Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Deep Inside City Rep. Cortney Niland

Deep Inside City Rep. Cortney Niland
A Look at Niland Contributors: Where they Live, Parts of Her District That Did not Give, and Republican and Gov. Rick Perry Connect the Dots
Many of you have written asking us to give you more information on El Paso City Representative Cortney Niland and Rep. Noe, so we will focus on Niland first.

Now, first a disclaimer. All political candidates and office holders receive contributions,good office holder and bad office holder receive contributions large and small. It only becomes a problem when office holders become puppets for their biggest contributors. Want an example, listen to Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 City Council Meeting: CLICK HERE and at the upper left put in 10/18/11.

Cortney Niland represents District 8 (see District 8 Map). She entered office this past May 2011. In this last election of May 2011, Cortney Niland had some of the biggest donations from some of El Paso's richest people, most of them prominent Republicans. To see her campaign reports, CLICK HERE.

She received many small donations also, but in comparison to her competitors who ran against her for District 8 City Representative, she dwarfed them in fundraising. Here are a list of her reported donors and how much they gave. I have put the zip code where this donor lives or offices (according to the finance report) so it will have in parenthesis “79922” or “(22)”. As a reference, here is the link to a zip code map for El Paso:

Citizens for Prosperity (22) - $3,000 in kind consulting contribution – treasurer is listed as Robert Hoy Jr. addressed at 201 Villa Serena Ct. in 79922 which is listed as the home of Hoy in a separate personal contribution. The El Paso Times reports ("PAC aids candidates; Group Back Lily, Niland for Council," April 16, 2011) that Citizens for Prosperity gave Citizens for Prosperity PAC “has raised $41,000 and given $24,782.48 of it to candidates Ann Morgan Lilly and Cortney Niland.”

The El Paso Times also states, “The Citizens for Prosperity PAC was formed three years ago and filed its first committee campaign finance report in January 2008. Records list El Paso businessman Robert Hoy as the treasurer. Among the PAC's main contributors are Woody Hunt, Robert Brown, Richard Castro, Steve DeGroat, Rick Francis, Paul Foster and Bill Sanders” (04/16/2011). 

The Times also states, “Hoy, who gave $1,000 to the committee, also gave Niland and Lilly $1,000 each,” and “Woody Hunt, chief executive officer of Hunt Companies Inc., gave $10,000 to the committee in September and $1,000 to Niland's campaign in March”(04/16/2011).

Regarding Harald Hahn, the El Paso Times says “Harold Hahn, president of Rocky Mountain Mortgage Co., gave $10,000 to the committee and $1,000 to Niland's campaign in February,” and regarding Naomi Gonzalez, now Texas state representative, “The Citizens for Prosperity PAC also supported Naomi Gonzalez's unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the City Council, according to finance reports” (04/16/2011).

Citizens for Prosperity PAC (22)           $2000 in-kind consulting
Citizens for Prosperity PAC (22)            $2000 in-kind consulting
Aaron Chiv (22)                                     $1500
Adam Frank (12)                                   $1350
El Paso Association of Builders (05)      $1,000
Harald Hahn (79935)                            $1000
Robert Wingo (12)                                 $1000
Wiliam Lovelady (79853)                       $1,000
Robert Hoy (22)                                    $1,000
Woody Hunt (13) PO Box                      $1000
El Paso Municipal Police Officers PAC $1000
Stanley Jobe (28)                                 $1000
Randel O'Leary (15)                             $1000
Leonard Goodman III (22)                    $1,000
Stanley Jobe (28)                                 $1000
Texas Association of 
Realtors (78768 – Austin, TX)              $1,000
Gereld Rubin (12)                                $1000
Adam Frank (12)                                  $675 in kind office space
Jospeh Hansen (79936)                      $500
Adam & Dana Frank (79912)              $500
Lawrence Francis (12)                         $500
John & Carroll Maxon (12)                 $500
Clinton Dean (02)                               $500
Britt Porter (22)                                   $500
John Skidmore (22)                             $500
Irving Brown (12)                                 $500
Robert Niland (02)                               $500
Suzanne Dipp (40 PO Box)                  $500
HNTB Holding (25)                              $500 --- Harvey K. Hammond Jr. CEO see dossier on this group at

