Running for city council is a natural progression in a life dedicated to public service, according to J. Chris Treviño.
Emphasizing improvements in city infrastructure like roads and drainage, law enforcement and safety, and economic development during his campaign, Treviño, 32, is vying for a spot against banker Elias Longoria Jr. on the City Council Place 4.
The position is up for grabs after current council member Alma Garza had confirmed she would not be seeking reelection.
Treviño is the son of Sheriff Lupe Treviño and currently works as the chief of staff for Hidalgo County Pct.4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios. A former probation officer, Treviño has also worked under three county judges, JD Salinas, Rene Ramirez and briefly for Ramon Garcia.
"I bring a public service aspect to the City Council that they don't currently have. I know what it's like for the county workers and city workers because I'm one of them. I work eight to five, and I have a boss who I answer to," Treviño told the Edinburg Review during a private meeting last week.
"I'm day to day involved in drainage projects so I know what I'm talking about," he said. "I'm out there working with the irrigation district and the County drainage district. I'm on the ground doing those things, so I have experience in those areas."
Working since the age of 19 as a filing clerk in the county DA's office, Treviño says he brings more than a decade of experience in county government. Treviño was a case assistant in the probation office before being promoted to probation officer, where he learned the inner workings of the court system, he said.
He then went to work for Risk Management for the County and learned the "ins and outs" of general liability and workmen's compensation. His tenure with former county judge JD Salinas allowed him to produce law enforcement grants for overtime, equipment and police vehicles.
"I bring an innovative approach to the things," Treviño said. "I've worked on projects where I have got the county to work with the USDA and I know how to bring people together… I have written state and federal grants. I've written grants where you have to partner with other cities to bring down these monies. I'm running because I want to do good for the City of Edinburg and do great things for the city."
A UTPA graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, with an emphasis in police administration, Treviño also holds a Master's in Public Administration. He also received a Certified Public Manager's degree, and was part of the inaugural class which was offered through a joint effort between Texas State and UTPA.
"I know government. Not only am I educated in it, but the practical experience is there," Treviño said. " I knew I was going to make this my whole life. Everything stops and starts with the people and I love everything about working in the public sector, that's why I started the career. More than a decade, here I am running and that's why I started."
Treviño is being endorsed by current mayor Richard Garcia, and former mayor Joe Ochoa, a fact he touted at his campaign kickoff. Garcia introduced Treviño at the event which was held at the Echo Hotel last month. Ochoa did not attend.
"Take a good look at my work experience, formal education and close family upbringing," Treviño said. "Take a good look and when you make a choice know that our election is based on family, friends and public service. We'll continue to knock on doors and I'm a phone call away."