I was elected to Congress in 1982 and served the 27th District of Texas for 28 years until 2010. Memories of my family's life from early childhood, an experience that often lead me to view the questions of poverty, budget and health care before Congress through a prism of personal experience.
In the 1982 redistricting of Congressional District boundaries, a three judge Federal Panel created the 27th District of Texas, a new seat along the Gulf Coast of South Texas.
I ran for Congress on a platform of bringing jobs to South Texas and increasing the focus on access to education for South Texans, who live in an area of the country with traditionally high unemployment rates. I represented a district with diverse demographics and a variety of industry including: petrochemicals, shrimping and fishing, tourism, oil rigging, water transport, agriculture and service industries, as well as large military facilities.
In Congress, I was assigned to the House Armed Services Committee and House Natural Resources Committee. Four military bases in the Coastal Bend area and the historic tug of war over water (and other natural resources in the American west) made those committee assignments uniquely suited to South Texas.
Throughout my Congressional career, I had made a reputation as a fair-minded advocate who worked easily with both Republicans and Democrats when making policy. I last served as Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee. As well served on the influential House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. I served as a senior member of two important committees, co-chair of the Border Caucus, co-chair of the House Depot Caucus and, and as Dean of both the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Texas House Democratic Delegation.
Now as a retired Member of Congress I founded a non-profit called MAP of Texas, which aims to assist the underserved community of South Texas. My public service continues till this day.
MAP of Texas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
MAP is dedicated to empowering and providing Texans
with a MAP leading to a vision of prosperity for all. Above all, MAP's mission is for ALL people to be treated with dignity and respect.