Ms. Tricia Goes To City Council
I've been asked where I get my City Council/County Commisioners Court geekiness from. Politics is in my blood. My family has always been politically active and interested in politics. But there's this movie by one of my fave old school actors that gives me goosebumps, and fires me up about politics whenever I see it.
It's called 'Mr. Smith Goes To Washington', and it stars two of the most beautiful faces ever to grace the black and white movie screen, Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur. It's about corruption and the political process and how easily it is to become part of the problem. Jimmy Stewart plays Jefferson Smith, and his filibuster scene is epic:
Now, I'm not saying I'm Jefferson Smith, but watching that makes me want to be him! So, today, it was my turn at the podium. I don't have the video - but I was named checked in KVIA's story from the meeting(!) - I'm told I can get the vid tomorrow - but here is the text of what I told Council:
The Downtown Ballpark is not about baseball anymore. It is about deciding which direction we are going to go as a city. We bemoan the brain drain of kids coming out of college, but we need to be worried about the brain and money drain of people my age - I'll be 46 years old next week - and I have to decide where I'm going to spend my next 40 years.
Will it be in a city that kicks progress in the shins - seriously, how much more can we beat these people up - or in a city that sees the benefit of progress?
People keep saying that there are more and better deals out there. Really, where are they? Name 3 in the last 30 years of this magnitude, or heck, 1 for that matter!
People say El Pasoans won't pay for parking, traffic will be a nightmare, tickets will cost too much! Go to Mesa anytime UTEP is playing - parking lots are packed, traffic moves along, and people pay not only to see the game, but to eat in the surrounding restaurants and party afterward in the bars.
People say El Pasoans won't support a team with a losing record. How many of you own a Dallas Cowboys jersy? Sorry Cowboys fans, I don't mean to rub salt in the wound! People go where they will have fun, where they can take their kids, where they will get the most bang for their buck - you'll get all three in the ballpark.
They say baseball won't bring business to downtown. Baseball transformed the NE - Cohen was a desert area that is now a shopping and restaurant mecca. Baseball will do the same downtown.
People say by building the ballpark downtown, we'll just be moving money from the NE to downtown, because there isn't that much money in El Paso. If that was true, Bassett Center would have died when Cielo Vista Mall came along, which would have died when Sunland Park Mall came along, which would have died when Las Palmas came along. Check out the parking lots of those malls - they are packed. People are parking and walking in order to spend money there every day of every week.
City Hall was built in 1979 - are you still driving the car you did back then? Wearing the same clothes? Living with the same shag carpet and avocado green kitchen appliances? No. I don't know anyone who is.
You put your money into your home even though you don't NEED a flat screen tv or internet access. You get those things to improve your quality of life. That is what this ballpark will do.
People say, let the people speak, let them vote. We did. We voted all of you in.
People say 'we want change to come to El Paso', but the truth is, people want change as long as everything stays the same. That mindset has got to change. We can't afford another 50 years in this city like the previous 50 years of naysayers and their stagnant vision of El Paso.
We call those people CAVE's - Citizens Against Virtually Everything!