The day after his birthday, June 20, 2018, is the day Israel Coronado will never forget. It was when a “500-year rain” (according to local officials at least), flooded the streets of Weslaco, impacting, yet again, the place Israel calls home.
Acting on his own accord, he started helping those in need, driving around dropping off sandbags, picking up debris, and remodeling homes in his spare time. Pained by the testimonials given by the lower-income residents, his frustration with the city heightened because of their inaction and lack of empathy as they continued their 4th of July celebration.
“I’m just an angry guy with a trailer,” says Coronado.
Using social media as an ally, he created a Facebook page, “Make Weslaco Drain Again,” where he highlighted the inaction and unaccountability for negligence taken in the Weslaco/Mercedes area in regards to drainage.
At a city hall flood forum, over 500 residents demanded answers as to why their homes were flooded for a fourth time in three years. When Israel spoke, his microphone was silenced, infuriating the crowd even more, as those listening outside the chamber attempted to break down the door.
Whereas the city attempted to quell his voice, media has given him the microphone where he’s been interviewed about his efforts and the reoccurring flooding problems. He’s been vocal on the drainage issues and unaccountability in Weslaco, and his videos have reached over 300,000 views.
Unfortunately, as a result, intimidation practices have been used towards his business, his wife, and more recently his children.
When I found out that people were inquiring about my kids, that’s when I realized maybe I need to take a step back. After I prayed about it and asked my wife, she looked at me and said, ‘Give ‘em hell!’”
Initially fixing the drainage is what motivated him. However, now that he’s familiar with the political system of his hometown, and the corruption tactics used, Israel has realized his purpose for his involvement:
I want to leave a legacy for my children of a hometown where they can speak their mind without fear of retaliation from their employers. Just because you’re a city worker or an employee of the school district, you are still a citizen and should be able to enjoy every single freedom other citizens have without reservations.”
Since June, people have asked him to consider running for office or to address national issues. Yet, Coronado states he wants to see changes in his community first, starting with the drainage. He believes in fixing, “immediate issues in our streets before we go elsewhere, beginning with holding elected officials accountable.”
As hurricane season is upon us, Tropical Storm Isaac flooded Weslaco yet again, and Coronado has pushed his contact info out for those needing any type of assistance. However, he can’t do it alone. He calls on constituents to make their voice heard at city hall, if they desire to see any change.
Coronado is a Nurse Anesthetist and is married to Rosie. They have two boys. The Coronado’s used to be professional Latin dancers, so when they have time for themselves, they enjoy going salsa dancing.
He is a proud collector of pheasant and Bantam roosters. Similar to the characteristics of a rooster, he’s very active in protecting his home.