|"We the People" begin to gather for yesterday's Open Space Advisory Board meeting.|
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Leadership for real change must begin with We the People. We cannot afford to be complacent and disorganized any longer." I wrote that in a blog post apologizing to the Knapps and saying that they have every right to develop their land and have no choice but to do so since they have found no accommodation with the city after six years of trying. The land has value and it is taxable.
On the other hand, I hope that they don't develop. They like you and me value our mountainsides. It's not them. It's the city and the politics of the city. Money for open space is drained for pork barrel projects, the park ponds. Money evaporates because of bureaucratic failures. Money protects the monied interests and not the interests of the public. Who pays for it? You and me. Just look at your ridiculous property taxes. If you are a business person, just look at all the waste caused by onerous city rules and regulations. If our city politicians had the will to do what is right and not what is in the interest of their big contributors, we could do more with improving our infrastructure, preserving our natural treasures of mountains, desert and wetlands, and restoring our historic buildings.
|People spoke out.|
Each of you yesterday took a giant leap for that leadership for real change. "We the People" came to OSAB yesterday.
As a member of that board and as someone who wants to see real change in this city, I was elated by your presence. You were not there in vain. Although the issue of the Sierra del Puente development was not on the agenda, it has been an item of discussion before. You came to discuss your real concerns during the call to the public which was perfectly appropriate. Since Sierra del Puente and the Stoney Hill property are open spaces with clear stormwater functions, you came to the right place. Also, just the fact that you came - nearly a 100 of you - has already sent a message to city government. You spoke truth loudly to power.
Mayor Cook and Chris Cummings were right. The next step is to call your representatives. Rep. Carl Robinson was there and said that he was already working with the Mayor on the issue. State Rep. Joe Moody urged board members to discuss the issue with the representatives who appointed them. I sure plan to speak with Claudia Ordaz, a great public servant.
Your points were good ones: the concern about flooding, overcrowding of already overcrowded schools, protection of the viewshed and access to the State Park, protection of wildlife including endangered or protected wildlife and protecting your homes from damage caused by preparing that rough landscape for development.
You made your points. You were in the right place. You will take the next steps. Work with the Knapps. Work with your Neighborhood Associations. Work with Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. Work with the City. After yesterday, you have their ears. Be ceaseless and enthusiastic.
elpasonaturally is with you. Make this your podium too.
For those of you who draw inspiration from books of scripture, here's the beginning of the 121st Psalm:
"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth."
Lift up your eyes to the mountains. There is inspiration and motivation right there.
Please support elpasonaturally©. Go HERE to donate and help turn El Paso "green".