Beto O’Rourke’s History of Latino Discrimination
Beto O’Rourke’s History of Latino Discrimination
October 17, 2018
By Ariel Rivera-Diaz
Ten years ago when Beto O’Rourke was a City Council member in El Paso’s 8thDistrict, he played a major role in a land development plan that received support from his father-in-law, William Sanders. Latinos make up 81% of the district. However, O’Rourke seems to have forgotten that important fact at the time. The Development plan of 2007, also known as the Downtown plan, attempted to renovate the area with the help of William Sanders, who was the driving force behind the initiative. With the support of O’Rourke, William Sanders attempted to demolish historic buildings and Latino owned small businesses to create space for bigger companies. This attempt of a monopoly raised concerns amongst Latinos in the area. Additionally, the plan was projected to kick Latinos out of their homes to make space for “better housing.”
Knowing that Latino residents will be kicked out of their homes, O’Rourke still supported the plan and refused to recuse himself from voting for it. This shady plan was met with criticisms from other city council members and locals.
Beto O'Rourke Kicks Latinos out of their Neighborhood #RNHARepost from Latino Patriots from El Paso: "Since back then people saw through his bs… How quickly #ElPaso forgets! But not us!!! Look at who he defends against the humble people of Segundo Barrio….#SellingElPasoOutForOver10Years ???Ten years later his game plan is in full force and our city is a mess! One of the poorest cities in America along with Detroit. Highest Taxes in Texas by little over 24%! One of the Highest in the nation for property taxes! #SayNoToBeto People have been kicked out, City still spending millions of tax payers dollars like nothing fighting for land tearing down historical buildings, why!? because their reward is far greater than the care and the burden being put on the city… Special interest has already bought and paid them for it! Now they must approve and continue to fight for it all costs no matter how much tax payer money is being thrown away…."
Posted by Republican National Hispanic Assembly – New York Chapter on Wednesday, October 17, 2018
In a video circulating around Facebook, where O’Rourke is seen addressing locals, he was met with disapproval. The video starts with a woman explaining to O’Rourke that the area is their “home, it has its defects but this is our home.” He stated that the plan was completely “legal and anyone can demolish buildings in the area if they wanted to.” However, when a resident asked “why can’t these investors go [somewhere] else and build their buildings there?” O’Rourke nervously repeated his previous statement. One resident said that O’Rourke has “[them] living in fear.” This is very troubling given the fact that O’Rourke was a former City Council member and current Democratic congressional candidate.
A resident then pointed out that O’Rourke’s father-in-law was going to benefit from the plan, O’Rourke just shook his head and said “that’s your opinion.” This blatant discrimination against the Latino community in El Paso, Texas, further supports the claim that the Democrats are losing favorability among Latinos and it’s been happening for a decade. The plan was in the works for 2 years without considering the voice of the people. This shows that O’Rourke does not value the basic principles of Democracy. Furthermore, he did not bother to think about the 81% in his district and only focused on his selfish agenda.
An emotional final point was made by a woman holding a picture of the plan and said “you have treated the people of this Barrio with tremendous disrespect.” She was followed up by another attendee, “in one of your meetings you mentioned the cockroach and lice infestations as justification to tear down our apartments… this is insulting.”
Video Surfaces: Beto O’Rourke Attacks Catholic Church and Priest #RNHA
Posted by Republican National Hispanic Assembly – New York Chapter on Saturday, October 13, 2018
O’Rourke has also attacked the Catholic Church, forgetting that Catholicism is the second most popular religion in Texas and Latinos being a big part of that population. The history of discrimination against Latinos is present. O’Rourke has no regard for Latino owned businesses or Latino lives in Texas. The video ended with a woman who stated the following, “We may be poor, but we have rights.” A point that O’Rourke continues to ignore today by not properly reaching out to the Latino community in his run for Ted Cruz’s seat.
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Ariel Rivera-Diaz ran for State Assembly in the 2018 NYS Elections. He served as Bronx Borough Coordinator for 2017 NYC Mayoral Candidate Nicole Malliotakis. Ariel is an active member of the Bronx GOP and has assisted in grassroots efforts to increase civic engagement among voters. He is a recipient of the James H. Hackett Oratory Award in high school.