What an extraordinarily unprecedented year 2020 has been.

You were with us at the beginning of this year at Pharr’s third annual State of the City as we celebrated and lauded Pharr’s continued successes, many accomplishments, and ambitious goals we set forth for the new year. 

With new projects underway, partnerships continuing to grow, and economic prosperity continuing to rise, 2020 was, in our view, expected to be a record-setting year. Then, everything changed as together we braved an unforeseeable global crisis – the coronavirus pandemic.

Suddenly, time stood still. Projects were put on hold while the health and wellbeing of our residents, families, and community took priority. As the number of cases rose, our economy stalled. As a medical professional and as your city leader, it was a delicate balance, to protect the health and safety of our community while desperately trying to minimize the economic impact on our businesses.

As a community, we persevered. We stressed the importance of implementing the recommended health and safety measures to prevent the spread and protect our families. As we continued to provide essential government services for our Pharr residents, we encouraged and modeled safe practices such as social distancing, wearing facial coverings, hand washing, and frequent cleaning and sanitizing. As we honored the memories of community members whose lives were lost to the virus and worked together to keep those most vulnerable safe, we persisted in our efforts to keep our community progressing and our families prospering. Our work continued – for the benefit of our Pharr community.

Despite the challenges we faced, our community pulled together. The City of Pharr adjusted, accommodated, and was able to accomplish many great successes this year. We have learned how to navigate a new “normal,” and as we look forward to the hope and promises that are on the horizon, we are pleased to present our annual State of the City in an innovative, safe, and virtual environment. We hope you will join us for the 4th Annual State of the City Address on Thursday, January 21, 2021, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm.

This year’s State of the City’s theme is “Together: Honoring our First Responders.” We will honor and recognize the sacrifice and dedicated efforts of all the first responders – medical personnel, law enforcement, emergency medical providers, and more – working on the frontline to fight the pandemic. At the same time, 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001. We honor the lives and memories of those we lost on that fateful day and commemorate the first responders who braved unimaginable conditions in the face of terror. Our first responders are our heroes, and we appreciate and honor them for the sacrifices they make to save our lives.

As is tradition, the State of the City is a time to celebrate what we have accomplished in the previous year and share our goals for the upcoming year and for what is in store for Pharr’s future. We hope you will consider helping us make this year’s event memorable by sponsoring this year’s State of the City. We could not do this without the generous support of partners such as you. All sponsors will be recognized at the event according to their respective levels of contribution. Please see the enclosed sponsorship packet for details.

Thank you for your favorable consideration of this request for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s State of the City Address.

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez. The column first appeared in a letter the mayor posted on the Pharr Economic Development Corporation website. It appears in the Rio Grande Guardian with the author’s permission. Mayor Hernandez can be reached via: [email protected].

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