Tuesday, March 9, 2010

D.C. Trip

DC DAY 2: Laredo Officials Carry Message to the White House

WASHINGTON DC— A delegation of Laredo’s elected officials were invited to the White House to meet with senior members of President Obama’s administration, following up on a phone call City of Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas and City Manager Carlos Villarreal had with Vice President Biden last week. The goal of the call and today’s meeting was to highlight the need for the federal government to honor its commitments to the border and to recognize the heightened state of need in Laredo, in light of the escalation of violence in its sister city of Nuevo Laredo. In addition to the mayor and city manager, the delegation included Council Members Gene Belmares, Johnny Rendon and Hector Garcia.

The Laredo delegation asked the White House to make border funding a priority for multiple programs; but especially, public safety programs.

“We have enjoyed a close working relationship with the Obama Administration,” Mayor Salinas explained. “But sometime friends have to be honest with each other. The time for rhetoric about border initiatives has to end and the era of funding must begin.”

City Manager Carlos Villarreal echoed the mayor’s comments. “We need boots on the ground. The people of Laredo cannot be expected to pay for what are national interests in border security and health care. Citizens across the nation benefit from Laredo’s investments in our transportation infrastructure, but unfortunately, do not pay their fair share.”

Laredo officials also met with representatives of the State, Energy and Commerce Departments, as well as the General Services Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers

Info. courtesy of Xochitl Mora (City of Laredo)

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