HARLINGEN, Texas – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says there are “immense” opportunities to leverage the strength of the South Texas communities in his city and those of the Rio Grande Valley.
Along with former Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez, Nirenberg has led the way in forming a new organization, the South Texas Alliance of Cities. Five mayors from the Valley joined Nirenberg in signing a “compact” last week at the corporate offices of Texas Regional Bank in Harlingen.
The compact was signed by Brownsville Mayor John Cowen, Edinburg Mayor Ramiro Garza, Harlingen Mayor Norma Sepulveda, Mission Mayor Norie Gonzalez Garza, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, and Nirenberg. Weslaco City Commissioner Israel Gonzalez signed the document on behalf his city’s mayor, David Suarez.
“In my perspective, the opportunities that we have here to leverage each other’s strengths, knowing that we have a familial relationship between our communities, are immense,” Nirenberg said.
The signees believe they can potentially find common ground in advocating as a region for transportation, economic development, job creation, and immigration.
“We are a table of elected officials. We are also a table of bipartisan elected officials, and for us to come together on these issues and find some common ground and some pragmatic solutions makes for an important opportunity for us to leverage our voice in terms of political advocacy but also driving economic development because the era of growth that’s happening in Texas, people forget that a large part of that if not a majority of that is going to be happening here in the southern part of the state,” Nirenberg said.
Here is an audio recording of some of the remarks made at last week’s meeting of the South Texas Alliance of Cities. The recording features the analysis of Sepulveda, Nirenberg, Mendez, and Garza.
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