Dear Media and Friends,
The Bishop of El Paso, Mark J. Seitz, has sent the attached letter to the El Paso Commissioners Court firmly opposing the division of Segundo Barrio between two historic districts. He writes: “The people who reside there–as well as many others with connections to the barrio–deserve an undivided district that fully respects their unique history and culture and the Diocese of El Paso proudly and firmly stands with them.”
In addition, the El Paso County Historical Society submitted the attached letter, in which they state that “the boundaries of the proposed national historic district, as approved on June 15, 2020, are inadequate and fail to completely represent Segundo Barrio. […] Placing the neighborhood in two separate national historical districts is not only historically inaccurate but raises concerns as to the reasons behind such a move.”
Finally, the El Paso Times just published a guest column on its webpage by Father Rafael Garcia of Sacred Heart, and I hope that the newspaper will forgive me for sharing with you the full text below in the interest of informing the public.
These letters are in addition to the recent letter from Preservation Texas in Austin and the statements from the Chair of the County Historical Commission.
The outcry over the County’s plan is growing, and the online petition is approaching 1,800 signatures.
I respectfully urge Commissioners Leon, Perez and Robinson to change their position and support the establishment of a Segundo Barrio Historic District that respects the physical and cultural boundaries of the neighborhood and includes Sacred Heart Church and the western section of the barrio in its entirety, all the way to Santa Fe Street.
Max Grossman, PhD
Executive Board, Preservation Texas
Vice-Chair, The Trost Society