Notes & Noticias: Let’s Do More than Reflect


This week many across our country are commemorating the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a monumental project signed into law by one of my favorite Texans, President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

This law was a critical milestone in the quest for progress and unity in America. Yet, make no mistake about it, there are many today on the extreme right who seek to erode its effects, and in doing so, reverse over 50 years of progress.

This Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not simply a fifty year old memory, but rather a living and critical element in our struggle for an equal and just society today. If we want an America where everybody is treated the same, then we must vote. If we want America to be a place in which where you are from does not determine how far you can go, then vote.

NALEO Conference

I spent this past weekend in San Diego, California, where the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Convention gathered for its 31st Annual Convention.

This year, we tackled important policy issues such as STEM education, bi-national issues between Mexico and the US, municipal finance, and water resources. We heard from national leaders including Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and my personal hero, Dolores Huerta.

I enjoyed having productive and insightful conversations with leaders from other states to see how they are tackling the challenges similar to those we face here in Texas.

New Committee

Last week, Speaker Joe Straus named me to serve as vice chair of the Select Committee on Economic Development. We have been tasked with determining which types of economic development projects offer the most benefit to our communities, and how to make these projects more efficient.

We will review best practices, and make recommendations where coordination between government agencies and local economic development entities may be beneficial. The committee will be chaired by my good friend from Richardson, Representative Angie Chen Button. I will be sure to keep you posted on any important developments.

Hispanic Scholarship Consortium

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to students from the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium about serving in the Legislature and other interesting aspects about working the in the Capitol. The interim superintendent of Austin ISD, Dr. Paul Cruz, joined me in welcoming the group. I am looking forward to seeing how this group of bright young men and women will lead our state in the coming years.

Student: “So do you know the Governor?”
Me: “Well, yes, there is a working relationship… but it is not like we go out to dinner.”