Harlingen-San Benito Day at the Capitol - Biennial

Every two years during the Texas legislative session, the Chamber, Leadership Harlingen and other community members visit the State Capitol.  The overnight trip provides participants an opportunity to work within the legislative arena and learn more about the issues facing the current legislative session.  The goal of the trip is to visit with state officials to better acquaint them with important issues facing Harlingen and the Valley.  The visit includes an evening reception with legislators and representatives of various state governmental agencies.  

Unity was on display when local leaders ventured to the State Capitol in Austin for the second Harlingen-San Benito Day on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

This time accompanied by the Town of Combes and a delegation from the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, the Harlingen Chamber organized meetings with officials from various state organizations including the Office of the Governor, Texas Higher Education Agency, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Comptroller’s Office and Texas Secretary of State Rolando B. Pablos.

Leadership Harlingen Class XXXI state government session day coincided with Harlingen-San Benito Day at the Capitol.

City leaders from both communities were recognized on the House Floor by Representatives Oscar Longoria and Eddie Lucio III on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

A meeting led by Representative Eddie Lucio III took place on Tuesday afternoon where community leaders met with the Texas House Speaker, Joe Straus, to advocate and discuss key issues relative to Chamber Membership, the Cities of Harlingen and San Benito and Cameron County. Leaders asked Speaker Straus for his support of the two cities’ legislative agenda so that both cities and the region can continue to prosper economically.

The first-ever Cameron County Reception was held on Tuesday evening at the Austin Club where Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott was the keynote speaker. Approximately 100 people representing 20 Legislative Offices and Officials were present including Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Representatives Rene Oliveira, Eddie Lucio III, and Oscar Longoria.

Other key city and county leaders and officials in attendance include: The Honorable Mayor of Combes Mark Sanchez, Harlingen City Manager Dan Serna, Harlingen City Commissioners Mike Mezmar, Victor Leal, Rick Uribe and Ruben De La Rosa. San Benito City Commissioner Tony Gonzales and City Manager Manuel De La Rosa also attended the event.

Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Cameron County Commissioners Sofia Benavides and Gus Ruiz, County Administrator David Garcia and Deputy Administrator Xavier Villarreal also attended the reception.

“I’m pleased with the turnout we received both at the reception and our Capitol visit. It gave us a great opportunity to advocate for our members and cities in terms of promoting our businesses and ensuring future economic prosperity,” said Chris Gonzales, President & CEO of the Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Harlingen-San Benito Day at the Capitol sponsors include: Harlingen Medical Center, Valley Baptist Health System, United Capital Financial Life Management, Valley International Airport, Harlingen EDC, City of Harlingen, City of San Benito, Town of Combes, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, IBC Bank, Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, Valley International Airport, Shepard Walton King Insurance Group, TSTC, AEP Texas and City of Harlingen Legislative Consultants Terral Smith and William Yarnell.

City of Harlingen:
Mayor Chris Boswell
Commissioner Mike Mezmar
Commissioner Victor Leal
Commissioner Richard Uribe
Commissioner Ruben De La Rosa
City Manager Dan Serna

City of San Benito:
Mayor Celeste Sanchez
Mayor Pro Tem & Commissioner Tony Gonzales
City Manager Manuel De La Rosa

Cameron County:
Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño
County Commissioner Sofia Benavides
County Commissioner Gus Ruiz
County Administrator David Garcia
Deputy Administrator Xavier Villarreal

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