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Texas to recognize thousands of South Texas descendants of Mexican Americans murdered by Texas Rangers during Matanza (Massacre) of 1915 that took place in the Valley, says Rep. Canales

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, addressing participants at the Friday, October 6, 2017 groundbreaking ceremony that took place near Edinburg Lake, a 63-mile drainage improvement system that will benefit Hidalgo, Cameron and Willacy counties. “For more than 30 years, Rio Grande Valley leaders have worked to lay the foundations for this massive 150 foot-wide drainage system which will run from Hargill to the Laguna Madre,” said the House District 40 lawmaker. “This project will help redirect a significant amount of the stormwater safely away from many of our communities that suffer from flooding while helping protect our homes and businesses, as well as the continued economic development of flood-prone areas in both Hidalgo and Willacy counties.”

Photograph By ALEX RÍOS

Almost 100 years after Rep. José Tomás Canales, a Brownsville Democrat, politically battled the Texas Rangers for murdering scores of innocent South Texans because they were Mexican American, the State of Texas on Saturday, October 14, 2017 will officially acknowledge, with a permanent public display, that dark period in the state’s history and recognize the descendants of those victims affected by that brutality, Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, has announced. The unveiling of the state historical marker will take place at 10 a.m. at the Saturday, October 14, 2017 gathering, which will be held at the Southbound Exit 16, Parking/Rest Area between San Benito and Los Fresnos exits. The gathering is open to the public. Canales is a grand nephew of José Tomás Canales, who, as the only Mexican American in the Texas Legislature in 1919, filed legislation to stop that illegal state police violence. “In Texas, there has been a long and continued effort to minimize the struggle of ethnic minorities’ quest for civil rights,” Canales said. “The stories told by these historians in this historical marker and their many published works are an important part of a larger story about the continued struggle of Texas Latinos, who have been fighting for equal rights since the founding of this state.” The Refusing to Forget Project has organized four days of presentations and panel discussions as part of “Resilience en el Valle: Remember the Matanza (Massacre) of 1915” that will lead to the Saturday, October 14, 2017 dedication of the state marker. “The approval and erection of this marker is as close as the government of the State of Texas has gotten to acknowledging its role in the horrific anti-Mexican violence of the 1910s,” said historian Benjamin Johnson, author of the bookRevolution in Texas. “We at Refusing to Forget are pleased that these events are finally getting some of the public recognition that they deserve.”

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Rep. Canales, with major successes in economic development and jobs creation, criminal justice reform, and a key champion of citizens’ power over their governments, to seek fourth term

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, son Terry Andrés II, and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, during a break on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives during the special session of the Texas Legislature held earlier this summer. Canales is married to Erica E. Canales, whose family also features Caleb Ezra, Catalina, Juliana and Trígo. They live in Edinburg.

Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

Noting his successes on behalf of economic development and jobs creation, criminal justice reform, and openness, accountability, and honesty in government, Rep. Terry Canales, a Democrat who represents House District 40 in Hidalgo County, has announced his bid for reelection to a fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives. The Democratic and Republican Party primaries for all state representative seats in Texas are scheduled for early March 2018, with the general election to be held in November 2018, for new two-year terms to begin in mid-January 2019, when the 86th Texas Legislature convenes for its five-month regular session. “My record speaks for itself – it is public and available for all to see on key websites, including my Facebook Page (facebook.com/RepTerryCanales/) and at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/,” Canales said. “With the conclusion of the recent special session of the Texas Legislature, which ended on August 15, I have been back in the Rio Grande Valley, meeting with community leaders and preparing for the 86th Texas Legislature.” The Edinburg-based attorney emphasized the importance of House District 40 residents being involved in all aspects of the state legislative process. “As always, I look forward to receiving ideas from my my constituents on what state laws and policies are needed to help them in their businesses, their jobs, and with their families,” Canales said. “This office does not belong to me, it belongs to all of the people of House District 40. I always ask for their help and advice in being a leader who is also their servant.” A constituent is a person who lives in an area for which they are able, if qualified, to vote for elected officials. A constituent does not have to be a property owner to be qualified to vote. Canales, D-Edinburg, who was born in Hidalgo County and is a native of South Texas, was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2012. His legislative district, anchored by the majority of Edinburg, covers the heart of Hidalgo County, and includes Elsa, north Pharr, San Carlos, La Blanca, Faysville, and portions of McAllen and Weslaco. “House District 40, the Rio Grande Valley, and all of South Texas continue to build into amazing  economic powerhouses for Texas and our nation because of our people, our work ethic, our education and skills, and our relentless drive for excellence,” said Canales. “It is an honor and a privilege for me to help the people of  this tremendous region to share in the American Dream, so that everyone has opportunities to be happy and successful.” 

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With young namesake’s health in the balance, Rep. Terry Canales utilizes Facebook page to ask for prayers for son’s possible heart surgeries

Featured, Terry Andrés Canales, II, son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, seated at his father’s desk on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives in a photo posted on the state lawmaker’s Facebook page on Monday, July 24, 2017. The youngster, one of five children of Terry and Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. According to http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/coarctation-of-the-aorta: “Coarctation of the aorta is a congenital heart defect where the aorta is narrowed (obstructed) and usually occurs just past the left subclavian artery (supplies blood to the left upper body) and results in decreased blood flow to the lower body. The left ventricle (pumping chamber) of the heart must work harder in order to pump blood through the narrowed aorta.”

