Texas state officials for the border region addressed U.S.-Mexico Border Summit participants about the recent developments in legislatation affecting the local area Wednesday at The University of Texas-Pan American.
Among the panelists were State Reps. Pete Gallego and Richard Raymonds. Representating the Texas Senate were Eddie Lucio Jr. and Eliot Shapleigh.
Each legislator discussed the importance of the border area and the future plans for improving health care, unemployment, environmental qualities and infrastructure.
"The border area is a window of opportunity that can help increase trade, commerce and infrastructure," said Lucio. "The future of the region is based on the initiative we have established. We fully plan to work with federal entities to fulfill our goal."
Lucio also stressed the importance of helping improve colonia areas by addressing the needs of the residents and providing adequate funding.
The panelists also expressed their commitment to the border region but emphasized the need for citizen involvement.
"What we have to do is look at the needs before us," said Raymond. "The challenge will be to work with the U.S. Congress in educating them on the needed resources. But making noise and educating is only part of the solution. Making a commitment is the way to solve the problems."
According to Shapleigh, to make a difference in the future of border relations, the commitment must be made today.
"When we see what is missing to make things better for our people, it is political urgency," he said. "We must make the changes, and they must be made today."