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Home | Tag Archives: paso del sur

Tag Archives: paso del sur

Paso del Sur Launches Citizens Initiative for Election to Approve Changes to 2012 Bond

Paso del Sur announced Friday the launch of a new citizens initiative petitioning the City Council to pass an ordinance so that voters can decide on proposed changes to Proposition 2 of the 2012 Quality of Life Bond Election.

The group, according to their facebook page, “works for the rights of residents and workers of El Paso’s barrios against displacement, demolition, and erasure of history,” and has been very vocal about the city’s plan to destroy a portion of Downtown that dates back to the city’s earliest days.

Via a news release organizers say, “These changes represent a viable solution for the problems that the City is facing in fulfilling its promises to the people of El Paso.”

“In 2012, voters were promised numerous projects through the Quality of Life Bond and voters approved $228 million for Proposition 2. The particular amounts allocated by City Council for each project were not stated in either the ordinance or the ballot. Therefore, the voters did not approve the amounts set out for each project. Although the City Council has authority to change the amounts allocated to each project, they have remained steadfast with the original allocation,” officials added.

The main projects included in Proposition 2 were a Children’s Museum ($19 million), a multi-purpose performing arts facility ($180 million), and a Mexican American Cultural Center ($5.75 million).

The release goes on to state:

“The multipurpose performing arts facility is embroiled in litigation due to the City’s decision to locate it in the historically significant neighborhood of Duranguito.  The City’s insistence in designing the performing arts facility for sporting events was disapproved by a state district court judge and the case is on appeal. The Mexican American Cultural Center cannot be constructed because of insufficient funding.”

In addition to the initiative to pass an ordinance to vote on the bond specifics, Paso del Sur has an alternative plan for the entire section of Downtown slated for demolition.

“…the solution is in cancelling the construction of a new multipurpose performing arts facility, reallocating the funds and enhancing existing assets. Rather than construct a new performing arts facility, the existing Abraham Chavez Theater can be renovated and expanded. The Mexican American Cultural Center and Corridor can be located in and become a part of a transformed old town Duranguito that will include a historic corridor reflecting and leading to the global roots of our City. This would create a thriving residential neighborhood and tourist attraction.”

For those wishing to support the group, they will be holding a launch event Monday morning.

  • What: Citizen’s Initiative Requesting an Election to make changes in the 2012 Bond Projects.
  • When: Monday, June 25, 2018 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Firefighters Memorial Park, 316 W. Overland

·  Contact: David Romo, 915-630-9502


To view our in-depth coverage of the Downtown Arena Saga, click here.

Coalition to Preserve Neighborhood Slated for Arena to Present Petition to City Monday

Paso del Sur (PDS), a coalition to preserve Duranguito in Union Plaza, will be submitting over 2,400 signatures to the City of El Paso, in hopes of saving the neighborhood in downtown, slated for demolition for the proposed arena.

The petitions are the result of several weeks of collection and request that a Historic-overlay be established in Duranguito, creating the historic district that the city’s own architectural survey had recommended 19 years ago.

According to the group’s news release, the coalition includes “residents of Barrio Duranguito, the small business owners of El Tiradero Market, Paso del Sur, the El Paso History Alliance, as well as the people of El Paso who stand against the displacement of our communities and the erasure of our history.”

PDS Officials go on to state, “This petition is a direct call by the registered voters of El Paso County to Mayor Oscar Leeser, City Council Representatives Peter Svarzbein, Jim Tolbert, Emma Acosta, Carl L. Robinson, Dr. Michiel Noe, Claudia Ordaz, Lily Limon, Cortney Niland and their successors to designate Duranguito as a historic district and prevent the demolition of El Paso’s first and oldest neighborhood.”

 “The city propaganda machine would have us believe that the fight for Barrio Duranguito has been lost—that there is only one holdout in the neighborhood unwilling to sell. However, with the submission of this petition we will show that the people of El Paso stand firm, in solidarity with the residents and small business owners in Duranguito, calling on the Mayor and City Council Representatives of El Paso to move the arena, not the people.” PDS officials added.

The petition will be submitted to City Clerk Richarda Duffy Momsen at her office Monday afternoon. Officials say that immediately after the petition is turned in, a statement will be given to the media in front of City Hall.

To read our previous coverage of the arena saga, click HERE.  Photo gallery courtesy Jon Eckberg

Paso del Sur Announces Citizen’s Initiative to Save Duranguito from Demolition for Arena

Paso del Sur, a grassroots organization that works with barrio residents to defend their neighborhoods and their right to respect and dignity, announced that they are initiating a city-wide citizen’s initiative to exclude Barrio Duranguito from the City’s eminent domain demolition plan.

The official announcement of the Citizen’s Initiative will take place Tuesday, 8:15 a.m., January 24, 2017 at El Paso City Hall.

The citizen’s initiative reads as follows:

“We the undersigned voters and residents of El Paso oppose the forced displacement of people and businesses for the purpose of erecting an entertainment arena and hereby petition the city to pass and enact the following ordinance:


We believe the recent actions of our dysfunctional City Council to reverse the decision that initially excluded Barrio Duranguito from the demolition block clearly demonstrates that they cannot be trusted to represent the interests of anyone other than a small minority of binational developers, land speculators and hoteliers who want it at Union Plaza for their own financial benefit.

On October 18, the City Council voted to use eminent domain to construct an arena in Barrio Duranguito, one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in El Paso. On December 20, they voted to exclude Duranguito and to study other areas for the arena.

On January 10, City Council voted for a motion introduced by Representative Michiel Noe, to once again consider Union Plaza as the site of the arena. Other representatives who voted against the people of Duranguito include Representative Carl Robinson, Representative Claudia Ordaz and Representative Emma Acosta.

The people of Union Plaza have suffered long enough from the lack of respect of the City Council and the subsequent harassment of property owners who are trying to intimidate them into moving.

For this reason, the property owners, residents, and small vendors of Union Plaza/ Barrio Duranguito have chosen to appeal directly to the citizens of El Paso to help us save our homes and businesses from eminent domain demolition and forced displacement.

Under Section 3.11 of the City Charter of El Paso, citizens have the right to petition for an Ordinance, which the Council must place on the agenda for a City Council vote.

If the City Council fails to pass the Ordinance, the citizens then have the right to petition that the Ordinance be placed on the ballot for a vote by the voters in the next general election.

Those who wish to sign the initiative/referendum petition may do so at

Cafe Mayapan, 2000 Texas Ave, from 11 am -3 pm Monday-Friday

Carambola Community Music School, 200 N. Ochoa (second floor of the Cinco Puntos Press building) Contact Yahvi at: (773) 613-9303 for available hours.

Farmworkers Center, (corner of Ninth and Oregon Street) phone: 915-873-8933 on Tuesday and Thursday from 11 am-3 pm.

You can also sign the petition at the Rock House (corner of W. Overland and Leon Street) any Friday between 5 pm and 7 pm.

For more information, or for other future locations to sign the referendum, or if you wish to volunteer to collect petition signatures contact Paso del Sur at or call

Coordinator of Citizen’s Initiative: Cynthia Renteria: 915-637-3026.

Dr. David Dorado Romo, 915-630-9502

Dr. Yolanda Chávez Leyva, 915-449-2853


Photo gallery courtesy Jon Eckberg –  Previous Herald-Post coverage HERE.

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