Senator Judith Zaffirini Promotes 114th Washington’s Birthday Celebration

(AUSTIN) — Today (Jan. 25) Senator Judith Zaffirini welcomed representatives from the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association (WBCA) and the Laredo community to the Texas Capitol.

“I am delighted to welcome the delegation from the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association to Austin,” Senator Zaffirini said. “What’s more, I join the delegation in inviting my Senate colleagues and all Texans to attend Laredo’s cherished annual patriotic celebration.”

For 114 years, The Washington’s Birthday Celebration has delighted Laredoans and visitors alike with a grand display of patriotism that includes parades, fireworks extravaganzas, galas and an international fair and exposition. The event, which began Jan. 15 and ends Feb. 20, is the largest celebration in the nation honoring the father of our country.

The Texas Senate paid tribute to the month-long event by passing Senate Resolution 52 by Zaffirini, honoring WBCA and welcoming representatives of its member organizations to the Texas Capitol. Among the distinguished officials greeting the delegation were Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst,Mr. South Texas 2004, and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, Mr. South Texas 2011. Senator Zaffirini was Mr. South Texas in 1999.

The delegation included Susan Foster, President of WBCA; Betty Ann Bunn Moreno, who will portray Martha Washington; Frank C. Averill Jr., who will portray George Washington; Rosemary Therese Santos, Princess Pocahontas; and Alex Jacob Cavazos, Chief Fire Mountain.

Participants include the Celebration’s Abrazo Children, who will exchange hugs at the middle of the international bridge at the inspiring international friendship ceremony. The United States’ representatives are Katarina Garcia and Evan A. Valls, and Mexico’s representatives are Paloma Chapa Mendoza and Ernesto Knosel Reina. Joining the delegation was Giampaolo Consigliere, Executive Vice President of BBVA Compass, which sponsored the delegation’s visit.

“The Washington’s Birthday Celebration is not only a celebration of our fierce patriotism, but also a wonderful opportunity to honor our relationship with our sister city, Nuevo Laredo, and our sister country, Mexico,” Senator Zaffirini said. “International friendship and collaboration are the hallmarks of Laredo’s success.”

Senator Judith Zaffirini Reappointed to Senate Finance Committee

(AUSTIN) — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Monday (Jan. 24) reappointed Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to the Senate Finance Committee.

“I am grateful to Lt. Governor Dewhurst for the opportunity to continue to serve on this important committee,” Senator Zaffirini said. “I look forward to working with him and my colleagues to address the difficult fiscal challenges facing our state.”

Senator Zaffirini has served on the Senate Finance Committee since 1991. As Vice Chair of Finance from 2003 to 2007, she advocated fiscal responsibility in the budgeting process and championed funding for education, public safety and health and human services.

As a former Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, on which she has served since 1989, Senator Zaffirini is well-known for her expertise in writing Article II, the health and human services portion of the state’s budget. When the 2003 legislature faced a $10 billion shortfall, she was credited with saving many essential services and programs that otherwise may have been eliminated or slashed severely.

“Texas is facing its largest budget shortfall in history,” Senator Zaffirini said. “Addressing it will require a careful exercise in cutting wherever possible, while preserving vital services and important investments in Texas’ future, including early childhood education, higher education and health and human services.”

The Senate Finance Committee comprises Senators Zaffirini; Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, Chair; Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Vice Chair; Bob Deuell, R-Greenville; Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock; Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler; Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls; Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville; Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound; Dan Patrick, R-Houston; Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo; Florence Shapiro, R-Plano; Royce West, D-Dallas; John Whitmire, D-Houston; and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands.

Senator Zaffirini represents 16 counties and northeast Bexar County.

A MEMBER OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, Senator Judith Zaffirini is the second-highest ranking state senator and the highest-ranking senator for Bexar County and the border region.