This is your Friday update, which takes a quick look at the week ahead and some developments that El Paso Matters is following.
Early Voting Starts Monday: Early voting for the May 6 election begins Monday and ends May 2. During those two weeks, El Pasoans will vote on various school district board races and on 11 El Paso City Charter amendments, including the controversial Climate Charter. To help voters understand what’s on the ballot and what’s at stake, El Paso Matters produced a 2023 Voter Guide, which can be found online in English and Spanish. Print copies in English and Spanish can also be found at El Paso Public Library branches.
Land Sale for Dental School Approved: Dr. Richard Lange, president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, said that the April 11 decision by the El Paso City Council to sell the university about six acres near the campus for $9.4 million will further the plan to create a regional health care “destination spot.” Lange said the next steps are to complete the land acquisition of the 15 properties in South Central El Paso that front Colfax and Euclid streets as well as El Paso Drive, and to start the long-term planning. TTUHSCEP expects to build a larger, permanent dental school and a parking lot. The new building will replace two temporary facilities that are used as a dental and oral health clinic and a dental learning center. The expanded dental school will offer enhanced training in various specialties, and add to Texas Tech El Paso’s primary care clinics. Construction funds could come from Senate Bill 846, which requests $236 million for an oral and medical comprehensive health care center at the campus.
Workshops for Gender Affirming Care: The University of Texas at El Paso and the Borderland Rainbow Center are hosting monthly workshops to equip the transgender and non-gender conforming community with health care resources and knowledge. The workshops cover hormones and injectables, speech and voice modification, public health trends, self advocacy and navigating the health care and social services systems. The next workshop is Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the El Public Public Library – Westside, 124 Belvidere St. People can register at bloomelpaso.eventbrite.com to help organizers plan for food and space, though walk-ins are also welcome.
U.S. Attorney Swearing In Ceremony: Jaime Esparza, the new United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, will be sworn in Friday at the Albert Armendariz, Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Downtown El Paso. Esparza served as El Paso’s district attorney from 1993 to 2020. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, will be among the speakers during the investiture. The ceremony is open only to invitees.