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Rep.Gervin-Hawkins, Barbara

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Representative Gervin-Hawkins Statement in Honor of Juneteenth  print page

by: Rep. Gervin-Hawkins, Barbara

It is with a great sense of commitment that I work as a public servant for the citizens of Texas and those in House District 120. As a member of the Texas House, recognizing the enormous responsibility of employing good judgment, courage, and conviction in making challenging decisions in order to benefit my district, constituents and state is vital. We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered our way of life. Racism and hate crimes are a pandemic that many have been fighting for centuries to eradicate. I have and will continue to fight for much needed changes. We need to respect one another and celebrate each of our unique cultures, traditions and celebrations. We are all God's children and we have more in common than that which divides us.

Today is Juneteenth, as Texans, we have a unique connection to honoring and celebrating where we came from, how far we have come and the experiences that have built our character. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to read an announcement, in General Orders No. 3, to the people of Galveston that the Civil War had ended, and slaves had been freed. Approximately 250,000 Texan slaves did not know that the war had ended and that they were free. Over the years we have made some progress towards creating the "more perfect union" that the Founding Fathers dreamt of when the United States declared its independence. However, there are still a number of issues in our society that we must address to ensure equity and fairness for everyone in all communities. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, said, in his 1967 speech during the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice". Although we may make some progress in some areas of society, there are also times when it feels like we are backsliding into unfairness and inequity continues to loom over us. Especially, in this divisive and tumultuous period of American history it is important for all communities to come together. With continued advocacy and attempts to foster connections with each other, we can seek to create a more perfect union for many generations to come. As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, let us all remember what it was that our families and the communities envisioned for our future, and let's build that future together.

JD Pedraza

Contact Info


Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room E1.212

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0708

(512) 463-7071 Fax

3503 N.E. Parkway

San Antonio, TX 78218

(210) 822-2534