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      Photo Contest to Improve Brownsville

      It TMs been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and the newly formed, non-profit group United Brownsville, believes that. The group represents eight public entities in Brownsville, including the city, Port of Brownsville and Brownsville Independent School District.

      The group aims to identify the city's potential and unique assets in order to move forward with one common strategy to turn the potential into reality. The group is asking residents to get involved and provide them with a visual goal to strive for, by hosting a Facebook photo contest.

      "It's a clear, concise way to say this is what I want more of in my community, United Brownsville Executive Director Mike Gonzalez said. And it's a great way (for residents) to convey that to their elected leaders - creating an album or different photos that show this is the real Brownsville, this is what we love."

      Gonzalez said now is the time to seek a positive attitude, new industries, job creation opportunities, higher education and an improved quality of life since Brownsville TMs population is younger than populations in other parts of the country.

      "The reason this is significant, is because if you're ever going to retool your capitol pipe line, now is the time, Gonzalez said. We have a third of our population in the primary and secondary educational system, so if we're ever going to build the work force of tomorrow, today is the time to do it."

      Gonzalez said many are skeptical about the possibility of change or improvement in Brownsville, only because they don't know how to implement it.

      However, he adds that if the people of the Rio Grande Valley start working together to attract new businesses, the area has the potential to become the 48th strongest economic region in the U.S.United Brownsville hopes the contest gives a clear picture of how the city can get there.

      "Something as simple as photographs, can be real strong motivators for the elected leaders to implement policies that move our community in that direction," Gonzalez said.

      The contest is open to all Brownsville residents. Each participant can post up to three pictures on the United Brownsville Facebook page.

      The picture with the most likes wins and the winning photographer will have the chance to have dinner with city leaders to discuss their picture and ideas to improve Brownsville.