Almost 30 percent of El Paso County citizens live in areas with limited access to fresh and healthy foods. El Paso is one of 10 cities taking part in the Cities of Service Resilience AmeriCorps program. Through this program, the city is engaging with citizen volunteers to build and sustain resilience in low-income neighborhoods through initiatives like the Garden Grant Program, which creates community gardens and increases access to healthy foods.
El Paso has been a member of the Cities of Service coalition since 2010, when former Mayor John Cook signed the Declaration of Service. Current Mayor Oscar Leeser reaffirmed the city's commitment to service by signing the Declaration again in 2015.
Mayor Dee Margo
Mayor Dee Margo moved to El Paso in 1977 from Nashville. Over the years, Mayor Margo served as civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, participated in the founding of the Regional Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), became the chairman of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce, and gave his time to several nonprofits, including Operation Noel. Mayor Margo was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010, in 2013 he was appointed president of the EPISD Board of Managers, and most recently was appointed by the governor to serve on the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee. He became mayor of El Paso in June of 2017.
Interim Director of Community Development Nicole Ferrini
Before joining the City of El Paso, Nicole Ferrini worked with the GRO El Paso Initiative, which focused on building grassroots resilience at a regional scale. The Initiative examined issues ranging from resource conservation and crisis management to urban development and social justice.