Building a Better Borderplex February 19, 2015

Largent Parks, Jr. wrote an incredibly insightful article titled “El Paso: City of Secrets” for the December issue of Southwest Airlines Magazine in 1984 that I would like to share with you. In it, he outlines the reasons he believes El Paso is the most misunderstood city in America. The fact that the potential for El Paso was so evident in 1984, just as it is now, highlights our city’s need for strategic economic vision:

“To some, El Paso’s present is confusing and misunderstood. But to [others], El Paso is today’s enchanted land of opportunity. To [them], El Paso is futuretime: a megatrend city destined to be a premier international metroplex.”

When my father immigrated to the United States from Argentina, to raise a family, he chose El Paso, Texas for the same reasons that former Mayor Judson Williams articulated in the article:

“It’s in El Paso’s interest to emphasize the city’s Mexican influence and not try to sweep it under the carpet… The city combines the best of the Latin influences with the best elements of the Anglo business and commercial society… El Paso’s rich dual culture will enable it to become the major international complex so many of the city’s business leaders dream of.”

Then and now, the potential of a better Borderplex that functions as the Center of the Southwest is obvious. El Paso’s future success depends on the regional partnerships we build today, both economically and culturally. The sooner we can work as a region to boost our economy the sooner we can bring more good jobs to the community. El Paso needs to be on the same side of the table as Southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez so our region, and El Paso in particular, can match the level of its potential. El Paso is a unique place, and as such, it will require unique solutions.

Politics is the Art of the Possible, and we need to have everyone on board if we plan to think bigger about the future of El Paso. City leaders must be inclusive and accountable. This is the reason I will make sure you always have a voice in City Hall. I am prepared to listen to your concerns, learn about the issues that matter to you, and lead from consensus so we can make El Paso a Better Borderplex together.

When I am elected to city council, I will work hard to build relationships and make sure El Paso is moving in the right direction. We need to create the kind of dynamic Public-Private partnerships that will make El Paso competitive on a global scale while staying true to what makes us unique.

El Paso has gathered a lot of momentum over the past 5 years. District 1 needs a leader that makes sure we are moving in the right direction. I understand El Paso’s potential, but I also understand that a vision without action is not very meaningful. I understand that we can only move forward if we have the consensus necessary to take the right steps. El Paso has already made strides to match our potential, but we still have a long way to go. I know that this community can continue to be a beacon of opportunity, prosperity, and diversity for many generations to come. This is the place my father chose to make his home over 35 years ago and this is our home. We need a Fresh Perspective that comprehends our past, delivers results, and prepares for the future.


Peter Svarzbein

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