NAME: LUIS LEON
OFFICE YOU SEEK: CITY REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 7
EDUCATION: ASSOCIATE OF ARTS in BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
FAMILY: WIFE AND 6 GROWN CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN
1) NUMBER-ONE CAMPAIGN FOCUS:
Economic Development is my number one priority and job creation is at the forefront. I feel that the best way to improve our community is to pursue better jobs for our community. Our standards are too low for our community to really grow. We have grown to accept low to medium skill jobs for low to medium pay. This is not good enough for our community. The integrity of our community is at play here; who in the last 8 years has really pushed and brought the required jobs we need for our community – the answer is no one. I feel that it will be my job to push for those jobs that we badly need in our community.
And how will I do this? I have a true understanding of the border economy and our interdependence with Ciudad Juarez. My business sense aids me with seeking to bring jobs to El Paso and to help small local business growth. My vision for El Paso is to continue to move El Paso forward in a pragmatic and deliberate manner. In order to move forward we need to strengthen our small business community. The largest employer of our community is the small businesses. They have a difficult time getting help from our city departments, and this needs to be streamlined and changed. The departments need to have a better attitude towards assisting the small business owner. With my experience in business and my 42 years of working in the maquiladora industry, I have seen what will make our community successful. Aside from having a good quality of life infrastructure I have experienced with other communities that they have a department or an organization that is dedicated to economic development. Our department of economic development is a good department but I feel that the department is lacking in the corporate recruitment area. The city funded REDCO to pursue corporate recruitment for the region and they have been highly successful, but not for our city. They have done a great job for the Ciudad Juarez, but not for El Paso. According to the Federal Reserve Bank, for every seven jobs created in Ciudad Juarez one is created in El Paso. That’s a good figure but the reality is that it is not true. For every plant built in Ciudad Juarez there are a specific number of jobs that help create the Federal Reserve Bank numbers, but what is not counted are the small business that grow around the plant. Think of the restaurants, the convenient stores and the small mom and pop stores that don’t get counted. A plant has a multiplier factor that is not in the figures. So what is really happening, in my opinion, is that the figure is more like, for every 15 jobs created in Ciudad Juarez, 1 is created in El Paso. So, while I am a council member, my goal is to make certain that our economic development department creates an El Paso First corporate recruitment program, that focuses on bringing high skill, high wage jobs to El Paso. We will need to revisit our relocation incentives and become a friend to business government. But I will emphasize that giving away the house on incentives is not the way to go. The first few that decide to move into our market will benefit greatly, but the ones that come afterwards will receive a smaller but good benefit. As for our small businesses we need to create and fully support and fund a small business incubator that walks these important small businesses through the hardship of working for themselves.
2) WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR OPPONENTS?
I believe my work experience really sets me apart. I worked for the same company for 52 years and in that time I missed two scheduled days of work, so what you are getting is a PROVEN responsible and reliable person who truly understands the meaning of commitment.
Also raising a family is also important, my wife and I raised six children. I love them all and I am proud of them. They are so successful in their careers, three in law enforcement, one in the health field, one in the education field and one who graces our home every day.
Lastly, I run 4 to 5 miles a day, seven days a week. I do this to stay healthy and to keep an alert mind. I don’t believe that any of my opponents are as healthy as I am.
3) RELEVANT EXPERIENCE THAT QUALIFIES YOU FOR THE POSITION YOU SEEK:
My relevant experience comes first as a taxpaying resident of the City of El Paso for over 42 years. If you have owned a home as long as I have and lived through the LEAN years as well as the growth explosion of the last years, then you know what it like to have your taxes raised or your property valuation go up every year. As for my commitment to the position of City Representative for District 7, I will follow my example that I set with the company I worked for 52 years. I missed only two unscheduled days of work and I created the market place for my specific field of work. I started with the company at the lowest position possible and rose to the ranks to sales manager for the company. When I arrived in El Paso in 1971 from Los Angeles, California, the company I worked for was the first company to produce corrugated boxes for the maquiladoras in El Paso. I and another person were the only salesmen for the company; we had to create the market for our company and expand the business. By the time it was said and done I was the top salesman for the company and I had created the market place and expanded the business. But for a few years during the period from 1971 to 2009, I remained the top salesman. I had to make commitments to the managers of the factories in Ciudad Juarez and had to make certain that they were realized. People’s careers were at stake when I made those commitments and at the front end of my career I couldn’t afford to make a mistake. After I began to build my portfolio of successes in the market I could not rest on my laurels, I had to continue the effort. Striving for better is what I do best. I will do the same as the next City Representative for District 7. I am my own man, beholden to no one but when elected I will be beholden to the good people of our great city.