Congressman O'Rourke: Act on Duranguito
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I would like to extend to you an invitation to express your solidarity towards the residents of Duranguito and your support to preserve this tremendously important site of memory of El Paso’s first platted neighborhood. The destruction of the century-old Victorian style buildings in this neighborhood represents a culturally barbaric act that cancels the possibility of building a vibrant global corridor to celebrate all the cultures that have made El Paso a truly cosmopolitan city with a unique history.
Duranguito is already highly attractive to the visitors of this region, and scholars in many fields studying the borderlands have placed it in the map of sites of global importance. Those buildings, which once housed residents who were forced to leave following the City’s vote to demolish the neighborhood, can still be saved. They can be transformed into cultural institutions and museums, and restored to provide low-income housing that integrates the plans the community has already produced. The alternative plan, created through the vision of the residents and with the assistance of experts in the fields of health, architecture, history, and other disciplines, has been presented to the City of El Paso.
The opposition is broad. Hundreds of people have attended City Council meetings or written letters to the editor. Thousands have visited the neighborhood to express, and thousands El Paso voters have signed petitions to save the community.
You care about disfranchised persons, and you have stated during the campaign that you do not support the destruction of Duranguito for an arena. You have also indicated a passion for social justice. We have asked the City to sit down with the residents and supporters of Duranguito to find a possible solution to this issue, and we need your voice in support of our history, culture, and neighborhoods.
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