Monday, May 28, 2007

National Chicana/o Organization Denounces the El Paso Downtown-Segundo Barrio Plan

"The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), the oldest and largest national organization of academics focusing on Mexican origin people in the United States approved a resolution denouncing the City of El Paso's downtown plan. The organization approved the resolution on April 7 after learning of the ways in which the City and plan supporters have ignored the devastating effects of the plan on renters, homeowners and business owners and washed aside conflicts of interest.

NACCS was founded in 1972 and just held its 32nd annual conference. Over 400 faculty, students, and community members attended the conference April 4-7 in San Jose, California.

The organization was founded with the belief, stated in its preamble, that NACCS 'contends that our research generate new knowledge about the Chicana and Chicano community. It should also help solve problems in the community. Problem-solving cannot be detached from an understanding of our position in this society. Solutions must be based on careful study and analysis of our communities. Concern with the immediate problems of our people, then, is not separated from a critical assessment of our conditions and the underlying structures and ideologies that contribute to our subordination.'

Submitted by the Tejas Foco

Approved by NACCS April 7, 2007

Whereas the City of El Paso approved a downtown revitalization plan in October 2006.

And whereas the plan will result in the demolition of over 130 acres of historic South El Paso neighborhoods.

And whereas the plan will displace over 1,800 people in the Segundo Barrio.

And whereas the City has funded a report using racial images of Mexican people to justify the plan.

And whereas the City has failed to adequately address questions regarding the future of renters, homeowners and business owners.

And whereas the City has ignored clear evidence of conflict of interest.

And whereas the plan has divided the city.

And whereas the City and supporters of the plan have created and fomented a culture of intimidation against critics of the plan.

And whereas the city has sanctioned a plan that is part of a larger binational development plan that has resulted in violence and murder in Ciudad Juárez.

Therefore, let it be resolved that NACCS call on the City of El Paso to stop implementation of this plan, create a new planning process that is devoid of corruption and conflict of interest and truly utilizes the community's creative resources, talents, and priorities."


Texas Observer article "Eminent Disaster"

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