BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Brownsville Mayor Juan “Trey” Mendez, III, left the best until last in his 2022 State of the City Address.
Mendez said a number of projects and programs he referenced in his speech were important. However, he said bringing reliable and affordable broadband to the city’s residents was the priority. Here’s what he said about bridging the digital divide:
“This next project is one that I believe will impact our city for generations to come. Back when I was elected, almost three years ago, Brownsville had just been named one of the least connected cities in the United States for two consecutive years. I undertook to strike our name from this list.
“I am pleased to say that just a few weeks ago, our City Commission voted to commit nearly $20 million in ARPA funding to fund the Middle Mile broadband infrastructure network.
“But that’s not all. The City will also partner with Lit Communities and HMI, who have provided $50 million in private funding, for the construction of the last mile network.
“This means that every home in Brownsville will have affordable, accessible connectivity to the Internet.
“Gone are the days when teachers couldn’t upload their lesson plans. Gone are the days when our children had to go to McDonalds, sit in library parking lots with their parents, or knock on neighbors’ doors to access the Internet. A reliable and affordable broadband network will bring increased economic development to our city, improve telehealth offerings and eliminate the digital divide in our community.
“This partnership will serve as a model for other communities across the country and it’s happening right here.
“So please a big round of applause for that.”
The big rally at the Brownsville Events Center earned him that applause.
At the end of the State of the City address, Mendez spoke to reporters. In a video interview with the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Mendez confirmed that broadband access was a major issue for him. He also talked about a walking and biking trail and SpaceX in the interview.
Editor’s note: Viewers can watch the entire 2022 State of the City Address delivered by Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez on YouTube. Click on here to watch it.
Editor’s note: The above news story is the first in a six-part series on the 2022 State of the City Address. Part two will be posted in our next edition.
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