Susan Carlise (77478 – Sugerland TX) – 323.32 in-kind food
Tracy Yellen (79902)                            $250
Robert Kleberg (79922)                        $250
Julie & Felipe Perez (12)                     $250
Juan Escobar (22)                                $250
Keeli & Jay Jernigan (22)                   $250
David & Cindy Osborn (12)                  $250
Robert Bowling (24)                            $250
Mr. and Mrs. Rod Davenport               $200
Scott Walker (32)                                $200
Clement & Amy Marcus (22)              $200
Connie & Michael Smith (79912)       $200
Thomas Yegge (36)                              $200
Dennis Healy (12)                               $200
Meyer Marcus (25)                              $200
Richard Rotwein (22)                           $200
Robort Ayoub (22)                               $200
Bryan Hall                                           $200
Stephen Yegge (12)                             $200
Ashley Bowling (79912)                      $200
Larry Romero (03)                               $200
Eileen Karlsrutter (12)                        $150
Will Brown (22)                                   $150
Stephanie & Kirk Roselund (12)         $100
Sam Paxton (12)                                 $100
Caroline Whitmore (22)                      $100
Sue Helsten (22)                                $100
Rita Baca (12)                                     $50
John Wilbanks (12)                             $50
Alicia Gasca (14063 Fredonia, NY) -   $50

A Look at the Forest of Contributions

Contributions to Niland are impressive, a total of $33,358, especially in comparison to her competitors. I have posted her competitors totals below:

District 8 Candidate Total Donations
Malcolm MacGregor III $545
Ernesto Villanueva $4610
Sergio Contreras $110

Niland received $28,748 more in contributions than the next candidate Ernesto Villanueva.

Many Parts of the Elephant

We've all heard the analogy of the blind men feeling the different parts of an elephant but not know what it is because they have not put all the parts together. Well, here's a look at the different pats of the Elephant and we'll let you put it together.

Most Contributions came from 79922 and 12

Although 79922 and 79912 are only the parts of the Westside of District 8, they make up the majority of her contributions (See El Paso Zip Code Map). There were no contributions from south of I-10, none from Segundo Barrio, Chihuahuita, Chamizal, Buena Vista, none.

Some notes on other donors. In the 79922 and 79913 zip code, Open lists Woody Hunt as one of the largest political contributors in 2012 with their donations going to Rick Perry (see Open Secret Donations for the 79913 zip code).

Bob Wingo is listed as one of the largest contributors in the 79912 zip code with $2500 going to Rick Perry in 2012. Also among Niland's contributors in the 79912 zip code was Gerald Rubin of Helen of Troy. Both and his wife have given over $5,000 to Rick Perry in 2012.

Contribution from Outside: 79935 and 24 (See El Paso Zip Code Map)

Also, among Niland's biggest donors is Harold Hahn of the 79935 zip code who is listed was one of Ricky Perrry's biggest donors in 2012 with $4,800 going to Rick Perry this year. From the 79936 zip code (see El Paso Zip Code map), Niland received donations from Harold Hahn who we talk about above in Citizens for Prosperity. In 2012, Hahn has given $2500 to Rick Perry and I assume his wife and other family member have each given $2500 to Perry. 

Niland received money from the Robert Bowling of Tropicana Homes although be it a small $250 donation. Bowling was one of the biggest political contributors in the 79924 zip code with $1,000 going to the Patrick Tiberi ( R). Other Bowling family members gave contributions to the National Association of Homebuilders ($5000), Francisco Conseco ( R )

79902 (See El Paso Zip Code Map)

In the 79902 zip code, Woody L. Hunt give $2500 to Rick Perry in 2012. Also in 79902, Lawrence Francis who give $500 to Niland and gave $2500 to Ricky Perry in 2012. Francis is associated with Bank of the West (El Paso). It also appears his wife or other related family member gave $2500 to Rick Perry (see largest contributions for the 79902 zip code on

Problems with District 8's Boundaries (see District 8 Map)

We have previously discuss reservations about how District 8 was redrawn in 2000. Simply, it puts the poorest parts of El Paso (Chamizal, Segundo Barrio, Buena Vista, Calavera, Pacific Park) with the richest parts of El Paso. 79922 and 79912 can simply outspend and out vote any candidate in the poorer 79901, 79902, and 79903 areas of El Paso. Don't believe me. Here is a breakdown of donations from the zip codes in Cortney Niland's district (District 8):

79901      $0.00
79902      $1250
79903      $200
79905       $0.00
79912       $7675
79922       $13,000
79930      $0.00
79932      $0.00

As for her competing candidates, it's not worth going into where their contribution came from when they were dwarfed by Niland's contributors. However, you can see their disclosures by clicking here: District 8 Candidate Financial Disclosures. We hope you can see the big elephant in the room.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Women of Color of Impact In El Paso and Other Diversity Musings

No Women of Color of Impact In El Paso and Other Diversity Musings

Just some quick shots out of the cannon tonight.

Women of Impact

The El Paso Inc. spotlighted six "Women of Impact" in El Paso. If you see the recent issue of the Inc. you'll see some photos of the ceremony. Last week the Inc. included a glossing magazine profiling the women.

What bothers me about this was that with El Paso now 80.7% Hispanic (2010 U.S. Census) and only 14.2% White, there is only one women of color who is a women of impact in El Paso (Estela Casas) in 2011?

To be fair, I have not kept track of this in years before and the Inc. mentions that Sandra Braham who heads the El Paso YWCA and Sue Woo of Sandy & Messer Associates, are both previous Women of Impact winners. Braham is African American and Woo is Asian. So women of color have been chosen before.

Furthermore, many of the women of color that I know, many being anti-neo-liberalists and workers for peace and justice, are probably not the kind of women most featured in The Inc.  Nevertheless, El Paso has its fair share of female laissez faire capitalists who are of color.

Nevertheless, how much homework is being done for any year if one could only find one Hispanic "Women of Impact" in a city of over 80,000 Hispanics?

The El Paso Times did a much better job in looking at women in business. In today's (Sunday, Ot. 16) issue they profiled many women in business and had a good share of women of color. Now, I'm not sure how advertising had anything to do with it, but still gives a diverse view of El Paso.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hispanics Not Wanted in City Boards and Commissions, Part II

Hispanics Not Wanted in City Boards and Commissions, Part II
White Flight, Asian rise, Far East and Far West Explosion
In June we posted Hispanics Not Wanted on City of El Paso's Boards and Commissions. As you may recall, I named the percentages of Latinos in comparison with non-Latinos on each city representatives appointment record. I mostly based it on the overall population of El Paso. For example, of Representative Ann Morgan-Lily, I said:

There are now 24 appointments listed under District 1 which Lily represents. Only 4 out of these 24 are Hispanic, and 20 out of the 24 are non-Hispanics. So 83% of District 1's appointments were non-Hispanics. Not to patronize you, but his means if Lily appointed 100 people, 83 of them would have been Non-Hispanic.

If you also recall, I said I would get the demographics of each representative’s district and I have received them, and boy are they juicy.

El Paso as a Whole (Hole)

Currently El Paso has the following:

Hispanic/Latino      80.7% (4.1% jump from 2000)
White                      18.2% (4.1% drop from 2000)
Asian                      1.1% (.1% jump from 2000)
African American  2.8% (remained constant)

District 1

District 1 grew in population by 19,350, a big jump. However, with Morgan Lily appointments of non-Hispanics as of May 2011 at 83%, this is disturbing. District 1 lost a higher percentage of Whites than any other district in El Paso.

Her district saw the following demographic changes:

Hispanic/Latino 67.9% (11.4% jump from 2000)
White 26.8% (11.7% drop from 2000)
African American 1.7% (.2% rise since 2000)
Asian 2.4% (.1% rise from 2000)
Native American .2% (remained constant since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0,1% (.1% rise from 2000)

Looking at these percentages, we can see that Lily's district is getting browner and lost more then 10% of its Whites. 83% of Lily's board and commission appointments were non-Latino. Yet, Latinos make up almost 70% of her district.

District 2

District 2 did not grow too much with an increase of 4,036 residents. Suzie Byrd's district had the only drop in Hispanics from 81.6% in 2000 to 79.6% in 2010. Here are the numbers:

Hispanic/Latino 79.6% (2% drop from 2000)
White 13.9% (.08% rise from 2000)
African American 3.9% (.2% drop from 2000)
Asian 0.7% (.1% rise from 2000)
Native American 0.3% (0.2% rise since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0,1% (.1% rise from 2000)

Byrd's district has the second largest population of African Americans, second to District 4, Carl Robinson's district. District 2 is also one of the few districts that the White population actually grew, not much, but interesting because there is White flight in all districts. The number of Asians, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders grew a small percentage. Though small, District 2 along with District 4 have the largest Pacific Islander population in the city.

As stated in our last post on Hispanics on boards and commissions, as of May 2011 “Byrd's appointments consist of almost equal numbers with 12 Hispanics and 13 non-Hispanics. Of the 25 appointments she made 52% are non-Hispanic.” The problem lies here is that almost 80% of her district is Hispanic. See Map of District 2.

District 3

With exception of one ethnic group, District 3 saw a general population decline in all ethnic groups except for Hispanics. Overall, District 3 lost 4,574 residents. Here are the stats:

Hispanic/Latino 88.6% (2.6% rise from 2000)
White 8.3% (2.4% decline from 2000)
African American 2.0% (.1% drop from 2000)
Asian 0.5% (constant since 2000)
Native American 0.2% (0.1% decline since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1% (.1% rise from 2000)

District 3 hold the historic African American neighborhoods, but shows that African Americans continue to move out, however the actual drop is miniscule. As in many other neighborhoods, Whites have left this district whereas Pacific Islanders have increased a small percentage.

Acosta has one of the highest rates of appointing Hispanics to city boards and commissions. In our earlier post we said, “So 39% of her appointments were non-Hispanic, which is also close to the 37% make up of El Paso's Non-Hispanics.” Acosta's district is 88.6% Hispanic and non-Hispanics make up less than 12% of her district.

District 4

District 4 increased in populaton by 11,671. District 4, like other districts, had an increase in Hispanics. Like other districts, with the exception of District 2 (Byrd), the White population declined. In fact, District 4 is second to District 1 in White flight. Here are the stats:

Hispanic/Latino 64.6% (8.5% rise from 2000)
White 23.2% (6.9% decline from 2000)
African American 7.8% (1.2% drop from 2000)
Asian 1.9% (0.4% rise since 2000)
Native American 0.4% (constant since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.3% (.1% rise from 2000)

Here we have a large rise in the number of Hispanics in District 4. Northeast El Paso has some conservatism as they elect Representative Margo and Commissioner Haggerty, and in political circle, I've heard that there are some parts of the Northeast that you do not send Spanish-language political ads. Within the last 10 years, District 4 saw an almost 10% increase in Hispanics while every other ethnic group with the exception of Pacific Islanders, declined. District 4 still has the largest percentage of Asians in El Paso with close to 2% of its population Asian.

In our analysis of Robinson's appointments to city boards and commission, Robinson has 22 current appointments as of June 2011 and only 5 are Hispanic and 17 are non-Hispanic. So 77% of Robinson's appointments are non-Hispanics when 33.6% of his district is non-Hispanic and 64.6% of his district is Hispanic. Somethings got to change.

District 5

District 5 had the largest population increase in El Paso with an increase of 41,504, which is more than double of the Westside's District 1. Currently, Dr. Miahcel Noe represents District 5. When we did our earlier analysis in May, which went off of April/May numbers, Rachel Quintana was still representing District 5.

Hispanic/Latino 84.5% (5.2% rise from 2000)
White 11% (6.1% decline from 2000)
African American 2.8% (0.1% rise since 2000)
Asian 0.8% (constant since 2000)
Native American 0.1% (0.1% drop since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1% (constant since 2000)

Here, we see a near 5% rise in Hispanics and a near 6% decline in Whites. There was also a miniscule drop in the Native American population.

In our last analysis of District 5, it showed that 46% of Rachel Quintana's appointments were non-Hispanic. “Of her appointments, 15 are Hispanic and 13 which were non-Hispanic. District 5 covers the area around Album Park (aka Eastwood) to Zaragosa, north of Montwood. See Map of District 5. So District 5 has 46% of board and commission appointments being non-Hispanic, but only 15.5% of District 5 is non-Hispanic.

District 6

There were no big ethnic population shifts in District 6, which Eddie Holguin represents. However, District 6 grew in population by 18,115 almost as much growth as the Westside's District 1. Here are the stats:

Hispanic/Latino 91.1% (1.6% rise from 2000)
White 6% (1.7% decline from 2000)
African American 1.3% (0.1% rise since 2000)
Asian 0.7% (0.1% rise since 2000)
Native American 0.4% (0.2% drop since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.1% (0.1% increase since 2000)

This district had the highest percentage of Hispanics in 2000 and still has the highest percentage at near 91%. Whites experienced an almost 2 percentage point decline. The changes in African American, Asian, and Native American were miniscule but all three declined. Pacific Islanders had a miniscule rise in population.

