TEXAS DISASTER IS NOT AN “ACT OF NATURE” BUT A LACK OF ACTION BY STATE LEADERS
Omaha Together One Community is a proud local affiliate of the nation’s largest and longest standing organizing network, the Industrial Areas Foundation. As we write this, our brothers and sisters from our 10 sister organizations in Texas are suffering greatly and what’s most shocking, needlessly. The Texas power crisis is entirely man made and was completely avoidable. OTOC stands with our sister organizations in the Texas IAF Network denouncing the lack of state leadership which has produced a desperate and dire situation for Texas families. Cities have nursing homes without electricity, apartments and mobile home parks have no water and power, and whole counties are without shelters or warming stations.
Texas saw similar power and infrastructure failures in 1989 and again in 2011 as a result of similar weather events. Notwithstanding these warnings, Texas state leaders have failed to prevent it from happening again.
“The storm may have been an act of nature, but the devastation of the electrical grid shut down is an act of sheer negligence,” said Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly of Dallas Area Interfaith. “It was foreseeable based on similar occurrences in the past, and so a failure on the part of state leaders to address the basic energy infrastructure needs of a growing state. There needs to be a full accounting by state leaders as to what happened and what is being done to address this critical need.”
We call upon Governor Ricketts to immediately send assistance to our neighbors in Texas, and to not delay in taking action because “assistance has not been requested,” as he stated in his press conference this morning. We also urge him to encourage Governor Abbott to immediately supply Texas communities with power, water, food, supplies and emergency shelter by:
– Releasing state funds to local governments for direct assistance in food, water, supplies.
– Working with federal government and FEMA to bring immediate national assistance to Texas.
– Forcing ERCOT to get service running and ensure that PUC prevents further rate spikes.
OTOC supports the Texas IAF call on state leaders to invest over the long term in “winterizing” power, water, and other utilities to prevent future disaster. OTOC leaders stand with Texas in their demands that state leaders examine an anti-regulation ideology that has done damage to Texas’s infrastructure, and to take action to turn it around.
* Omaha Together One Community and The Network of Texas IAF Organizations are non-partisan, institutionally based community organizations whose purpose is to train leaders to organize families around issues which affect their quality of life. The Texas IAF Network includes Communities Organized for Public Service and The Metro Alliance in San Antonio, The Border Organization, Valley Interfaith in the Rio Grande Valley; TMO in Houston; EPISO and Border Interfaith In El Paso; Austin Interfaith; ACT in Fort Worth; Dallas Area Interfaith; AMOS- Arlington, The West Texas Organizing Strategy; and Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange.