EDINBURG – Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who sponsored one of the few open government and public information proposals that became law in the 2017 Texas Legislative session, has been honored as a “Champion of Transparency” by the Texas Press Association.
TPA Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett and Stephan Wingart, publisher of the McAllen Monitor, presented the award during a ceremony Sept. 20 at Edinburg City Hall.
Canales was first elected in 2012 to serve as state representative for House District 40 and will begin his fourth two-year term in the Texas House of Representatives in 2019.
Canales has provided diligent work in pressing for more and greater transparency in government at local, state, and national levels, Baggett said. Among other measures, he introduced and passed House Bill 214, requiring the televising of Supreme Court proceedings.
“I have a proven track record of fighting for open-government legislation during my five years as a state lawmaker, through carrying measures that bear my name, and through my work in House committees and on the floor of the House of Representatives, where I have always spoken in favor and voted for dozens of measures that protect the people’s right to know about what our local and state governments are doing in our name with our public resources,” Canales said
“I am greatly honored to receive this award from an organization that I deeply admire,” he said, noting that TPA, established 1880, is one of the oldest press associations in the U.S. “But the very idea that we’ve got to single out a legislator for an award to fight for transparency shows how pervasive the problem is. Transparency should be inherent. We shouldn’t have to give this award. Transparency is the cornerstone of who we are.
“The government exists for the people and by the people. The government doesn’t get to decide what is good for us to know and what isn’t good for us to know. Yet the obfuscation is deafening. The malady is pervasive. But the silence that reverberates within us shows discord and distrust in the government that we created,” he said.