In our last analysis of District 6, we said, “Holguin had the most appointments of Hispanics. He has 17 current appointments. Nine (9) are Hispanic and eight (8) are non-Hispanic. With 17 current appointments, 27.5% are non-Hispanic. Holguin represents the district east of Quintana's and Ortega's north of I-10 covering George Deiter to the city limits, and south of I-10 east of George Deiter and east of Whittier. See Map of District 6. “

16.6% of District 6 is non-Hispanic and 27.5% of his appointment are non-Hispanic.

District 7

District 7 saw a loss of 2,291 people since 2011. District 7 has the highest percentage of Hispanics after District 6. Here are the stats:

Hispanic/Latino 89% (3.5% rise from 2000)
White 8.8% (3.3% decline from 2000)
African American 1.2% (0.1% drop from 2000)
Asian 0.4% (constant since 2000)
Native American 0.2% (0.1% drop since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.0% (no change since 2000)
Two or more races 0.4%

In our earlier analysis of the appointment record of District 7 representative Steve Ortega (June 2011), we said the following: “Ortega has 25 current appointments, 10 of which are Hispanic and 15 which are non-Hispanics. Looking at the make up of current appointments, he has appointed more non-Hispanics than Hispanics, a good 60% non-Hispanic. Ortega's district starts west of Yarbrough south of I-10 and runs to the border with Holguin's district. North of I-10, it runs from a little east of Viscount to George Dieter and Dale Douglas mostly staying south of Montwood. See Map of District 7.

As you can see, though only 10.7% of District 7 is non-Hispanic, one would expect a somewhat similar record of appointment. However, 60% of Ortega's appointments are non-Hispanic when Hispanics make up close to 90% of his district.

District 8

District 8 declined in population by 2,352 people since 2000. Here are the stats for District 8:

Hispanic/Latino 83.3% (2.7% rise from 2000)
White 13.7% (3% decline from 2000)
African American 1.1% (constant since 2000)
Asian 1.1% (0.3% rise since 2000)
Native American 0.2% (constant since 2000)
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.0% (no change since 2000)
Some other race 0.1%
Two or more races 0.4%

District 8 is a funny district in the way that it was redrawn after the 2000 U.S. Census. It puts the poorest parts of the city with the most affluent part of the city. Hispanics have increased within it while Whites have decreased a full 3 percentage point. Also, this district, though only a small percentage, saw the largest rise in Asian population of the 8 districts.

In May Courtney Niland entered office replacing Roberto O'Rourke who is now running against Silvestre Reyes for El Paso's United States Representative spot.

As stated in our last analysis: “O'Rourke has 29 current appointments, 9 of which are Hispanic and 20 who are non-Hispanic. So 68% of Robert O’Rourke appointments were non-Hispanic. See Map of District 8.

16.6% of District 8 is non-Hispanic, so one would expect that O'Rourke would have appointed at least 80% Hispanics to his boards. Instead, O'Rourke's record of appointment of Hispanics to boards and commission was dismal. At the time of our last analysis in May 2011, he had appointed non-Hispanics to close to 70% of his board and commission appointments although they only made up 16.6% of the district and Hispanics made up more than 83%.

African Americans

The African American population in El Paso rose in District 1, District 5, and District 6. District 1 had the biggest percentage rise in African Americans in the last 10 years, but it is small.

Native Americans

District 2 saw the only percentage rise in Native Americans in El Paso. All other district saw a decline or stayed constant.


Asians population increased in district 4 and District 8, with District 4 being the largest. In all other district Asians either declined or remained constant.

Pacific Islanders

District 4 saw the largest percentage increase of Pacific Islander, although District 6 and 3 also saw a small rise. There were also .1% rises in District 1 and 2.

Mixed Race

There was a rise in people reporting themselves as mixed race in District 2. All other district remained constant or saw a decline.


Whites make up 14.2% of the city, a decline of 4.1 percentage points. The district with the largest percentage of Whites are as follows, ranked from biggest to smallest:

District 1 (26.8)
District 4 (23.2)
District 2 (13.9)
District 8 (13.7%)
District 5 (11%)
District 3 (8.3)
District 7 (8.8%)
District 6 (6%)

When looking at board and commission appointments as compared to the make up of the individual districts, with exception of Rep. Holguin and Acosta, the appointment record of Hispanics is dismal. In our earlier analysis we compared them with the demographics of the city. In this analysis we compare the appointment records with the demographics of the individual districts.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lincoln Center: Birth, Life, Death, Rebirth, and Death Row

(El Paso Public Library, El Paso Schools)

Lincoln Center: Life, Death, Rebirth, and Death Row
By Raymundo Eli Rojas
Growing up in El Paso, if you are paying attention at least, it will come as no surprise that South Central El Paso has poverty. At least that was the perception that I had, a kind of naive notion of poverty.

