Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Elections and the South Valley: Part II

Congress: With El Paso spilling into the South Valley and parts of Cd. Juarez spilling north, there is a huge amount of work to be done to take control over this growth, absorb it, adapt it to our local culture, and keep it working in the interest of the local population and welfare. This will not be easy. Given the relative poverty of the region it seems likely that outsiders will come to believe that the South Valley might be bought and sold for very little. But the South Valley is now the location of the biggest economic development project in New Mexico history, and the next congressman needs to make the South Valley a priority. This means keeping track of what is happening, assisting in the mobilization of federal funds by pointing out where monies might be available, and encouraging a smooth interface between local, state, and federal agencies as these react to the imperatives of growth. Much of this can be accomplished by an alert staffer based in Las Cruces, but it will also take all the muscle our now-very-junior New Mexico delegation in Washington can muster. I began this campaign supporting Joseph Cervantes for Congress, and when he withdrew from the race I stayed out of the primary election. After observing Teague and Tinsley campaign this season I believe Harry Teague is temperamentally closer, and more sympathetic, to the culture of the South Valley, and more likely to be able to get things done in a Congress controlled by Democrats. Let's give Harry Teague a good margin to work with in Dona Ana County and the South Valley.

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