LAS MILPAS, RGV – A dream will come true for the people of Las Milpas today when a ribbon cutting ceremony is held for a new public library.

The building, on West Dicker Road, close to Cage Boulevard, will be officially known as the Pharr Development & Research Center.

Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, who made the construction of a library in south Pharr one of his top commitments when he ran for office, will officially open the center.

Having a library and resource center in Las Milpas has not only been a dream for local residents. It has been a key project for Valley Interfaith, which held house meetings in the community to find out what the top issues were and then educated voters on those issues.

Valley Interfaith famously took dozens of Las Milpas children to a Pharr City Commission meeting in September 2014 to push for a library. They argued that a community of 30,000 residents deserved a library and resource center. When they did not get the response from the city commission they were looking for they mobilized voters.

Valley Interfaith does not endorse candidates or political parties. However, it made Las Milpas voters aware of which slate of candidates had pledged to build a library, renovate a local park, pave streets and install street lights.

Hernandez and his slate of candidates pledged to implement Valley Interfaith’s agenda and at their first city commission meeting agreed to alter the city budget to accommodate those projects. Hernandez and his slate had won the election narrowly and Valley Interfaith leaders pointed to their get out the vote efforts as crucial in changing the composition of the city commission.

“Valley Interfaith has worked extremely hard to educate our elected officials regarding the needs of their community, and through accountability session, we have presented our agenda of issues, including the construction of this library,” said Valley Interfaith board member and Las Milpas community leader Eddie Anaya.

Valley Interfaith leader Eduardo ‘Eddie’ Anaya of Las Milpas spoke at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pharr Development & Research Center in April, 2016.

“We are pleased to see that the Mayor and the City Commission of Pharr have worked in collaboration with Valley Interfaith and have made a huge investment in the Las Milpas residents. The Mayor committed to the construction of a library and has kept his promise.”

Anaya said the ribbon cutting ceremony would be an historic event for the people of Las Milpas.

“This is an historic event, our community is excited in the opening of our multipurpose library and research center and will benefit the community of Las Milpa from a secluded under-served colonia to a thriving community with the feel of a small town.”

Click here for our story authored by Steve Taylor and Stephanie Jara titled, Las Milpas, a Case Study in How Civic Engagement Can Improve a Community. 

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above story shows the new Pharr Development & Research Center under construction. (Photo: RGG/Apolonio Sandoval, Jr.)