News

Statement on historical preservation in downtown El paso May 24, 2015

As a proud, lifelong El Pasoan I have always been proud of our cultural heritage, and I have always been a strong advocate for preservation and heritage tourism. As an active member of the Paso del Norte Streetcar Preservation Society, I have been an action oriented supporter of the Vintage Streetcar Project. I believe that it is in our best economic interest to support heritage tourism and the preservation of our historic places in our downtown area. This is the reason I support the designation of a National Historic District that will cover up to 45% of renovation costs for income producing property within the district. The proposal of a National Historic District put forth by the El Paso County Historical Commission and the Economic Development Office is in line with my belief in responsible growth with common sense. A National Historic District would not just protect and enhance our historic buildings, it would also rely on federal and state tax credits, not property taxes.

I support the El Paso County Historical Commission and the Economic Development Office in their efforts to create a National Historic District downtown


Building a Better Borderplex February 19, 2015

Largent Parks, Jr. wrote an incredibly insightful article titled “El Paso: City of Secrets” for the December issue of Southwest Airlines Magazine in 1984 that I would like to share with you. In it, he outlines the reasons he believes El Paso is the most misunderstood city in America. The fact that the potential for El Paso was so evident in 1984, just as it is now, highlights our city’s need for strategic economic vision:

“To some, El Paso’s present is confusing and misunderstood. But to [others], El Paso is today’s enchanted land of opportunity. To [them], El Paso is futuretime: a megatrend city destined to be a premier international metroplex.”

When my father immigrated to the United States from Argentina, to raise a family, he chose El Paso, Texas for the same reasons that former Mayor Judson Williams articulated in the article:

“It’s in El Paso’s interest to emphasize the city’s Mexican influence and not try to sweep it under the carpet… The city combines the best of the Latin influences with the best elements of the Anglo business and commercial society… El Paso’s rich dual culture will enable it to become the major international complex so many of the city’s business leaders dream of.”

Then and now, the potential of a better Borderplex that functions as the Center of the Southwest is obvious. El Paso’s future success depends on the regional partnerships we build today, both economically and culturally. The sooner we can work as a region to boost our economy the sooner we can bring more good jobs to the community. El Paso needs to be on the same side of the table as Southern New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez so our region, and El Paso in particular, can match the level of its potential. El Paso is a unique place, and as such, it will require unique solutions.

Politics is the Art of the Possible, and we need to have everyone on board if we plan to think bigger about the future of El Paso. City leaders must be inclusive and accountable. This is the reason I will make sure you always have a voice in City Hall. I am prepared to listen to your concerns, learn about the issues that matter to you, and lead from consensus so we can make El Paso a Better Borderplex together.

When I am elected to city council, I will work hard to build relationships and make sure El Paso is moving in the right direction. We need to create the kind of dynamic Public-Private partnerships that will make El Paso competitive on a global scale while staying true to what makes us unique.

El Paso has gathered a lot of momentum over the past 5 years. District 1 needs a leader that makes sure we are moving in the right direction. I understand El Paso’s potential, but I also understand that a vision without action is not very meaningful. I understand that we can only move forward if we have the consensus necessary to take the right steps. El Paso has already made strides to match our potential, but we still have a long way to go. I know that this community can continue to be a beacon of opportunity, prosperity, and diversity for many generations to come. This is the place my father chose to make his home over 35 years ago and this is our home. We need a Fresh Perspective that comprehends our past, delivers results, and prepares for the future.

Warmly,

Peter Svarzbein

P.S. We encourage you to visit our webpage www.PeterForDistrict1.com to make an online contribution and keep up with our official campaign facebook page www.facebook.com/PeterForDistrict1 for updates on future events, volunteer efforts, and any media related content regarding our campaign.


We are El Paso, We are Unique February 16, 2015

The sense of love and belonging that goes hand in hand with being an El Pasoan has always been instrumental in my life. I feel communities in general, whether they relate to our faith, hobbies, or interests, are vital to our happiness. This month I had the wonderful opportunity to write a brief column in The Jewish Voice of Greater El Paso. I’m really excited to share the article with you and mention some of the key issues that guide my understanding of the environment. The preservation of nature and wilderness, as well as the idea of social space and place are issues that are highly important to me. My view of the environment is influenced by the appreciation of the natural world and a desire to protect it. In addition, the social character of our environment affects our lives and the strength of our communities.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Our bike paths, hiking trails, and sidewalks are things that allow our bodies to move and define the neighborhoods, places and spaces that make up our lived environment. It is important to preserve and enhance these resources when feasible as it allows us to connect with our bodies and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And it makes good economic sense as well, in that cities and places with outdoor amenities are particularly attractive to a younger, more mobile workforce, like your kids or grandkids who moved away. The sunshine in our Sun City doesn’t hurt so much either.

