Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez
Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez

PHARR, RGV – For the first time ever, a Texas Border Coalition quarterly meeting will be streamed live on the World Wide Web.

The meeting takes place Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Pharr, Texas. The keynote speaker will be Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos.

The live stream is being hosted by the City of Pharr in collaboration with the Rio Grande Guardian. Interviews conducted by Rio Grande Guardian reporters with Texas Border Coalition Chairman J.D. Salinas and members of the group’s executive committee will be interspersed with the live feed throughout Thursday’s meeting.

The live stream, available on the Pharr.LIFE and Rio Grande Guardian websites, is expected to start around 8:30 a.m. and finish around 2 p.m. on Thursday, February, 11. Secretary Cascos, whose office has responsibility for border affairs, is due to speak at a 12 noon luncheon.

Texas Border Coalition Chairman J.D. Salinas
Texas Border Coalition Chairman J.D. Salinas

“We are excited to be hosting the Texas Border Coalition’s quarterly meeting in Pharr, Texas. The Texas Border Coalition has a solid history of advocating for issues important to the Texas-Mexico border region, including healthcare, workforce training, infrastructure, transportation and immigration,” said Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez.

Hernandez said it made perfect sense for TBC to select Pharr as the location for its quarterly meeting. “As a regional powerhouse for the Rio Grande Valley and all of South Texas, the City of Pharr recognizes its responsibility in promoting critically important regional issues. We are the region’s hub city and an important conduit for international trade for our state and nation.”

Among the TBC agenda items slated to be steamed live are Secretary Cascos’s speech, Mayor Hernandez’s welcome, Chairman Salinas’s opening remarks, the reports of TBC’s committee chairs, the remarks of GSA Regional Administrator Sylvia Hernandez, and the remarks of Aaron Wendt of the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board.

The TBC committee chairs are Carolyn Petty (economic development), Olga Gabriel (healthcare), Monica Weisberg-Stewart (immigration and border security), Sergio Contreras (transportation) and Blas Castañeda (workforce development).

“This is the first time a Texas Border Coalition event has been streamed live on the Internet. This will allow Texas border residents from El Paso to Brownsville to watch, listen and learn about critical issues for our region,” Mayor Hernandez said.

Pharr IT Director Jason Arms said: “Under the direction of Mayor Hernandez and the city commission, the Pharr IT Department continues to work hard to make local government more transparent and to engage interactively with our community.”

On the eve of its quarterly meeting, the TBC unveiled its new website,, with links to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Chairman Salinas said the new website and social media pages are intended to provide more unified communication, and will be an integral part of the coalition’s effort to strengthen its relationships with border communities. He said the social media sites will act as a quick and simple platform for short updates on the coalition’s activities, providing insight and analysis on economic development, education, healthcare, immigration, security, transportation and workforce issues.

“The goal of TBC is to bring new voices into the border policy discussion,” Salinas said. “We look forward to engaging with border Texans on our revamped website and social media pages. We hope they will visit the site, and ‘Follow’ or ‘Like’ us on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #TXBorderCoalition.”

In addition, Salinas added, the website has been redesigned to improve navigation, providing seamless access to TBC’s priority issues, reports, along with video, audio and archived news content.

On Thursday evening, TBC’s executive committee members will participate in a town hall meeting hosted by Futuro McAllen. The event takes place at McAllen City Hall, starting at 6 p.m.