In June, Eddie Holguin, Lily Limón and I embarked on a plan to attempt to democratize political campaigning in El Paso. We believed that providing quality political campaign services would allow candidates from all walks of life to run for office. We assumed a lot and unfortunately, we were wrong. The problem was not the model but the tribal politics that are part of America today.

The three of us believed that we could overcome the politics behind the political campaigns and focus on empowering candidates wishing to make a difference. But we soon realized that was untenable. One cannot mix activist politics wanting to challenge the political status quo against entrenched politics.

Today we began the process of dismantling Politico Campaigns as a company.

Eddie Holguin and Lily Limón will now focus on what they do best, ensuring that Democratic Party candidates are elected to office. They will resume their partnership in Sun Circle Strategic Group working to get qualified Democratic candidates elected to office without the distraction of politics interfering in that process.

As for me, I will continue focusing on exposing the undercurrent politics that operates behind smoke-and-mirrors that drives the public policy agenda today. The latest one being the University Medical Center of El Paso (UMC) non-voter approved bonds that county commissioners will be voting on, on September 12.

I have taken ownership of the Politico Campaigns infrastructure and transformed them into an extension of my technology company. I believe that grassroots, irrespective of funding, is the future of politics and that technology is the equalizing force. Although Politico Campaigns as a company is no more, its domain name, servers and the technology behind have become a technology outlet focused on giving any grassroots effort access to technology and campaign branding collateral at affordable prices regardless of how much funding the candidate has or the party politics.

I want to equalize the playing field for all grassroots efforts regardless of party affiliation or objective.

Democracy works only when every voice is allowed to exercise advocacy from whatever point of view or from whatever affiliation they come from. To allow this to happen, grassroots should have access to quality messaging collateral like door hangers, political signage, social media graphics or video and access to Apps for voter engagement at affordable rates.

Starting today, almost every service like artwork, logo design, social media graphics/memes, website design or video work is available to any advocacy group or candidate at a set price of $250 at Politico Campaigns. It doesn’t matter to me your political affiliation or what you are advocating for, I will create the collateral you need.

Because I understand the politics of El Paso, I can create the imagery that catches the attention of the voters.

I will also continue to develop El Paso Votes, the App with voting records of El Pasoans going back 18 years with an emphasis on grassroots advocacy like petition drives. Most of the services will remain free to any grassroots effort or political campaign, again it does not matter the political affiliation. Fees will be minimal for extra services like built-in texting or polling to help offset the associated costs to operate them. Other than that, every campaign will have the same access to the App and its associated data.

Starting today, the voter App gives any registered voter in El Paso the ability to organize voter outreach. The campaign manager allows campaign leaders to organize and manage volunteers, conduct voter canvassing with targeted walking and calling lists and it includes a central hub where targeted voter engagement can be tracked through Election Day. With the App, any campaign can tell what their voter engagement looks like.

However, the power of the voter App lies on the grassroots effort, whether one-to-two member strong or up to thousands of voters. The App allows anyone to run their own Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaign for an issue, to advocate for a measure or simply to get family and friends to vote. The GOTV module allows the user to see in real time how their advocacy is engaging with the voters.

It is free and available to all voters.

Regarding what you can expect from El Paso News, nothing changes except that I am now freer to cover topics without regards to how a client or their opponent feels about it. The facts are the facts, and the problem lies in the facts not on the messenger. But candidates do not seem to comprehend that, so they go after the messenger and not the facts.

Expect El Paso News to continue to deliver the news and information you have come to expect from us.

You may have noticed that several petitions have been circulating in El Paso over the several last months. They cover topics ranging from solar energy to election finance in addition to the two currently circulating against the UMC non-voter approved bonds.

There are more coming.

The El Paso Votes App is available to anyone wanting to circulate petitions, regardless of party affiliation or the issue being advocated. It is my intention to keep petition management on the App completely free so that all can have equal access to it.

I wish Eddie and Lily the best with their political consulting and I believe that their intention is to help elect the best Democratic Party candidates to office in the coming elections.

A quick note about the App. To use the App you must be a registered voter in El Paso. If you are a campaign manager that operates from another jurisdiction, have your client create an account on the App and add you as the manager. Questions about the App or to address problems signing up can be directed to me at politico@cognent.com.

Martin Paredes

Reporting on public corruption, border politics, immigration and public policy in El Paso since 2000.