AUSTIN, Texas – RGV Day at the Capitol takes place next week and the president of Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce believes it provides an opportunity for Rio Grande Valley leaders to show unity.

Javier De Leon promoted the three-day event at the conclusion of a discussion held recently at the offices of his chamber with U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. 

Javier De Leon

“Next week, we’re going to have a visit to the Capitol. And it’s not going to be a Harlingen visit. It’s not going to be a San Benito visit. It’s going to be a Rio Grande Valley visit. We’re all going to go as a delegation. We’re going to go as one,” De Leon said.

“We’re going to talk about the universal needs, the common issues that we have, so that when the legislators listen, they’re not listening to one or two cities, they are listening to the whole Rio Grande Valley. And I think that’s powerful, because I think we’re better together. We’re going to be working to make sure that the money doesn’t go anywhere else, except in the Rio Grande Valley.”

RGV Day at the Capitol is hosted by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership, which serves as the region’s chamber of commerce.

“The RGV Partnership is a business-friendly nonprofit organization that encourages collaboration among the four counties of the region – Starr, Hidalgo Willacy, and Cameron. The organization drives for the enhancement of its members to improve their return on investment and improve their quality of life in the region,” the group’s website states.

“We drive advancement in the Rio Grande Valley by unifying stakeholders in the spirit of collaboration and regional progress and by being an influential advocate for the region.”

Draft itinerary

Dozens of Valley leaders have signed up to be part of of the delegation going to Austin. They will be staying at two hotels, the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Austin at The University/Capitol. The delegation will arrive in Austin at around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 21. Raise Your Hand Texas will host a reception for the delegation at their offices on Congress Avenue later that evening.

Between 8 and 8:25 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, buses will shuttle the delegation from the hosting hotels to the Capitol. After breakfast in the Members Lounge (Room E2.1002), those in the delegation will receive their badges and a legislative handout. They will then break into groups. 

From 8:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. the various groups will visit different state lawmakers and try to impress on them the importance of the Valley’s legislative agenda. A resolution honoring RGV Day at the Capitol will be heard in the Texas House at 10:15 a.m. A similar resolution will be heard in the Texas Senate at 11 a.m. 

After hearing the resolutions, the delegation will board buses for a luncheon at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. During lunch the delegation will hear comments from Valley legislators. The delegation will arrive back at the Capitol at 2 p.m. At 2:15 p.m. there will be photo opportunities with state leaders on either the north or south steps of the Capitol. 

From 2:30 to 5 p.m. the different groups will continue with their visits to the offices of the state legislators, again setting out the Valley’s legislative agenda. At 5 p.m. mariachis will perform the music of South Texas in the main hallway of Extension 2, which is outside the Legislative Conference Center. An evening reception will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Legislative Conference Center. At 8 p.m., buses will take the delegation back to the host hotels. 

There will also be an opportunity to reserve rooms for meetings on Thursday, Feb. 23. From 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., the Members Lounge will be available with breakfast provided. From 8 to 11 a.m., the Historic Supreme Court, Room 3N3 will be available. From 8 a.m. to 12 noon the Conference Room, Room E2.020, will be available. To make a room reservation contact Monica Sanchez at 956-566-0336.

The delegation will return to the Valley on the afternoon of the 23rd. 

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