AUSTIN – A contingent of Rio Grande Valley leaders gathered at the state capitol for RGV Day hosted by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
This is the second time RGV Day occurs at the Capitol and more than 250 people participated. Events included resolutions on the senate floor, a luncheon with legislators and then breaking up into groups to visit all the legislative offices.
“It's a chance to talk about our issues, make sure they know we're here and we're part of what is going on in the state of Texas,” McAllen Chamber of Commerce President Steve Ahlenius said.
One of the topics was border security but with a twist. Ahlenius said he hopes funds make their way to the Rio Grande Valley for infrastructure, the medical school and for the ports of entry.
Edinburg mayor Richard Garcia echoed the McAllen Chamber President but also talked about regionalism.
Garcia knows if the Rio Grande Leaders attend RGV Day in large numbers the state will be more inclined to listen.
“Pick a topic,” the Mayor said. “Immigration, trade, there's so much going on and the monies are short and our safe is here so our voice needs to be heard.”
It is not uncommon for the Rio Grande Valley to make due with less but Garcia knows the area is resilient and will push forward at all costs.
The City of Edinburg is what Garcia called the hub of higher education with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley within the city limits. But higher education extends across the Rio Grande Valley and Garcia knows personally what it means to receive an education and “make it.”
“It's important to continue not only leading our kids towards education or good job development or training of some type,” he said. “But we need to make sure they have the facilities so they get an equal education with the rest of the state.”