I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you for giving so much of your time, treasure and moral support. Since I live within my own skin, I have been overwhelmed by your affection. Your support, friendship and love will sustain me for all the rest of the days of my life. We did not win but let us take stock and see just how well we did. Then with new vigor let us continue to work hard for a green, progressive City.
The fact that a green candidate did so well against an established and well-networked El Paso businessman, whose campaign was sated with the riches of the likes of Hunt, Foster, Sanders, Hoy, Hahn, Fox and others, says that our cause is very much alive. We have every reason to believe in a brighter future for our City, our region and our environment. But we cannot rest even for a moment nor can we be discouraged by one defeat so that we retreat altogether from the struggle which we must resume and which we must win for the sake of our grandchildren’s grandchildren. Since the incoming El Paso Mayor and City Council will be one of the most reactionary and bourgeoisie governments in a long time, it is critical for us to come together and begin working on some issues immediately.
The incoming Council will favor strip malls and sprawl, bulldozers and wrecking balls. They will care little about our natural environment, open spaces and historic buildings. They will get their lock-step marching orders from those who believe that greed, profit and instant self-gratification are the essentials of a happy life. Preservation, conservation, self-denial and caring for others and our Mother Earth means nothing to this bunch. We must resist their efforts at every turn.
I suggest that we immediately begin a petition drive to preserve all the city-owned land (whether in the City’s inventory or the PSB’s inventory) north of Transmountain on the west side of the mountain. We have no time to waste on this one especially since we will in just a week have a City Council devoted to crushing ecosystems and sprawling as far and as fast as their avaricious eyes can twitch and dart.
I suggest that environmentalists join with historic preservationists to see that no further architectural treasures are destroyed downtown and that the full force of public wrath comes down on those property owners who prefer blight and those developers who prefer the nondescript, the plain and the cheaply built.
I suggest that we fight for those policies that will waste less water and rainfall and those policies that will stop littering our walls, medians and landscapes with the rock of our mountains.
I suggest that we oppose any plans to finish the “loop” on the backs of the most vulnerable – those who live in Segundo Barrio and Chihuahuita – and oppose plans to connect that loop with I-10 north of downtown by further excavating and exposing the toxic wastes of Asarco – wastes that the EPA, TCEQ and Mr. Puga have denied and prohibited testing by independent engineers.
I suggest that we work hard to see that the border wall is removed and that people and ecosystems are once again united.
Most of all, I suggest that we stop fighting each other and remember that we have a common foe who believes that their dominion over the world means more concrete and asphalt.
We just lost one election. With renewed vigor and purpose, let us continue our efforts for social justice and for a living environment. I intend to begin immediately to work on these concerns and to better educate others about water, environmental, social and City-planning issues.
There is no time for moping, what-ifs, or retirement. Today is a new day so let’s roll – right now!