Photograph Courtesy REP. TERRY CANALES FACEBOOK

Terry Andrés Canales, II, a son of Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and wife Erica E. Canales, is set to undergo a series of heart surgeries at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio beginning on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, for a heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. In addition to Terry Andrés Canales, II, the House District 40 state representative and his wife also a parents to Caleb Ezra, Trígo, and Catalina, and the lawmaker is the stepfather of Juliana Figueroa. “I would be less than honest if I said we weren’t racked with fear of the uncertain, and that this hasn’t consumed our every waking moment for the last several months and left us virtually sleepless,” the House District 40 lawmaker readily acknowledged in his Facebook posting on Sunday, August 20, 2017. “But our faith in God is unwavering. Their son, “Bebo”, was two years old when he was diagnosed with the heart defect, Canales explained on his Facebook page. “Our family has hoped and prayed that the situation would correct itself, but with every passing follow up, that didn’t seem to be the case,” Canales said. “This Wednesday (August 23, 2017), my wife and I will travel to Columbus, Ohio with him where he will undergo the first of what we are told will be a series of heart surgeries.”

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Sweeping reform by Rep. Canales of unfair system that annually jails hundreds of thousands of poor Texans for traffic tickets is signed by Gov. Abbott

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, looks out at the Texas Capitol grounds in Austin as he handles calls from constituents during a break from legislative debate on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives earlier this spring 2017.

Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday, June 15, 2017, approved House Bill 351 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which will help do away with a decades-old injustice which results in hundreds of thousands of Texans going to jail every year because they are too poor to pay fines for traffic tickets and other Class C misdemeanors. HB 351 was one of 12 measures passed by Canales which were approved by the Texas Legislature and the governor following the five-month regular session, which ended on Monday, May 31, 2017. Those 12 now-enacted state laws covered a wide range of issues, from protecting veterans and victims of family violence, to advancing medical education, creating more jobs, and promoting open government. In addition, Canales also served as a joint author or co-author of 24 other bills. The legislator who files a bill and guides it through the legislative process is the author (also called the primary author). The Senate allows multiple primary authors for each bill or resolution. The House of Representatives allows only one primary author, the house member whose signature appears on the original measure and on the copies filed with the chief clerk. Both chambers also have coauthors, and the house of representatives has joint authors. Canales said HB 351 represents a “sweeping reform” of the state’s criminal justice system. “In Texas, at the rate we are going, we were going to eventually be throwing a million poor people in jail every year for failure to pay tickets, fines and fees arising from court cases,” explained the House District 40 lawmaker, who is an attorney. “We have too many Texans statewide who are struggling to pay rent and groceries, then they wind up getting ticketed and getting jailed for the most minor offenses, such as traffic violations.” For Class C misdemeanors, there is no jail time, and the fine is limited up to $500. But a person can be put in jail for not paying the fines, and other related costs, such as failure to appear in court. Canale added that the border of jailing all these people for petty crimes ultimately falls on the shoulders of taxpayers. “This whole system of putting poor people in jail has become a convenient cash cow for our government, which wants to squeeze money out of indigent Texans,” he said. “HB 351 provides a much better way for minor offenders to pay their debt to society without unjustly putting them behind bars.” Canales is the primary author of HB 351 while Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, by carrying HB 351 in the Senate, is the primary sponsor of the legislation. The measure, which won final support in the House of Representatives on a huge, bipartisan vote of 132 Yeas, 11 Nays, and 2 Present, Not Voting.

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Rep. Canales’ plan to do away with “debtors prisons” for poor people who can’t pay traffic fines and other minor offenses approved by Texas Legislature and on its way to Gov. Abbott

Featured: Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins, D-San Antonio, during a meeting at the Capitol of the Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Asset Forfeiture on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

Photograph By HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY

State lawmakers on Friday, May 26, 2017, approved House Bill 351 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, which will help do away with a decades-old injustice which results in hundreds of thousands of Texans going to jail every year because they are too poor to pay fines for traffic tickets and other Class C misdemeanors. Canales said HB 351 represents a “sweeping reform” of the state’s criminal justice system. “In Texas, at the rate we are going, we were going to eventually be throwing a million poor people in jail every year for failure to pay tickets, fines and fees arising from court cases,” explained the House District 40 lawmaker, who is an attorney. “We have too many Texans statewide who are struggling to pay rent and groceries, then they wind up getting ticketed and getting jailed for the most minor offenses, such as traffic violations.” For Class C misdemeanors, there is no jail time, and the fine is limited up to $500. But a person can be put in jail for not paying the fines, and other related costs, such as failure to appear in court. Canales added that taxpayers wind up paying more because through the costs it takes to look after people who are in local jails for petty crimes. “This whole system of putting poor people in jail has become a convenient cash cow for our government, who want to squeeze money out of indigent Texans,” he said. “HB 351 provides a much better way for minor offenders to pay their debt to society without unjustly putting them behind bars.” Canales is the primary author of HB 351 while Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, by carrying HB 351 in the Senate, is the primary sponsor of the legislation. Hinojosa, also an attorney, agreed with the need for Canales’ legislation. “Our current system is counter-productive, and it traps people into a cycle of debt when they cannot pay their tickets and other low-level, fine-only citations. Our current practice also leads to license suspensions and arrest warrants,” said Hinojosa. “In 2015, fines in over 677,00 cases were satisfied through jail credit and over 230,000 Texas were unable to renew expired licenses until their fines and fees were paid off.” HB 351 allows courts to ask about a defendant’s ability to pay during the sentencing phase, Hinojosa explained. “After making that determination, courts would be allowed to reduce or waive fines and costs and offer community service as an alternative. In 2015, judges resolved fine-only cases with community service just 1.3 percent of the time,” Hinojosa said. “HB 351 seeks to put the justice system’s time and resources to more efficient use by holding people accountable while saving money and increasing public safety.”

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