It wasn't until I read the two reports by the City of El Paso about the Chamizal Neighborhood in South Central El Paso that I found how bad things have gotten. I wrote about this in an earlier post, Are the Problems of El Paso's Chamizal Neighborhood El Paso City Gov't's Own Creation?. Don't get me wrong, I seldom blame poverty on the people themselves (and I'm not doing it here) as there are other forces at work to keep people in poverty as my article shows.

For the last year, much of my community work has focused on trying to bring the youth of this area, alternatives to crime, drug use, teenage pregnancy. The work has not been directly with youth as I'm probably the worst at interacting with them. However, not only have juveniles been my cause, but also the elderly poor.

City Parks and Recreation Departments play a huge role in many of the issues mentioned above, but not only those. More parks and recreation services help to curve obesity, diabetes, and other health maladies. So it is not surprising we claim environmental racism when there is a lack of parks and community centers in neighborhoods.

Lincoln Center lies in the old Eastside of El Paso. At one time Raynolds Street was the El Paso city limit. Moreover, these neighborhoods of Chamizal, Durzano, and Lincoln Park share a common victimhood of urban renewal. Interstate 10, Highway 54, Paisano Drive, the Port-of-Entry have all contributed to the economic-ethnic isolation that these neighborhoods experienced.

When one views Lincoln Center today, it sits under the I-10-Hwy 54 Interchange, the so-called Spaghetti Bowl. However, at one time the Lincoln Park neighborhood extended north beyond what is now I-10.

The Lincoln Park Addition was filed in 1909 and the building of the school came later in 1915, though some city publications say 1912, the year the Titanic sunk, the year my grandfather was born. In the late 1940s, the El Valle Addition was added just east of Lincoln and it extended over what is now I-10. Reflecting the war that had just been fought in Europe and the Pacific, the El Valle Addition bore street names like Bataan and Saipan.

The 1950s would bring the interstate system to El Paso. Long enamored by the German Autobahn, President Eisenhower wanted to bring such a system to the United States and in the late 1950s, Interstate 10 came into El Paso from the north and from the east. The northern part of the Lincoln Park neighborhood was demolished to make room for I-10, including many houses and Calvario Catholic Church. I-10 also divided the El Valle Addition.

It was here that something funny happened. The part of I-10 that was built from Raynolds to the present Spaghetti bowl, included a water outlet. Knowing full well, the El Valle Addition (now known as Saipan) was right below the water outlet, the outlet was still built right above the neighborhood. This would come to haunt the Lincoln neighborhood for many years resulting in flooding.

Water Outlet that Flooded the Saipan Neighborhood of Lincoln Park

Another victim of the building of the I-10-Hwy 54 Interchange was Lincoln School. By 1970s, connecting Hwy 54 to the border was the plan and Lincoln School did not fit into this plan. The school was in the right-of-way and the school closed in 1970 and the property was turned over to the state. It was used as a base by the Texas Department of Transportation and later closed.

(Texas Highways, June 1970)

However, Lincoln resident were not satisfied. They organized themselves and got the city to lease the building and make Lincoln School a community center, so by the late 1970s, it was a full-fledged center.

Rosa Guerrero started her first ballet folklorico classes at Lincoln Center. Parks and Recreation would have offices there as well as LULAC and Project Bravo. From Lincoln's halls, many Fiesta de Las Flores festival were planned, Project Amistad was born, day care was supplied to the surrounding neighborhoods, the Gus and Goldie franchise was created, Midnight Basketball was organized, food distribution would take place.

Calvario Catholic Church, founded in 1933 at 4000 Durazno awaiting demolition

After Calvario's destruction, mass was held outside in Lincoln Park. Later Lincoln Center would lend itself for masses so people would not have to attend mass in the cold or heat. It would not give Lincoln Center justice saying Lincoln Center served only Lincoln. It was a community center for all the surrounding barrios. One friend of mine who lived in the apartments at the old Mitchell Brewery building says she took her first ballet classes there. Another friend said she played basketball with a city league out of Lincoln Center. The memories can go on and on.

Lincoln had become the center of the community.

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