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Gov. Perry Visits Colonias in El Paso

Press Release

Location: Austin, TX

Highlights accomplishments and pledges continued support for assistance

Gov. Rick Perry today visited residents of College Park and Ascension colonias in El Paso, and spoke about the importance of ensuring adequate living conditions for all Texans.

"The State of Texas has an obligation to pursue policies that raise the standard of living for all of its people," Perry said. "That means providing access to quality schools, access to basic services like water and wastewater systems, and access to vital infrastructure such as quality roads."

Colonias are unincorporated and unregulated settlements along the United States-Mexico border. Close to a half million Texans live in meager conditions in more than 2,300 colonias across Texas. Perry noted that while there is more work to be done, significant steps have been taken toward improving the standard of living in colonias.

"Thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, we recently were able to bring water services to seven colonias in the eastern part of El Paso County ," Perry said. "Today, more than 50,000 El Paso residents in 166 colonias are receiving water and wastewater services for the first time. This isn't everyone, but it's better than where we were just a few short years ago, and we need to make even greater progress."

Gov. Perry will continue to support and encourage efforts to improve the lives and futures of the families living in colonias. The Texas Office of the Secretary of State has oversight of numerous colonia issues, and is continually working with federal, state and local agencies and officials to help address the challenges facing colonia residents.

"My greatest aspiration is that the children of colonias are given the opportunity to better themselves through a quality education," Perry said. "But you can't do well in school if you are sick, and you can't stay healthy without basic water and wastewater services, and with living conditions conducive to the spread of disease. The hopes and dreams of every child matter. And we will do everything we can to advance those dreams."

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