BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez says his colleague on the city commission, Rose Gowen, does not get enough credit.

Speaking during his State of the City Address, Mendez said the At-Large “B” commissioner is the “main reason” why Brownsville has its trails network.

During his speech, Mendez ran a video of Gowen discussing health and wellness. When the video concluded, Mendez said:

“Thank you. Dr. Gowen. Thank you for your leadership. Commissioner Gowen has been on the commission, I think, 14 years now. And every one of those 14 years she’s been an advocate for health and wellness and is really the main reason why we have our trails network here in the city. So a big round of applause for Commissioner Cowen. She doesn’t get enough support or attention, so thank you,” Mendez said.

Leading up to the video, Mendez ran through some of Brownsville’s recent achievements Gowen has been involved in.

“On July 23 2021, B Metro added Sunday service, which has been a huge success. in more than a year and a half since its inception, Sunday service has seen a dramatic increase in ridership, and will be considering new routes, ensuring that people can get to work, to church, or do their Sunday shopping. And while they while they wait we’ve constructed or in the are in the process of constructing 30 new bus shelters,” Mendez said.

“The Cannery Public Market is almost here. This multimillion dollar addition to the Mitte Cultural District will be a one of a kind building for the entire RGV and will be the new home of the farmers market and the Food Bank of the RGV. You can see some of the construction up there (points to screen). It should be done, hopefully in a few months.”

Mendez pointed out that last October, Brownsville city leaders cut the ribbon and officially opened the West Rail Trail. 

“This project began more than a decade ago with a group of residents in West Brownsville who wanted to see an abandoned railroad easement turn into a place where families could gather and get together. This dream has now turned into a reality. The West Rail Trail will connect West Brownsville to the rest of our award-winning trails network and is already in place for families to enjoy quality time together with a nice walk or bike ride,” Mendez said.

“Phase Two the Southmost Nature Trail also broke ground this past year, providing our residents in District One with a beautiful new way to stay healthy and active. For more about quality of life and wellness initiatives, let’s hear from our Commissioner at Large, Dr. Rose Gowen.”

Mendez then ran the video featuring Gowen. Here are the commissioners remarks on the video:

“Hi, I’m Dr. Rose Gowen, city commissioner At-Large “B” here in Brownsville, Texas,” And it’s my pleasure to come and speak about some very important and vital projects.

“The first project I’d like to speak about is the Brownsville Mobility Project, BTX mobility plan. How do we best move people throughout the city from one end to another? Brownsville is not a large city and yet we prioritize things like quality of life and transportation for all. And the sidewalk trail master plan and mobility plan are very highly speaking and prioritizing those needs.

“Perhaps one of the most watched and publicized projects in the last decade has been the West Rail Trail. I was introduced to it 12 or 14 years ago, when a wheelbarrow of signatures, 5,000 signatures to be exact, were wheeled into this commission chamber and presented to the commissioners at that time. Those that signed were wanting their neighborhoods to no longer be divided by the railroad and wanted unification with a green belt throughout their neighborhoods as opposed to a road or tollway. In 2022 we were able to not just continue to plan but actually build and put the West Rail Trail in the ground. So you can now get on a trail and circle the city very nicely and safely with all sorts of connections along the way. 

“Another one of the projects that fits both quality of life and economic prosperity is the farmers market. Over a decade old it thrives and prospers every Saturday. And, currently, as we sit and speak about these projects, the Cannery Market is being built and before the end of the year in 2023 all of the partners that came together to make that a reality will be able to cut the ribbon on the opening of the restored Cannery that will be the new home of the farmers market, bringing to life even more so the Mitte Cultural District. 

“A lot of partners, a lot of people, city staff as well as private sector have come together to create great change in Brownsville over the last few years. So, as we look forward, the future is bright. Many projects such as those that I’ve described hit on those marks, exactly. And many more to come.”

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