previously written that I am the type of guy that tends to view everything through a jaundiced eye. With all I’ve been through, it’s hard not to. That’s why, when I see something positive, I must write about it. When that story also involves a group of fifty teenagers spending their Christmas vacation building homes in Juarez, I really must write about it.

Imagine, a group of kids coming from Mayer, Minnesota, to build homes for people they don’t even know, in a country, most of them have never visited before. Then, learning that the youngest person on the trip is thirteen-years-old, and you have something you take notice of.

Mayer Lutheran High School is a school within the Lutheran Church Missouri-Synod. At the core of their teachings and beliefs is service to others. The same is true of YLM. For over thirty years YLM has been striving to change lives- Changing Lives Through Simple Acts of Kindness, is their motto.

I’m not going to tell the story of the kids who came down to build these homes; it’s better to hear it from them directly. You can watch the video I made with them here above.  The story I am going to share with you is quite different. The story I want to share with you is about
need, about unity and about how it shouldn’t matter where one is from, or where one decided to help.

Over the last year, I have seen our country become polarized. Simply put there are two schools of thought. You either agree with the mainstream view, or you are labeled as a leftist, close-minded, or a moron.

It seems you must agree with everything the current administration preaches, or you will simply be an outsider looking in.

When I was considering this article, in early January, I spoke to several individuals about the work YLM is doing, and more specifically, the homes these kids are building in Juarez.

The most common refrain was that they should be working over here, in the United States. So, I spoke to Dave Lane, one of the teachers on this trip to El Paso, and Juarez.

“I had a lady, in one of our fundraising events, for this, tell me that specifically.” said Dave Lane, “I said, I don’t think it’s either-or, I think it’s both-and. Of course, people need to be helping people in our country, but who’s going to help those people in Anapra?”

As Dave said, he doesn’t see any agencies in Juarez working to help families in need. Don’t get me wrong; there are people who do help. But how far can their limited resources go?

That’s why it’s important that individuals such as Dave Lane, and his group of kids come down to help families in need.

Now, imagine a world where Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care or Mayer Lutheran High School didn’t exist. Imagine those individuals who have received home, home extensions, food baskets, or the free medical care that is hosted on their Lower Valley campus. Where would those people, those families be?

Were it not for those groups, there would be 3,000 families, on both sides of the border, who would possibly be homeless, or worse. There would be families who would not be able to make their limited supply of groceries last between paychecks were it not for the food baskets provided by YLM to families in need.

Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care is one of a limited number of groups reaching out and serving those in need. Regardless of religion, race, or political leanings, YLM – and others – exist to help.

This is what we need to remember, to serve others.

Rabbi Shalom of Karlin, in the 18th Century, said “If you want to raise a person from mud and filth, do not think it is enough to keep standing on top and reaching a helping hand down to the person. You must go all the way down yourself, down into the mud and filth. Then take hold of the person with strong hands and pull the person yourself out into the light.”

Any group that is willing to get down into the “mud” and help, they are worthy of our help and support.

“G-d does not need our good works,” Martin Luther, Father of the Reformation said, “but our neighbor does.” (Wingren, Luther on Vocation, 10).

So, I want to challenge you; I want to know where you are. Are you sitting there, on the sidelines, waiting for someone to help? Or, are you willing to help? That’s where I challenge you, to get up, get out and help.

Take a moment this week to speak to your Rabbi, your pastor, your parish priest. As them how you, as a community of faith, can help those who are hungry, are homeless, who are sick. Ask what can be done, and where to begin. You may be surprised as they just might be waiting for you to get the ball rolling.

Hillel the Elder said, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

My answer to Hillel? It is us; it is now.

Photos provided by Mayer Lutheran High School.

Herald-Post Best of 2017: Year in Pictures

It’s another year in the history books, as 2017 fades and 2018 dawns.

From the streets of downtown, to the football fields of the schools around town, to the houses of worship throughout the Borderland and locations in between, our photographers were busy documenting our story.

Below are the best shots from our team of photographers: Chief Photographer Andres Acosta, Steven Cottingham and Kevin Venegas.

El Paso Ranked 5th in ‘Top Places to Retire’ By U.S. News and World Report

El Paso ranks among the top 5 places to retire, according to a 2018 U.S. News and World Report of 100 Best Places to Retire in the USA.

“This recognition is a testament to the quality of life that El Paso has to offer retirees,” said Mayor Dee Margo. “To be ranked in the top 5 acknowledges the effort by our city employees to deliver on our vision for a vibrant community.”

El Paso is listed just ahead of Austin (9th) and McAllen (6th) and just behind San Antonio (3rd) in the 100 city list.

El Paso is lauded as the 5th Best Place to Retire in the analysis intended to help people narrow their choices of where to live in retirement.

Profile author Alexis Garcia writes, in part, “It’s easy to write El Paso, Texas, off as another southern cow town. Sure, you’ll find an overwhelming number of steakhouses here, and you’re bound to come across someone sporting a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. But gone are the days when old El Paso was known as the “Six Shooter Capital” – a place known for its outlaws and vices.”

The publication’s rankings were based on a weighted average of these six indexes: Housing Affordability, Happiness, Desirability, Retiree Taxes, Job Market and Healthcare Quality.

To view the entire list, click here.