Good morning, everyone. Buenos Días. Imagine if we had had this weather last week at Sombrero Fest. 

Anyway, I am honored to be here today. I want to go back in time, real quick. I had the honor and privilege of serving as mayor of Brownsville from 2003 to 2007. Commissioner Wood was right before me. So, the project that we are initiating the first step in today, the East Loop, was a creation of those commissions, at that time. I remember doing what we could during my six years on the commission. When they say government moves slow, man, you have no idea.

But, I think we need to take a look at the last couple of years and see what has been going on in Brownsville, at the Port, in Cameron County and the Valley. And realize that, as far as government goes, we are moving a light speed. 

Marisela is here representing our newest neighbor. And obviously they get a lot of attention. And, rightly they should. If you have got the richest man in the world investing in your community, we need to be appreciative of what SpaceX has meant and what it is meaning. But, let’s not kid ourselves. Since the inception, the birth of this port, the Port of Brownsville has been the economic engine, the heart and soul of the economy of the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. 

I still… and I have said this before… I still think we are not taking full advantage of the opportunities but I know that if you look at what has happened over the past several years with regards to the work of the current commissioners, the most recent commissioners, the collaboration with the county, with the city, and expanding the horizon and working with the other cities in the Valley, and other ports in Mexico, there is no doubt that we are on our way. As Tito just said, we are paving the way. 

It is exciting that this South Port Connector came along at the time that it did. So let’s hope that the rest of the East Loop doesn’t take another 20-plus years. 

I now serve as chairman of the Rio Grande Valley MPO. When I took office several years ago, we had three MPOs and we were tasked by the Governor and TxDOT. They said, if you guys can get the three MPOs merged, we are going to have a lot more money available to you. I’ll let Pete expand on some of that but I am excited with what the future holds. And I am thankful that we have got a strong relationship between the county and the port to work together and realize the importance of getting these projects done. 

It is not about credit, ladies and gentlemen. It is about serving the community, enhancing the economic development and job opportunities for our people, especially for our youth, and taking advantage of the reality that the rest of the state, the rest of the country, the rest of the world, know what the potential is here. And sometimes we have got in our own way. There is no doubt that we have probably made some missteps along the way. But if you are working together and if you are working together in the same direction, which is moving forward for the benefit of the people that we either are elected to serve, or are appointed to serve or work to serve, then I know, I know, that we are going to be doing more and more of these types of projects. All it takes is a little bit of money. A lot of money, we know.

I want to thank the commissioners from the port, I want to thank the commissioner’s court, Sofia, she may not be the most talkative commissioner but she is the most sincere and hardworking because she works behind the scenes. And the truth of the matter is, much of the growth that we have had and will continue to have in Cameron County and in the Valley as a whole is in Precinct 1. So, I am thankful that she serves on the commission. (Applause)

With that said, although we didn’t start today with a prayer, for us Catholics, we started Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, so it gives us time to reflect on each of us, trying to do better, to be better people. To treat others and realize why we are here. We are only here for a short period of time. And I think we are tasked to do the absolute best we can. And for those of us in public office, we need to continue to serve our community because I know that is what is best. And I am very honored to be here today with all of you. Thank you and God Bless you. 

Editor’s Note: The above speech was given by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., at a ribbon-cutting for the new South Port Connector at the Port of Brownsville. 

Editor’s Note: The “Commissioner Wood” Judge Treviño mentioned is Brownsville Navigation District Commissioner John Wood. The “Marisela” Judge Treviño mentioned is Marisela Cortez of SpaceX. The “Pete” Judge Treviño mentioned is Pete Sepulveda of Cameron County Regional Mobility Authority. The “Sofia” Judge Treviño mentioned is Cameron County Commissioner Sofia Benavides.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above video and commentary shows, from left to right, Brownsville Navigation District commissioners Sergio Tito Lopez and Ralph Cowen, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., and Brownsville Navigation District Commissioner John Wood. (Photo credit: Ron Whitlock/Ron Whitlock Reports).

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