I am committed to protecting our open spaces and enhancing our historic places in District 1. We need a Fresh Perspective in City Council that can create the consensus necessary to keep El Paso moving forward. I am ready to listen, learn, and lead.

Warmly,
Peter Svarzbein

P.S. We encourage you to visit our webpage www.PeterForDistrict1.com to make an online contribution and keep up with our official campaign facebook page www.facebook.com/PeterForDistrict1 for updates on future events, volunteer efforts, and any media related content regarding our campaign.


A New Dawn for the Sun City February 5, 2015

As a candidate for City Council I understand the responsibilities that come with the office and the need to be more efficient, more effective, and more responsible with the city’s funds than we already are. We must use those funds for smart and streamlined initiatives that can help propel us further. I believe that El Paso can match its potential, and I am prepared to serve you.

I am proud to be from El Paso, and I am inspired by the potential of District 1. The progress that this city has made over the last 5 years is astounding and the possibility of a Better Borderplex is within our reach. I believe El Paso has the tools, the spirit, and the human resources to make this jump. Whether it’s folks who left, folks who stayed here, or folks from other places who are looking for somewhere to invest and live; El Paso can reinvigorate its economy, amenities, and public spaces to bring people back, to keep people here, and to offer opportunities to everyone.

Some of the constituents from District 1 called to share an article with me. The article published by Gothamist talked about the efforts that the city of Buffalo and the state of New York have made in order to create the kind of city that people want to live in. One of these public-private projects is the Buffalo Building Re-Use Project, and it consists of providing “loans for businesses to improve downtown.” In addition, Elon Musk’s SolarCity, will combine manufacturing jobs, new technology, and renewable energy in “a $750 million factory designed to produce high-efficiency solar panels, [that] will employ thousands.” These are the kinds of dynamic public-private partnerships, projects and investments that belong in a 21st century city and that I will fight for in District 1 and El Paso. Just like leaders in Buffalo had to find out-of-the-box answers to get out-of-the-box results, so do we need to find unique solutions for the unique city that is El Paso.

I want to live in a city that can proudly call itself the “Center of the Southwest.” El Paso can be a beacon of economic opportunities, quality of life, and innovative solutions if we choose the Positive, Responsive, and Creative Leadership for District 1 that I am prepared to provide.

Growing El Paso for the 21st century won’t just take smarts and experience, it’ll take chutzpah!

Warmly,
Peter Svarzbein

P.S. We encourage you to visit our webpage www.PeterForDistrict1.com to make an online contribution and keep up with our official campaign facebook page www.facebook.com/PeterForDistrict1 for updates on future events, volunteer efforts, and any media related content regarding our campaign.


El Paso Times 12.5.2014 December 6, 2014

Visual artist, civic activist says he’s a candidate for El Paso City Council

A visual artist and civic activist announced this week that he’s running for El Paso City Council for the District 1 seat currently held by outgoing city Rep. Ann Morgan Lilly.

Peter Svarzbein, 34, said he wants to contribute to what he believes is “the momentum that exists in El Paso to move the city forward.”

He is one of the first to announce for the upcoming city elections next year.

“I want to bring an energetic and intelligent voice to the council,” Svarzbein said. “We’ve reached a critical time, and I want to be part of continuing the momentum that’s taking place in El Paso. I would work to push for better economic opportunities and quality of life, and bring a cultural and economic vision for the next 20 to 50 years.”

Svarzbein teaches at the Texas Tech College of Architecture in Downtown El Paso, and previously taught at New Mexico State University. He’s served on the San Jacinto Plaza Citizen Committee, the Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso, the El Paso Artist Guild, and is curator and co-creator of the Purple Pop-Up Gallery.

He is best known for the “El Paso Transnational Trolley Project,” a visual art project that featured a border trolley operator on various posters that appeared throughout Downtown El Paso.

He has a master of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

The city election is next June.

Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at 546-6140.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_27072664/visual-artist-civic-activist-says-hes-candidate-el


Campaign Launch Party December 3, 2014

Please join us as we kick-off the campaign of proud El Paso native Peter Svarzbein. Known for his involvement with the El Paso Trolley project as well as his numerous art projects in the Downtown Arts District, Peter’s journey back to El Paso has been an exciting and enriching one and he hopes to bring this energy and enthusiasm into public office.

“I have been very fortunate to have been involved with a series of transformative projects within this community and I’m excited to see how we can push El Paso forward with a fresh perspective for City Council,” says Svarzbein.

The key to success in District 1 is Responsive Governance, Responsible Growth, Strong Oversight and Bold Vision. Stop by and meet Peter and find out ways you can make a difference.

The announcement will take place at Jim Ward’s Eloise Restaurant and Cafe located at 255 Shadow Mountain Dr. Food and beverages will be served.