|WESLACO, January 23 - Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican pick for vice president in 2012, will meet privately with 25 emerging Texas Hispanic leaders in San Antonio later today.
The meeting will be held at the IBC Bank headquarters and is being organized by the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Among the 25 leaders will be Alejandro “Alex” Meade, CEO of Mission Economic Development Corporation, and Julian Alvarez, president of the Rio Grande Valley Partnership.
“I am excited that Alex and I have been invited to attend from the Rio Grande Valley,” Alvarez told the Guardian. “We are going to have a roundtable discussion with Congressman Ryan. There will be 25 of us from across the state and we will discuss what is going on regionally and how we can impact and improve the lives of the Hispanic community.”
Alvarez said some of the topics that could come up for discussion include immigration reform, the water shortage, and transportation. “In fact, a lot of the things the Rio Grande Guardian has been putting out are very important for this discussion. You, Steve, report on some excellent groups and when the opportunity comes I want to mention their issues to Congressman Ryan.”
Among the colonia groups the Guardian reports on are Valley Interfaith, ARISE, La Union del Pueblo Entero, Proyecto Azteca, and the START Center.
The private meeting between Ryan and the emerging Hispanic leaders will take place after Ryan gives a speech to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon event takes place at the Westin Riverwalk San Antonio Hotel and the theme of the speech is “A Conversation on our Nation’s Future.”
Alvarez said the event with Ryan will be the second time he has met with a visiting congressman in a matter of days. Last Friday, the Rio Grande Valley Partnership hosted a meeting with U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Weatherford, in Weslaco. Williams is a former Texas Secretary of State and a good friend of former President George W. Bush. Alvarez said business leaders from across the Valley attended the meeting.
“Our meeting with Congressman Williams was very productive. He told us that there is a good possibility that Speaker Boehner will bring up immigration reform this year. He said immigration reform will probably be taken up in a piecemeal fashion. I am pleased this is happening because it is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an issue important for the nation.”
Alvarez said Williams also spoke about the new healthcare law and transportation. “We are pleased Congressman Williams got to visit McAllen, the Mid Valley and Brownsville on his visit. Although we do not vote for him in South Texas, indirectly, he supports our interests,” Alvarez added.