Many towns are painted red when revelers go out to celebrate but in San Luis Potosí they’re painting the town yellow in a celebration with political overtones.
The mayor’s urban improvement program is making sure that Pantone 116, the official color of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), of which the mayor is a member, is prominent throughout.
Ricardo Gallardo Juárez took office in October 2015 and a year later began giving the state capital a distinctly sunny visage.
Footbridges, lampposts, walls, planters, parks, schools and even whole housing projects are now painted in the exact same color as the Aztec Sun party, as the PRD is also known.
Many of the newly-painted buildings were part of an official program called Pintando sin broncas, or “painting without any fuss,” which has the twofold goal of employing young gang members and improving urban areas in marginalized neighborhoods of the city.
The goal of the Gallardo administration is to paint 50,000 square meters of public buildings and housing.
The mayor’s ambitious program triggered meetings with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), which was concerned Gallardo would decorate historic landmarks and colonial buildings of the city, including the cathedral, with his sunny color.
Known locally as the “yellow wave,” the color is even found on official vehicles, the official website and the clothing of government officials, who have been seen wearing yellow vests to work.
In an interview with the newspaper Reforma, Gallardo defended his Pintando sin broncas program. Its only goal, he explained, is to employ youths and offer support to those families that want to give their property a little touch-up.
“These people have told us that [the federal housing institute] Infonavit has not offered any maintenance in 15 years, ” he claimed.
“They ask us to ‘paint us up in yellow,'” he continued, stating that at first he refused to use the Pantone 116 hue “because it would cause me a bunch of trouble.” In the end he acquiesced after apartment owners in housing projects decided to collect the signatures of residents.
“It is only with all the signatures of all apartment owners that we do it,” said Gallardo.
He also claimed that no public monies have been used to paint San Luis Potosí yellow, because all the funding comes from revenues collected at municipal festivals, and through the collaboration of local business owners.
Source: Reforma (sp)