On October 10, El Paso News asked all city council candidates running for city council in the November 8, 2022 ballot to answer our questionnaire for our Voters’ Guide 2022. Out of 17 candidates, two did not respond to our request. One candidate for District 1, Freddy Klayel Avalos announced on October 12 that he was suspending his campaign. Although Avalos is no longer running for office, his name remains on the ballot. As such, we have listed him on our Voters’ Guide as having withdrawn.

Four city council seats are open in this election cycle. They are Districts 1, 5, 6 and 8. Two incumbents, Isabel Salcido (5) and Claudia Lizzette Rodriguez (6) are facing challengers.

El Paso News is profiling each candidate by district. Their profiles are the answers they provided us. We are publishing their answers, in full, without any editing.

We are only publishing the profiles for the candidates that answered our questionnaire. Download our Voters’ Guide for a complete list of candidates running for office.

Our printable and downloadable one-page Voters’ Guide is available for download at the bottom of this article. We have also created one-page profiles for each of the candidates. They are available for download as well after each of the candidates’ profiles.

Today we are publishing the profiles for the District 5 candidates.

Richard Genera

Richard Genera

Age: 30

Telephone Number: (915) 926-6141

Email Address: generafordistrict5@gmail.com

Campaign Website: generafordistrict5.com

Education: BA in Multidisciplinary Studies from UTEP

Current Occupation: Teller/DoorDash driver

Arrest Record: None

Previous Political Office: None

Current on city taxes: Yes

One sentence message to the voters:

If we want different results from City Council we need different reps, and I’ve done the work to show I’ll serve in this role well.

Top Three Issues:

  1. Property taxes
  2. Streets
  3. Public safety

What motivates you to run for office: I was motivated by a whole list of factors, but the real reason I committed to this was because I want to prove democratic cynics wrong. I want to rebuild trust in local government. I want to set a high standard for what our City Reps should be, how they should lead and interact and engage with their constituents. People have lost trust in government overall, but particularly in local government, and for good reason. I’m going to put in the work and we’ll build the foundation for a more informed and engaged district to build and flourish upon.

How will the candidate vote, as a trustee or as a delegate:

One of the aspects I am trying to bring back is the “delegate” style of policy making. With weekly community meetings I plan to be among constituents constantly, taking feedback, educating on upcoming votes and how they will impact their lives. I’ll use any manner of poll taking and feedback gathering I can, always giving constituents ample opportunity to engage with and inform the decision that is being made on their behalf.

The 2012 Sports Arena:

After a decade which was capped off by a once-in-a-century pandemic, the consequences of which we are still feeling today, it is not unreasonable to take a step back and reassess the project. In my humble opinion, even the “world-class” arena that had originally been promised would not have had the success supporters claimed. The watered down version that we are being told we must accept and move forward with will certainly not solve our financial woes. This is our money, our future, our past that they are so willing to unceremoniously bulldoze to build on top of, and for what? Another tax-payer funded money-pit that will be the final nail in our coffin if we go through with it. My position is simple: we should kill the arena project.

How do you plan to stay in touch with your constituents: Weekly community meetings. Different days of the week, different times of the day, different areas of the district. There will be some consistency of course, but the idea is that there will be meetings catering to different folks and ensuring we are making them as accessible as possible (meetings will also be accessible virtually). I host a podcast called The El Paso Beat. Leading up to this point I’ve been reporting on City Hall, I watch every City Council work session and meeting and talk about whatever the council talks about. If elected I’ll bring the show with me, using it to report to listeners what I voted on, why, and how it will affect El Pasoans. I’ll also use it as a platform to get El Pasoans engaged with School board, County, State, and Federal representation as well, while also bringing on City Staff to highlight particular departments or topics such as the annual budget or protesting property values with the CAD. I’ll explore options of having a text list for constituents to sign up for as well as an email newsletter, and if enough demand is there for it, traditional printed newsletters too. Anything I can to make myself available and responsive to my constituents.

Open narrative to the voters:

If the status quo has you frustrated, you can’t vote for the same people who gave it to you and expect change. Real change takes fresh perspective and new blood. I’m not giving away tax breaks to wealthy developers who are then donating thousands of dollars to certain candidates like my opponent. I’m not rubber stamping vanity projects and premature contract extensions for the generously compensated City Manager. I’m bringing back responsive and responsible government to the District and City and rebuilding trust in local government. I’m getting property taxes under control and making City Hall more transparent, engaging, and accountable. It only works if the people come together and vote for it, though. Tell your friends and family on the Far East side that they have a chance to vote for a real change and that’s by voting Richard Genera for District 5.


Felix J. Munoz

Felix J. Munoz

Age: 56

Telephone Number: None provided.

Email Address: munozfordistrict5@gmail.com

Campaign Website: On Facebook: @Munozfordistrict5

Education:

Graduate from Bowie High
Some college while In the Armed Forces (US Army)

Current Occupation: Retired Federal Law Enforcement Officer of 26 years.

Arrest Record: None

Previous Political Office: None

Current on city taxes: Yes

One sentence message to the voters:

As a retired employee on a fix income, the effects of high taxation and high interest rates are affecting our family like everyone else.

Top Three Issues:

  1. Stop these certificates of obligation, that are not required voter approval. Currently the city is using these CO’s as blank checks and putting our city in deeper debt.
  2. Manage our city taxes to bring them down for the citizens of El Paso. Texas Bond Review Board recently revealed that El Paso has the highest per-capita CO debt in Texas, $769 per person as of last year — more than Austin and San Antonio combined. By contrast, Houston has only $6 in per capita CO debt, and Dallas only $13. We need to learn from these major cities how they are managing this major issues for El Paso. If elected, I will go with or with other elected officials to their city elected officials and learn from them. There is nothing wrong from learning from other elected officials and can benefit our city. We need help and I’m willing to travel and bring back ideas. But we must act quickly. El Pasoans are leaving our city to lower tax locations for this very reason.
  3. Public Safety, being a former Law Enforcement Officer, I truly believe we need more officers throughout our city. Our current police force is understaffed and underpaid. Everyday they put their lives on the line to keep our city safe, not knowing if they are going home that day.

What motivates you to run for office: I want to make a difference in my community, I am not a politician, I am just a regular citizen that sees where we are heading and I don’t agree with it. I know that if I s as m elected, I will do everything possible to give district 5 and our city a voice. We are here to serve our constituents from our community to the every best of our abilities. Also to remember it’s only a temporary job rather it’s a 4 year term or 8 years. So we are limited to do the very best we can within our time in office.

How will the candidate vote, as a trustee or as a delegate:

I believe that once in office you hold the best interest in your constituents of your district by actually have monthly community meetings within my district and provide transparency and what I call the ugly truth how is our local government is spending our taxes and also be transparent on where the funds are going to and why of past certificates of obligations. And to remember they elected me as a voice from my district and to hold me accountable for decisions I make on behalf of my district. If elected I will the best of my ability to be that voice for my district.

The 2012 Sports Arena:

It’s been 10 years since the city of El Paso voted on this multi purpose event center “Arena” since then nothing has been done but destroying this historical nominated area called Duranguito. The funds that were for this project has drastically decreased over the years. Besides using these funds for litigation and other court costs. The city needs to drop this and continue to move forward. We have several arenas around the city of El Paso that currently functional without any cost to our taxpayers. Example Southwest park serves as a baseball park as well as soccer park for two professional sports teams. Don Haskins, Sunbowl, El Paso Coliseum are currently functional doing just fine. No need to build this very expensive arena on an overcrowded section of El Paso. We are NOT San Antonio or other city, we are very unique as El Paso and should remain that way. We can give the citizens of El Paso with several options what to do with the remaining funds for other projects or programs. The citizens of El Paso have the power to decide and our local government have to follow what they ask for. That’s why we are elected by the citizens of our city (Mayor) and our own district (city council members).

How do you plan to stay in touch with your constituents: Hold monthly or quarterly community meeting around our district parks with food trucks and activities for our community families and become a closer community in our district. If weather is a factor also can select a location within our district and invite local food vendors and other vendors from our community to promote their business and hold a session to include a so called “state of our district “ with meet and greet to include with questions from our district constituents.


Isabel Salcido

Analisa Cordova Silverstein

Age: 37

Telephone Number: Not provided

Email Address: isabel@isabelsalcidoforelpaso.com

Campaign Website: isabelsalcidoforelpaso.com

Education: Realtor License, Double B.A. Finance and Computer Information Systems from UTEP.

Current Occupation: Entrepreneur, Realtor, and City Representative for District 5.

Arrest Record: None

Previous Political Office: District 5 City Representative 2019-Present.

Current on city taxes: Yes

One sentence message to the voters:

I’ve been an effective leader for District 5. I fought for a salary cap on the city manager. I fought for a lower tax rate and responsible budget. I fought for small businesses. I advocated and fought for a police command center, fire station, and recreational center. District 5 was the fastest growing district in El Paso and we didn’t have the basic infrastructure needs. With my help, we now do. Let’s continue to build District 5, together.

Top Three Issues:

  1. Tax Reform. I plan to create a commission on tax reform that includes representatives from all El Paso area taxing entities. Our taxes are one of the highest in the state and we must do a better job of communicating and planning among all taxing entities in order to attract more business while alleviating the taxpayers. El Paso receives more taxes from residential taxes than commercial taxes. The rest of Texas has this flipped, which is always better for our residents.
  2. Procurement Process Reform. I will fight for the interests of El Paso small businesses. The procurement process in rigged so that big corporations get the city contracts. The procurement office sets requirements that are unrealistic for small businesses. These include prior experience that only a few large corporations have, and high insurance and bonding requirements that are too expensive for small businesses to attain.
  3. Traffic Management and Congestion Control. I will continue to work on the extension of Montwood street and work with the state delegation, MPO, and TxDOT to convert Zaragoza from a 4-lane street to a 6-lane street to help decongest traffic. The current infrastructure has not kept up with rapid growth and Eastside residents are suffering.

What motivates you to run for office: As a small business owner, I first ran for City Council because I was tired and frustrated with all the obstacles the city put in the way of businesses like mine and others. From the permitting and inspection office, to high taxes, I got fed up and decided to do something about it – run for office.

How will the candidate vote, as a trustee or as a delegate:

My policy decisions are based on a case-by-case basis. I make sure to have conversations with all stakeholders that will be affected and collect all data and analyze each decision carefully. This allows me to make the most educated decision. My approach is a combination of both.

The 2012 Sports Arena:

I always believe we should respect the will of the voters that participate in our democratic process, and that occurred in 2012. I pushed for a feasibility study to obtain estimates for the proposed project while preserving the neighborhood’s historic buildings and historical character. I sincerely believe we can creatively find a way to preserve our history while keeping our promise to the voters if we work on a compromise that all of us can be proud of.

How do you plan to stay in touch with your constituents: I currently contact my constituents via weekly calls, emails, social media engagement, newsletters, community events, town halls, community meetings, and schedule one-on-one meetings with my constituents. I have an open-door policy and will meet with anyone, even if we disagree.


Martin Paredes

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