I am Dr. Shahid Rashid, a physician and public health expert.

As I often state, I am not a politician but a physician who cares deeply about my patients, my community, and our City of McAllen.

After training at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, I moved to McAllen to serve in the medically underserved area of McAllen.

I strongly believe it is my ethical, moral and professional duty to help my community during this critical time as I have the education, training and expertise to do so. 

Our beautiful city of McAllen is blessed with every ingredient to be a booming economy, with a young population and a retail trade of billions of dollars. But, unfortunately, we are in a state of stagnation and inertia. We have the highest rate of unemployment, brain drain and wealth drain. This is not acceptable.

It is heartbreaking to note McAllen is the number one city in the national for its retail trade but is one of the poorest cities in the nation with the highest number of cases of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases and depression. Poverty and these chronic illnesses have a direct relationship with each other.

We have among us the four mayoral candidates who have been serving as the commissioners and board members on planning and zoning and irrigation committees for decades. And yet…

And yet we still have unrelenting problems like bad streets, flooding, traffic congestion and poor living conditions. Lack of planning and mishandling of the refugee crisis at the border, the pandemic, freeze, and power breakdown further aggravated our already fragile economy.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can have a better life, better living conditions, and safe and healthy environments to raise our families in. All we need is a change in leadership.

It’s time for change. It’s time for new leadership from the grassroots with a fresh vision. 

My Plan

We can create new jobs and invest in our health and education.

We can achieve these objectives by cutting wasteful spending, eliminating self enriching jobs for city officials and appointed positions, resetting our priorities, acquiring all possible state and federal grants and diversifying our economic profile without raising taxes.

Our beautiful city of McAllen is blessed with every ingredient to be a booming economy, being next to Mexico and the hub of a Metropolitan Statistical Area with a vibrant young population. But, unfortunately, we have the highest rate of unemployment, brain drain, and wealth drain. We can reverse this vicious cycle by diversifying our economic profile to that of a manufacturing and technological industry which in turn will shift the revenue streams inwards.

We will offer financing programs for women to initiate small businesses for financial independence as they have suffered the most during the pandemic, especially our working single mothers. 

We will offer our youth scholarships, loans and paid internships for technical and vocational training to enhance our technical workforce. 

We will make sure our police and firefighters and city employees have the competitive salaries in the region with the post-retirement benefits appreciating the risk they take to keep us safe. 

And for all who are reading this, I pledge to you, with all my heart, that I will serve with compassion, generosity, thoughtfulness, and great care.

Our future is bright no matter what, we can and will greet the brightness sooner rather than later. 

Please vote for me, Dr. Shahid Rashid, for a healthy and more prosperous McAllen. 

Thank you so much and God Bless you all. 

Editor’s Note: The above guest column was penned by Dr. Shahid Rashid, MD, a resident of McAllen and candidate for mayor of McAllen. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the permission of the author. Dr. Rashid can be reached by email via: [email protected]

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian invites an op-ed from all the candidates running for mayor of McAllen, and mayoral candidates from other cities in the Rio Grande Valley. Please send the commentary to: [email protected]

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