Texas Road Show: 9 lessons learned across the state
Last month marked the end of our inaugural year for the Texas Road Show. From San Antonio to Longview, we have been traveling around Texas visiting with local leaders about the most important issues in their communities and the state.
The Texas Road Show targeted 9 major regions across the state. To date, we have conducted 65 meetings in 18 cities and met with more than 800 officials, community and business leaders, resident experts, city officials and other stakeholders.
Each stop sparked an exciting, creative conversation about the issues facing Texas and potential strategies of how to address them. We’re listening to Texans to inform and build civic demand for our policy agenda. Here’s what we learned during our Texas Road Show:
- Texans are more alike than different. Whether in Corpus Christi or Houston, we heard the same things: The people of Texas want a fair shot at economic prosperity and well being, from education access to affordable health care.
- Rural communities are the bloodline of our state. Our smaller towns deserve more recognition for keeping Texas thriving. From agriculture to energy and everything in between, these communities host industries that put us on the map and remain as economic drivers.
- Infrastructure is a problem to solve across Texas. These challenges cross city limits—our roads and bridges need improvement. Aging pipes carrying water throughout our cities are deteriorating. Our waste management systems and public parks are in need of investments. This is our opportunity to take care of future Texans today.
- All Texans need to be online. Vast expanses of rural areas and thousands of urban pockets remain disconnected. We are only as strong as our weakest connection. It’s time for us to see broadband as the farm-to-market road of the 21st Century.
- We need a stronger workforce. From investing in the education-to-workforce pipelines to finding ways to incentivize talented Texans to give back to their communities, we need to be more competitive when it comes to our labor market. We can’t afford to be a great exporter of talent.
- Economic development remains on Main Street. Population 1,000 or 4 million, the mom-and-pop shops and small businesses of our state are making a difference in providing Texans a higher quality of life—even if it’s through one specialty coffee at a time.
- Texas hospitality is as strong as ever. It’s no secret, we’re growing at a rapid rate—10 million more people may call the Lone Star State home by 2036. Despite these rising numbers, the friendliness of Texans is alive and well—and contagious!
- Local leaders are hard at work. From municipal governments and chambers of commerce to nonprofit and civic organizations, the leadership in our towns, cities and metropolitan areas across Texas is strong. And there’s plenty of opportunity for us all to learn from them.
- Collaboration is key to the state’s success. From the RGV Partnership in the Rio Grande Valley to the Borderplex Alliance in El Paso and greater: SATX in San Antonio, where we saw a regionalized approach to economic development we also witnessed more opportunities for each respective community. To make sure our state is the best place for future generations to live, work and raise a family, we need to keep working together.
Thanks to everyone who helped make the Texas Road Show such a success!
I want to extend my gratitude to our board members, who helped organize events in their respective communities. Not only did they bring in city and community leaders, they showcased their hometowns in a way that allowed us to see its strengths and where they are working to raise the bar.
Texas Road Show Aug. 2021–Aug. 2022 stops:
- San Antonio
- Rio Grande Valley
- Corpus Christi
- El Paso
- East Texas: Texarkana, Nacogdoches and Lufkin
- Lubbock and Amarillo
- Midland and Odessa
- Longview and Tyler
We are already in the process of pinning the map for our 2023-2024 Texas Road Show! Want to host a Road Show stop in your town? Email us at speaking@Texas2036.org.
Interested in learning more? Visit our Texas Road Show website.