Two factors led to the demise of El Paso's downtown. First, urban flight to the suburbs spurred on principally by the advent of the Interstate. Sprawl continues today and massive road projects only encourage it. The next reason why El Paso's downtown is now dominated by vacant, unmaintained buildings was the flight of wealth from local banks and investors to out of town megabanks. Thus, to rebuild El Paso, to increase the "common" wealth, local businesses should be favored by the City, especially local businesses who bank locally.
Noting what happens with financial drain, please read David Karlsruher's blog post today: City of El Paso cuts out local contractors again. David didn't just hit a homerun, he hit it out of the park. I just heard the loud bang of a baseball hitting the top of El Paso's downtown library.
Why should hiring locally and banking locally be important to environmentalists? With more money staying in town, there is more money for creating or buying areas with recreational opportunities, health benefits and sheer beauty: open spaces in other words. And open space benefits entire ecosystems and wildlife.
If you are green, then every word of what Karlsruher wrote should make sense.
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