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Letter: Wary of the impact of consolidation

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By Emilio Arago

You needn’t go very far to find those opposed to “change agents.”  The citizens of West Las Vegas were the most adamant for consolidating the two “cities,” but the Las Vegas Daily Optic opposed that consolidation just as adamantly.  I am sure you can find those stories in your own archives.

After the consolidation of the towns, we at West Las Vegas find that the numerous businesses (around my father’s house on ‘Little’ Blanchard, you could find 10-plus stores and businesses within 5-6 city blocks) were lost. We opted for change and look at us now.  You can count the number of businesses in West Las Vegas on the fingers of one hand — and these are now owned by the newcomers, who are not “ed-lined” like the rest of us have been.

We always have believed in “mi casa es su casa,” but we didn’t mean for you to take the wife and the goats, along with mi casa.

Now, we would like some assurance that West Las Vegas School and the remaining vestiges of our culture don’t get completely gobbled up, as we have historically experienced. Genocide comes in many missionaries, as our world history has witnessed.

Yes, we are treading lightly and diligently, because history does repeat itself. As much as we want consolidation, we don’t want to be victimized again.

If anyone doesn’t believe my words, take a ride around “old town,” since most won’t walk the barrios, and count the number of native-owned businesses still extant. Then, look back and count the number of businesses lost since “consolidation.”

Burn me once, shame on you.  Burn me twice, shame on me.

Oh yes, read your own archives — you may be surprised how many didn’t want to “deal with those Mexicans.”

Emilio Aragon

Las Vegas

Editor’s note: In the early 1900s, the Optic opposed the consolidation of the two Las Vegases, but the newspaper supported consolidation in 1968 when the vote came up to unite the two municipalities.