Message from Malcolm S. Mitchell, M.D. to Senator Rodriguez

Dear Senator Rodriguez:

As someone who worked closely for several years with your predecessor, as part of the Get the Lead Out Group, to stop Asarco from reopening, I feel it necessary to contact you because of your apparent support for retaining the stacks. I have written to you and to the El Paso Times in the past to state my objections to the stacks, which, like many other objective people, I find to be ugly, polluted and utterly without redeeming features as a permanent part of El Paso’s landscape. I hope you will not bow to pressure from Robert Ardovino and others, who inexplicably to me and many others want to retain the stacks as some sort of “monument”. I came from another city to El Paso in 2007 and have traveled abroad, so I am baffled why some people believe that there are reasons not to destroy the crumbling, polluted Asarco stacks.

The City Council has already voted against using public money to bolster them, and I hope you will not try to go against their decision. I especially hope that my tax money and that of others in the city (or state) will not be used for this purpose, when money is sorely needed for education, alleviation of poverty and improvement of health, all of which have merit, in contrast to the effort of propping up toxic stacks at considerable cost into the distant future.

Mr. Puga has already made his decision to demolish and remove the stacks to remove the blight of Asarco from El Paso once and for all. I trust that you as our recently elected state senator will support the City Council and Mr. Puga and not try to reverse these actions.

Thank you for your consideration.


Malcolm S. Mitchell, M.D.
Former head of medical oncology and director for clinical investigations at the University of Southern California Cancer Center, Los Angeles

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