Lily Limon, El Paso City Council District 7 candidate
NAME – Lily Limón
OFFICE YOU SEEK – City Representative, District 7
AGE - 62
OCCUPATION: Retired Educator
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UTEP
FAMILY – Married 41 years to Joe Limón
Marisa Y. Limón, Consultant for Hispanic Scholarship Consortium in Austin, Texas
Iliana Limón Romero, College Sports Editor for the Orlando Sentinel in Orlando, Florida
1) NUMBER-ONE CAMPAIGN FOCUS:
Serving as a strong voice for District 7. Residents have told me they are concerned about maintaining public safety and fiscal responsibility. As a fellow District 7 resident for more than 35 years, I feel equally passionate about the need to better support our public safety workers and make all city level decisions with an eye on sound finances. Our police must be the best trained, best equipped and best supported in order for us to continue being one of the safest cities in the country. While I am committed to investing in the development and growth of District 7, I am concerned far too many financial commitments have been made without the ability to pay for them. These decisions come at the expense of my neighbors.
2) WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR OPPONENTS?
First and foremost, I am an independent candidate. I am running for this office because I saw the need for someone to step up and make District 7 residents, business owners, public safety workers and other key members of the community a priority. While I am for city progress and development, it must be spread fair among all city districts and come along with the full consent of our citizens.
As a retired educator I have first-hand experience in the development of a campus budget, administration of a multi-level staff and responded fully to parents and the community. I am uniquely qualified to collaborate with school districts, colleges and universities to provide the greatest opportunities for District 7 and improve the skill-set of our work force.
3) RELEVANT EXPERIENCE THAT QUALIFIES YOU FOR THE POSITION YOU SEEK
-- I have 29 years experience in the education field as a teacher, assistant principal and principal.
-- I was the founding principal of Cesar Chavez Academy, instituting programming, staffing and the student code of conduct that led it to become a nationally recognized school. As founder of the school, I was charged with taking it from a few portables to a fully developed campus, seeking grant support to supplement the district’s limited finances to build a strong campus. Our staff also raised enough funds that every graduate of the alternative school for adjudicated youth earned a college scholarship. It was a major accomplishment considering many of the at-risk youth were not expected to earn college degrees. Many of my former students are now working full-time jobs and are supporting my campaign.
-- I have taken on leadership roles with a variety of charitable groups, organizing fund-raisers and hosting major events to benefit the community. I was a former chairwoman of the Hispanic Leadership Institute and vice president of the El Paso Chapter of the UTEP Alumni Association. I currently serve as the chairwoman of the El Paso Commission for Women.
4) IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO REVOKE ONE ORDINANCE IN EL PASO IMMEDIATELY UPON TAKING OFFICE, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
Citizens in District 7 have complained they were misled about the impact of a ballot measure related to the ballpark, incorrectly assuming they were solely weighing on how to fund the potential venue. They did not realize they also were voting to approve the venue. However, construction is moving forward and it’s too late to revisit the issue.
The situation does, however, highlight a greater need for transparent government. I would like to give our citizens a chance to vote on the form of city government they prefer, allowing them to decide whether it’s best to continue with the city manager system that has been in place for eight years.
5) DESCRIBE A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
Upon retiring from my career as an educator, I went through an experience that changed my life. My sister became very ill and ultimately had operations to amputate her legs and several fingers. I was able to spend time with her and offered her moral and spiritual support. Her love for children was one of her greatest traits. After spending time with her, I developed a deeper love, appreciation and respect for our children. Every day I think of her and all that she was able to do as a school counselor in spite of her illness.
6) IN WHAT WAYS IS EL PASO ON THE RIGHT TRACK, AND IN WHAT WAYS DOES IT NEED TO CHANGE COURSE?
I have been thrilled to see El Paso consistently rated as one of the safest cities in the country. It has been great to witness an infusion of energy in Downtown El Paso that has impressed tourists and long-time residents rediscovering the many charms of our city. As a supporter of UTEP academic and athletic programs, I’ve been proud to cheer on the Miners at games and laud Dr. Diana Natalicio for moving the university toward greater research funding. I’m also pleased District 7 was approved for a few quality of life projects that will improve our area.
El Paso has the opportunity to change with the next municipal election if independent candidates are elected. For too long, the citizens have had to endure the mockery, sneers, and putdowns of council members and the city manager. With the right people in place, El Paso will really be on the right track with professional, educated and caring council members who listen to all El Pasoans. The common refrain I have heard from families in District 7 is that the City Council does not hear their voice and has built up a mountain of debt it will take generations to pay. Many feel they were misled about how exactly El Pasoans would pay for the new ball park. There is a tremendous distrust of City Council and that has to change.
7) IF ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU BALANCE THE NEEDS OF FAMILY, YOUR CAREER AND YOUR OFFICE?
Since I am already retired, I would be able to work as a full-time city representative. I will not serve as a ceremonial leader. As a wife, mother, educator, community activist and volunteer I have been able to balance my obligations to a variety of groups in the past through strong organization skills. Family will always be one of my top priorities. Before entering the race, my husband and two daughters weighed the pros and cons of the race. We entered it together and are working for the good of our district. Having my family fully supporting me is one of my greatest assets.
8) WHEN AND WHY DID YOU COME TO EL PASO (IF APPLICABLE)?
I am a first generation American. I was born, raised and educated in El Paso. Aside from a brief period of time when my husband and I lived in Alamogordo, N.M., El Paso has been my home. I have lived in District 7 for more than 35 years.
9) PLEASE INDICATE WHETHER YOU HAVE A WEBSITE, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT: