It was the day after his birthday, June 20, 2018 that changed Israel Coronado’s life, a day he will never forget. A “500-year” rain came to Weslaco, in Hidalgo County and in its wake left the streets flooded and residents in need. He took the initiative to drive around town, dropping off sandbags, picking up debris and in his spare time, remodeling homes. But what really hit him was listening to what his neighbors in a low-income area went through. His frustration at the city’s lack of action drove him on.
He took to social media, came up with a snappy slogan, “Make Westlaco Drain Again” and shined a light on the inaction and ineptitude in the drainage system management of the Weslaco/Mercedes area. He gained some notoriety and was recognized as a leader, but by some, also as a threat. The city tried to silence him and intimidate him, but his family and community encouraged him to carry on. Israel’s main priority is to finally see changes in his community, mainly fixing the drainage and decreasing mass flooding events. In July 2018, Coronado rallied his community to call for the dismissal of the city manager, which was successful.
“That fact stands that we were not prepared [for the storm],” Coronado said.
Truth RGV continues to work to hold public officials accountable for inaction in the face of extreme flooding, building political power, running for city leadership and keeping the community informed.
Written by Michele Gielis
Halting bad development
501c3 tax deductible