Upcoming Forum: "Follow the Money: Campaign Finance in El Paso"

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Sunday, September 15, 2:30-4, El Paso Public Library downtown, 501 N. Oregon

Who funds campaigns in El Paso? And what are the possible benefits of big-donor contributions in decision-making on the El Paso City Council? Are there long-term debt consequences for property-taxpayers in El Paso, a city with almost stagnant population growth and excessive use of residential, not business property tax burdens?

Two panelists affiliated with the Community First Coalition--Kathy Staudt, Professor Emerita, UTEP, and civic activist and Rosemary Neill, retired from El Paso County, and civic activist--provide some answers to these questions and seek fruitful dialogue with the audience. They provide evidence from publicly available municipal campaign contribution websites and state websites with figures on long-term per-person city debt compared to other comparably-sized cities in Texas, suggesting ominous trends for our city. Come hear about the top-twenty big donors to the mayor and the extent to which city council representatives are dependent on big donors for funding their campaigns. Other cities have solutions for 'pay-to-play' politics: Why not El Paso?