Dear Friends,

Aaron Montes of the El Paso Times published a front-page report today on the upcoming City Council vote Tuesday vote on whether to suspend the “Arena” and Cultural Heritage Center because of the City’s financial crisis.

Predictably the Mayor complained: “This agenda item posted by Representatives for District 2 and 6 is politicizing a pandemic because of outside influence and it is shameful.”

What is shameful is that our Mayor, who claims to be a Republican and a fiscal conservative, fails to understand that we cannot afford a $500 million basketball “Arena” or any other non-essential project because the ongoing economic shutdown may result in a credit rating downgrade and, if the City cannot cut spending sufficiently, a default on pension obligations, just as Moody’s warned on December 10. I have absolutely no doubt that City Manager Gonzalez and CFO Robert Cortinas understand this.

Rep. Alexsandra Annello, co-sponsor of the action item, said that moving forward with the “Arena” and Cultural Heritage Center would result in a greater debt burden for the city’s residents.

She snapped back at the Mayor: “If you can’t have a conversation about a bond project like this but are ok with discussing furloughs and putting people out of work, you really need to consider what your priorities are,” Annello said. “If you can’t, then you are not in touch with the constituents you serve.”

Montes also quoted me: “Given the extreme financial pressure on the city in the wake of this pandemic, now is the time to cut non-essential spending.”

As for the supporters of the Cultural Heritage Center, U.S. Rep. for El Paso Silvestre Reyes and MACI provided a statement: “The Mexican American Cultural Institute strongly endorses the proposal to suspend the arena and cultural center project by the El Paso City Council.”


Please call your City Council representative today in order to support Reps. Annello and Rodriguez in their effort:

District 1, 915-212-0001

District 2, 915-212-0002

District 3, 915-212-0003

District 4, 915-212-0004

District 5, 915-212-0005

District 6, 915-212-0006

District 7, 915-212-0007

District 8, 915-212-0008

After you have made your phone call, please write to them also: <>; <>; <> ; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; 


In case you missed yesterday’s oral argument in the 8th Court of Appeals, you can view the full video here.

Have a great day!