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Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia on Friday, May 7, hosted a briefing at the Port of Houston Authority and boat tour of the Houston Ship Channel for 40 members of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, known as NALEO.

The visit was in conjunction with the NALEO Educational Fund’s Policy Institute on Energy, for which Garcia serves as a convening chairperson. The three-day academic seminar in Houston featured a series of informational panels, sessions and strategy groups to enhance participants’ understanding of all types of energy sources, affordable energy solutions and the intersection between technology, economic impact and environmental stewardship.

"Government officials need to clearly understand the growing role of world trade and energy. There is nothing better than a firsthand view of this reality here in Houston, the energy capital of the world,” said Garcia. “Energy, and its role in the 21st century, needs to be at the forefront of the public policy agenda,” she added.

Commissioner Garcia, flanked by Latino elected and appointed officials from across the U.S.
PHA’s Jimmy Jamison, senior vice president of operations, Gilda Ramirez, vice president of small business development, and Spencer Chambers, director of government relations, provided a general overview of the Port of Houston, which includes the world’s second-largest petrochemical complex, and briefed the group about government policy issues related to the port and the port authority’s efforts to develop and utilize small business. After the boardroom briefing, the group got a close-up view of the Houston Ship Channel during a tour aboard the M/V Sam Houston.

NALEO is a 501 (c)(4) nonpartisan membership organization whose constituency includes the nation’s more than 6,000 elected and appointed Latino officials. Founded in 1976, NALEO has created a national forum for Latino issues and opened doors for a new generation of Latino leaders. Commissioner Garcia currently serves as president of the organization.