Help Texans afflicted by the unprecedented winter storm and the failure of the state’s power grid by joining efforts led by Beto O’Rourke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sylvia R. Garcia.
As you’re probably well aware, in February 2021, Texas was hit by a ridiculously punishing winter storm–a once-in-a-century sort of thing that easily wreaks havoc on a place designed around the premise of adapting to punishingly hot temperatures.
The worst part is the state’s power grid, which is deliberately and explicitly disconnected from America’s national grid to avoid federal regulations, pretty much folded in on itself. The same sentiments that drove the powers-that-be in Texas to embrace deregulation made those same folks indifferent to the need to winterize the system.
Some Texan elected officials have proven themselves utterly useless. Instead of rolling up his sleeves and calling in favors to help his suffering constituents, Senator Ted Cruz planned a family vacation to Mexico to escape from the storm and its aftermath. He is being dragged relentlessly and entirely correctly for his imperious act.
Beto O’Rourke, who challenged Cruz in 2018 and lost by 1.5 points, has nevertheless done the work of a sitting Senator, and more. He activated his Powered by People network of volunteers and trained them to make wellness-check phone calls to Texas senior citizens. According to a February 18, 2021 tweet from his main account (@BetoORourke), they reached more than 784,000 people:
BIG THANKS to the volunteers who made over 784,000 phone calls to senior citizens in Texas today. You helped to connect them with water, food, transportation, and shelter. And you made sure that they knew we were thinking about them and that they matter to us. Goodnight!
As of February 21, 2021, Powered by People has no additional welfare-check phone banks are planned. The home page of its website features a huge blue button to hit to donate to PbP, which will in turn distribute funds to local Texas organizations that are actively helping people as you read this.
Here’s the link to the Powered by People main website:
If that option doesn’t appeal to you for whatever reason, O’Rourke’s Twitter feed is brimming with news and information, in English and Spanish, about other organizations you can support that are actively helping Texans.
Again, his handle is: @BetoORourke
Democratic House Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th District has rolled up her sleeves to aid Texas, too. On February 19, 2021, she announced on Twitter (her handle is @AOC) that she, working hand in hand with House Rep Sylvia R. Garcia (@LaCongresista), who represents Texas’s 29th District, had raised more than $2 million for aid to Texas through a dedicated ActBlue link.
AOC’s ActBlue link to support relief efforts in Texas is here:
AOC’s Twitter feed also contains updates on the Texas relief efforts led by she and Garcia, including calls for volunteers and other news. Again, the two relevant handles are:
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: @AOC
Sylvia R. Garcia: @LaCongresista
Please help in whatever manner you can. If you can’t give money and are unable to volunteer, please signal-boost the efforts of O’Rourke, Ocasio-Cortez, and Garcia.
Whoops, late addition: The Cut, part of New York magazine, has a good article called How to Help People in Texas Right Now. It cites specific mutual aid societies and food banks to donate to, plus volunteering opportunities for those who live there:
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