Way back in 2012, voters decided that we needed a Mexican American Cultural Center despite living in a city that is basically one huge Mexican American cultural center. You cannot walk ten feet without running into something that reminds you that you live on the border and that we are literally across the street from Mexico in certain parts of town. I was all for a new Children's Museum and the ballpark, the two other major projects in the 2012 Quality of Life bond election, but the cultural center? Not necessary and a huge waste of taxpayer money in my opinion.

Here's why I think that one cultural center is such a bad move for taxpayers. It's centered in downtown El Paso and while we want to have it in close proximity to where tourists and visitors to the city are more likely to be, it wipes out some really significant areas of town that could be satellite cultural centers.

Instead of spending untold millions on a cultural center use some of the money on these sites around town:

1. Concordia Cemetery - New Orleans has a cemetery tour that is super interesting. Los Angeles has the Hollywood Forever Cemetery that is not only gorgeous but it holds events like movie nights on the grounds. Concordia could be a gem in the middle of town and a huge tourist draw. A couple of the millions set aside for the cultural center would make an enormous difference in the presentation of Concordia.

Patricia Martinez

2. Lower Valley Missions - An actual tour of the missions would be something that would highlight not only the missions but the Lower Valley and it's historical significance as an agricultural center of the Southwest.

3. Downtown buildings - Pancho Villa used to wander the streets of downtown, brothels dotted the landscape, and the Magoffins built an amazing complex for their family. Another tour opportunity and something to sell to tourists who fill up our downtown hotels.

Patricia Martinez

4. Restaurants - Why isn't the City putting together some kind of online brochure about the amazing Mexican restaurants we have in El Paso? From the affordable Chico's Tacos to the high end Ambar Restaurante in downtown El Paso the different takes on Mexican cuisine would be a great way to see the cultural heritage of our city.

I just don't seen the point of "culture" and "heritage" behind the walls of a building when the City could use what we have on the streets of our city to show people the real El Paso.

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