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City Election Filing Period Ends with 15 Candidates
Six vying for mayor; 9 vying for commission seats

Below is a full list of candidates, in no particular order, who have filed for a place on the ballot. The names with an asterisk have been qualified. 

Mayor 
Antonio O. Martinez
Patricio M. Ahumada
Robert Sanchez
Brenda Joyas 
*William Garz
*Erasmo Castro 

At-Large A 
Cesar de Leon 
Gerardo Martinez
David Belleperche
*Robert Euresti

District 1 
Michael Gonzalez
*Ricardo Longoria
*Roman Perez 

District 2 
*Jessica Tetreau-Kalifa 
*Sergio Zarate 

The city election is Saturday, May 9, 2015.



Tony Martinez
State of the City Remarks 
Mayor Tony Martinez February 15, 2015
"The Future is not a Gift, but an Achievement."

It’s in our hands and we are blessed to have a city with so many talented and giving people.

For years we’ve taken pride in our geographic location. But make no mistake about it, our biggest blessing is OUR PEOPLE.

In Brownsville we build on the achievements of those who came before us … on the achievements by many in this room today … and we continue to learn that there are no limits to what we can accomplish when we work together. Brownsville has always been more than a team. We’re family...




Legacy Foundation

City Receives $100,000 Grant from Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation
Funding to be used for Active Transport Master Plan

February 13, 2015—Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation (The Legacy Foundation) has awarded $100,000 to the City of Brownsville, in partnership with The University of Texas School of Public Health Brownsville Regional Campus, for the Cameron County in Motion: Active Transport Master Plan project.

The Active Transport Master Plan will evaluate the connectivity possibilities between neighborhoods and cities within Cameron County, and provide an outline for interconnected pedestrian and bicycle routes. These routes would not only connect the cities, but also encourage physical activity and bicycle tourism...


My Brother's Keeper logo

Brownsville Accepts White House “My Brother’s Keeper” Community Challenge
The City of Brownsville hosted a local action summit with community leaders to discuss ways to better serve and improve life outcomes of young people, as part of the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Community Challenge.
The MBK Community Challenge encourages communities (cities, rural municipalities, and tribal nations) to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people to ensure that they can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.




COB Charter Banner

Charter Review Committee Recommendations

The City of Brownsville Mayor and Commission appointed a Charter Review Committee in December 2014 which convened its first meeting on December 18, 2014. Since that first meeting, the Committee has met five times. The Committee diligently reviewed the current charter and discussed many possible recommendations and proposed several charter amendments.

The Committee worked under a very tight time-frame to complete a thorough review of the City Charter prior to the deadline of February 17, 2015 which is the last regularly scheduled City Commission meeting at which a first reading of an ordinance must be read in order to meet the March 4, 2015 deadline to send proposed charter amendments to Cameron County for inclusion on the May 9, 2015 ballot. This time-frame also includes meeting a public notice requirement to publish proposed charter amendments twice before the election.



H-E-B Community Challenge logo
Brownsville Currently Ranks 3rd in H-E-B Community Challenge
Public Encouraged Help Improve City’s Ranking

February 6, 2015—The City of Brownsville is encouraging residents to share their healthy lifestyles on the H-E-B Community Challenge website. Currently, Brownsville, in partnership with local organizations, schools and agencies, ranks third in the state behind Round Rock and Waco in the friendly competition.
In its third year, the H-E-B Community Challenge is a four-month competition that challenges communities across the state to compete and see which can demonstrate the greatest commitment to healthy living. Brownsville placed first in the mid-community category in 2012, and third in the large-community category in 2013 (population 100,001-300,000). This year, the city is competing in the large-community category once again.
The competition is based on a point system. The more photos and videos showing residents or organizations engaged in healthy activities that are uploaded onto the Brownsville community page, the more points a city receives.
The City of Brownsville, along with UT School of Public Health – Brownsville Regional Campus began The Challenge, a local weight loss competition, in January. Additionally, the City of Brownsville received a prestigious All-America City Award and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize in recognition of the city’s commitment to healthy living and physical fitness.
Residents may register and access the Brownsville community page at www.hebcommunitychallenge.com to earn an initial 50 points for the city. The H-E-B Community Challenge ends on April 12.



Help the City Prioritize Spending by Providing Input on the Five-Year Consolidated Plan
The five-year consolidated plan is a regional effort to solicit input from the community in the form of public hearings, interviews with stakeholders and a community survey. Data acquired from public input is used to help the City assess its affordable housing and community development needs and serve to guide the City’s Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), HOME Investments Partnership Program and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) investments for the next five years.
Please spend a few minutes giving your opinion at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/8Z7ZG67. The survey will be available until March 1, 2015.



Brownsville Playful City USA Map of Play
Playful City USA is a national recognition program that honors cities and towns across the country for taking bold steps that make it easy for all kids to get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. These communities are recognized for their efforts to create more playable, family-friendly cities. Playful City USA communities are making play part of the solution that moves the needle on city-wide challenges and, in turn, developing a competitive advantage that attracts and retains businesses and residents.
The Map of Play is a playground finder, a way to gather data on where playgrounds exist, the condition of existing playgrounds and where playgrounds are needed so that we all can participate in improving the state of play in our own communities. Take a look at Brownsville’s Map of Play.






Cyclobia - March 15th
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Cyclobia



All American City


  

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Bright Idea logo

Brownsville Plastic Bag Ordinance Receives 2015 Harvard Ash Center Bright Idea in Government Recognition 

The City of Brownsville plastic bag ordinance has been recognized as a “Bright Idea” by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. The designation is part of the American Government Awards Program, which serves to highlight noteworthy programs that may be shared with and adopted by other government officials. This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government—school districts, county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships—that are the forefront in innovative government action.

In 2011, Brownsville became the first city in Texas to pass an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags.The ordinance, an effort to encourage recycling and protect storm and waste water infrastructure as well as wildlife and resacas, remains a model for other cities seeking to reduce the use of plastic bags in their communities. 
“This recognition serves as a reminder that tackling local issues doesn’t have to be overly complicated or cost a substantial amount of money,” said Stephanie Reyes, Brownsville assistant city manager. “Ingenuity is just as important. This ordinance is just one example of how the Brownsville community works together to find solutions that benefit the whole.” 
The Bright Ideas program promotes creative government initiatives and partnerships so that government leaders, public servants, and other individuals can learn and can adopt those initiatives that can work in their own communities. 
“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creativelyand capably tacked by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center. “As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”  
This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program.

For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources and must be administered by one or more governmental entities; nonprofit, private sector, and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization. Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

“Bright Ideas is an initiative that recognizes creative and promising government programs and partnerships.  The initiative is offered through the Innovations in Government Program, a program of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School.  For more information, please visit http://innovationsaward.harvard.edu/BrightIdeas.cfm.”



Image of globe displaying marketing related words.
Brownsville is developing a marketing campaign, including a unified branding and marketing plan. This is a cooperative effort between the City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the Brownsville Economic Development Council and Hahn Public Communications, with input from interested stakeholders. We believe that an organized and effective internal and external image will position Brownsville for future economic and cultural success.

Follow and participate in the the