WESLACO, RGV – When Congressman Filemon Vela hosts his United Borders with elected officials from both sides of the border on April 10, he should invite two or three business leaders to speak.

Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez

This is the view of Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, who spoke about the event in his capacity as president of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council. Martinez said he read an “extremely effective” column by IBC Bank President Dennis Nixon in the San Antonio Express-News.

“We should extend an invitation to two or three business people or bankers who share the same concerns we do. A mixture of elected officials plus business interests may be effective,” Martinez said.

LRGVDC Executive Director Ron Garza gave details of the United Borders event. He said Congressman Vela will be hosting a news conference for elected officials from the Valley and northern Tamaulipas at the LRGVDC offices on April 10. The aim, Garza said, it to show the unity that exists on both sides of the border. He said LRGVDC board members will participate and the Rio Grande Valley Partnership will provide a luncheon.

Garza explained that Congressmen Vela and Vicente Gonzalez have already held an event with border business leaders. It was called Border Business is America’s Business and took place at the LRGVDC offices in February. Experts from a number of different industries spoke at the event and most were critical of new federal policies for the border region.

Garza said he recently visited Washington, D.C., and there he heard from federal officials who had seen video of the Border Business is America’s Business event. “There was specific comment about the event, so our voice of business does carry,” Garza said. LRGVDC posted the video on its You Tube account.

Although Congressman Vela has already hosted an event for border business leaders, Mayor Martinez said he would still like to hear two or three business leaders or bankers speak at the United Borders event.

“Having two or three business leaders share the same concerns we do might not be a bad idea,” Martinez said. “Business interests explaining the economic engine we have got going here, is important. You mix those two together (political leaders and business leaders) and you have more fire power.”

Other members of the LRGVDC agreed. Garza, its executive director, said he would pass on this request to Congressman Vela.

Garza added that Congressman Vela will also be hosting a manufacturing summit in the coming weeks.