Gallup starting to resemble Detroit’s poverty
Weekly Edition | April 12th | By: NP-staff
Gallup, NM. – With a weak U.S. Economy, one of the largest border towns near the Navajo Nation is starting to resemble impoverish city of Detroit, MI. with a lot of empty buildings, pawn shops, and bars.
Gallup, NM is known to the Navajo as ‘Naʼnízhoozhí’ and to the outside world it is the “Indian Capital of the World” it surrounds the south eastern part of the Navajo Nation. According to the 2010 Census, the population was 21,678. One of the most historic area is the El Rancho Hotel & Motel which hosted a numerous array of movie stars including John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Gregory Peck and Burt Lancaster.
Gallup Metro Mall is quite, stores have closed. The only two major retail chain in the mall are JC Penny and Beals. “I’m here to buy a dress shirt, but this mall has none that I like or there limited” said Brian Charley of Window Rock, adding “we need our own mall in Window Rock”
Navajo Nation community members agree they need their own metropolitan area, a city. In 2010, current Vice President Rex Lee Jim, then Navajo Presidential candidate said he wanted to build a city in the Nations Capitol of Window Rock. With the Navajo Nation soon to be the $1 billion Navajo, it is unclear as to what, how, or if this city will be built.
MayorJackie McKinney had no comment as to why Gallup has not seen any major infrastructure development in the past decade. While, there is no clear data of how much the City of Gallup makes off the Navajo people on a monthly basis. There is a certainty of pawn shops, trading post, and car dealerships like Gurley Motors and the Chevy dealer Rico Motors are making big bucks off the Navajo’s on a monthly basis.
“People see Gallup as drunk town USA, many of my trucker friends see this as that because we see too many drunks around” said Bobby Hamperton of South Carolina.
City of Farmington Mayor Tommy Roberts has created a more business friendly environment and believes in working with the Navajo people or people of minority background, recently in a interview Roberts said “we’ve created a business round table, people from different background and cultures to come together and talk about our community-in ways we can make it better.”
Navajo President Ben Shelly, has not rolled out any major infrastructure plans that may include ‘building a city’ however, environmental infrastructure is in the works for parts of the Navajo Nation to bring water to hundreds of homes.
Currently, Gallup remains a town that is not developing with the 21st Century of city planning and community development. Expert say Gallup could be a real Detroit in the next 10 years.