Brownsville Mayor John Cowen Jr. was the keynote speaker at the Orientation Dinner for Class 39 of Leadership Brownsville held September 20, 2023, at the Brownsville Events Center.
Mayor Cowen said Leadership Brownsville provides those class members of Leadership Brownsville with “a unique perspective on how our city operates, and provides that benefit of really just taking that deeper dive into appreciating what our city does for them on a daily basis whether it is our utility, our landfill, GBIC, BCIC, all the organizations that work hard every day. I think the majority of people don’t see what goes on but this class is going to have a unique perspective.”
Over a period of nine months, the members of the Leadership Brownsville Class 39 will spend one session each month learning about government operations, the environment, media, the history of Brownsville, the Port of Brownsville, Brownsville Public Utilities Board, economic development, education, and non-profits.
During his keynote address, Mayor Cowen said he also attended Leadership Brownsville graduating from the class of 26, and that Leadership Brownsville provides you with a behind-the-scenes look at the City of Brownsville and appreciation for all the city employees, BPUB employees, and all the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis.
Leadership Brownsville provides potential leaders the knowledge to effectively participate in community affairs, to learn the history and demography of our community, to understand its financial and political difficulties and promises, and to become a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.
Mayor Cowen talked about the different opportunities out there for the community members to get involved with the city. He previously served as vice-chairman of the board of commissioners for the Housing Authority for the City of Brownsville.
“We have a leadership deficient in a lot of our places in the city and I think Leadership Brownsville should be that resource, that pipeline for people to serve our community because you already serve, you have already been selected, been vetted as people that have the experience, have the credentials, have the integrity to elevate the city and my challenge to you is to keep on with that path,” Mayor Cowen said.
Leadership Brownsville’s mission is to foster leadership development by educating community members about the different sectors of Brownsville, exposing them to challenges and opportunities, and empowering them to make a positive impact.
Mayor Cowen also talked about Brownsville’s growth, the happenings at the Port of Brownsville, and how everyone is now watching to see what Brownsville will do next. “A lot of eyes are on our community. Economic development doesn’t advance everyone at the same rate, so I think we really need to realize that and plan for it, and strategize on how we can raise the bar for everyone in our community.”