Political drama escalates as Union Plaza fight continues

Protesters against demolishing Union Plaza neighborhood. (KFOX14)

As the legal fight over the future of the Duranguito neighborhood continues, the political drama is also starting to escalate.

On Tuesday, county and state leaders accused their counterparts at the city of failing to listen to their constituents.

State Sen. Jose Rodriguez and County Commissioner David Stout said the city and the mayor have failed to represent the people who are fighting to keep the neighborhood intact.

Stout and Rodriguez have been vocal opponents of the arena project. They were in the neighborhood again on Tuesday morning rallying against the damage done to the privately owned buildings in the area’s footprint.

Despite the fact that this is a city project, the county and state leaders say they have dog in this fight.

“They are determined to skirt the law, to violate the law, to do whatever it takes to get their way. That is something that citizens should not tolerate. That is not the democratic process. That is not something that El Paso should stand for. And there will be consequences,” Rodriguez said.

“I think they knew full well that this was going to happen, and they did nothing about it. And if they didn’t know, then even worse, because how is that being a responsible elected official? Stout said.

KFOX14 got a statement from city Rep. Cizzy Lizarraga, who represents the Union Plaza area.

In it, she says:

This morning I received an invitation from Precinct 2 Commissioner David Stout to go to the Duranguito area. At that point, I did not have all of the information about what had occurred.
When I arrived at the Flor de Luna house at 300 W. Overland, I was surprised and saddened to see the face of the building destroyed. I was under the impression that this was not going to happen without some kind of notice to interested parties.
After sad reflection, I think the City should do more at this point than just rely on the courts or apologize for any misunderstanding. For this reason, I have introduced an agenda item to formalize the immediate revocation of any existing demolition permits and a moratorium on the issuance of new demolition permits in the MPC footprint area and the Duranguito neighborhood of District 8.
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