BROWNSVILLE, Texas – On Tuesday, Elon Musk said on Twitter that he would donate $20 million to Cameron County schools and $10 million to the City of Brownsville for “downtown revitalization.” The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX said he would release more details next week.
Now, the City of Brownsville has issued a statement in response to the recent announcement.
Am donating $20M to Cameron County schools & $10M to City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization. Details to follow next week.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
In a statement issued by City of Brownsville Communications Director Felipe Romero, Mayor Juan “Trey” Mendez called the potential donations “exciting” and said he looked forward to future conversations with Musk about the Rio Grande Valley community.
“It’s certainly exciting to hear of Elon Musk’s proposed donation to the City for downtown revitalization. We look forward to a discussion about how this could help our community prosper as we take a front seat to the next chapter of space exploration and innovation,” the statement read. “For years, the City has invested in infrastructure and improvements to capitalize on the beauty and charm of our historic downtown.”
Mendez was not available for an interview, Romero said.
There’s been a lot of talk about @elonmusk’s donations to Cameron County schools and the city of Brownsville. Here is what the Mayor of Brownsville Trey Mendez had to say: #RGV pic.twitter.com/g3LUu6DfQ9— Jakob R. Rodriguez (@JakobRyRod) March 31, 2021
According to the statement, the private sector has “taken notice” of the area and city officials hope that increased investment, the announcement of several new projects and Musk’s potential capital could help “accelerate the progress even more and continue to make our city and our downtown a destination.”
Some critics have accused Musk of attempting to take advantage of one of the poorest areas in the country and leveraging his influence for his own endeavors. The city did not mention that in the statement.
Minutes before Musk’s Tweet about donations, he posted a plea for “engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel” to move to “Starbase,” a reference to the Boca Chica beach area where SpaceX operates and launches from.
Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2021
SpaceX’s hiring needs for engineers, technicians, builders & essential support personnel of all kinds are growing rapidly.
Hours before those tweets caught the attention of national media, “SpaceX chalked up another failed landing for its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship, as the prototype Mars rocket broke apart right before touchdown,” the Associated Press reported.
In mid-December, Mendez called Brownsville the “innovation capital” of the Rio Grande Valley after 14,000 square foot Tesla facility and showroom would be constructed in the area.