snowstorm in texas
Earlier last week, Texas faced a brutal cold front and snowstorm that left much of the state without power or running water. The brutal temperatures sabotaged water treatment plants, and many Texans have been under orders to boil water before use; pipes have been bursting and flooding freezing homes; and at least 58 people have died.
The snowstorm has also revealed the existing inequity in this country where lower income, predominantly minority communities were faced with more brutal, longer lasting impacts. ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council Of Texas, which manages 90% of the state’s power grid has come under major scrutiny for its role in the mass power outages. For more, read this article from NPR.
It’s times like this that give us an opportunity to unite as a country, to stand in solidarity with one another and help those of us who are suffering. In times like this, our nation’s leaders have the opportunity to step forward and lead. Citizens look to their elected officials in times of crisis to provide both moral support and practical assistance.
So when Texas’ Senator Ted Cruz was spotted boarding a flight to Cancun last Wednesday night, it’s understandable that the people who elected him to lead them in times like these were less than thrilled.
Was Cruz actually vacationing? Looks like that was the plan
Technically the jury’s still out on this one, but it certainly looks as though Cruz was intending to have a nice little getaway. The suitcase he was seen carrying was bigger than what I pack for two-week Europe stints, and though he returned to Texas on Thursday, that ticket appeared to have been bought hastily on Thursday morning, indicating that the return time was a last-minute decision.
Cruz even shifted blame to his daughters when asked about his choice to leave his state during a crisis, saying they wanted to go to Cancun with some friends and he and his wife were merely escorting them down there. Even more, text messages surfaced among Cruz’s neighbors in which Heidi, Cruz’s wife, shared information for flights to Cancun departing Wednesday and returning Sunday. So, yeah, it sure looks like Cruz wasn’t planning on waiting out the snowstorm in Texas at home. Cruz’s spokespeople even seemed to be grasping at straws to support him.
Can’t make it up — this is how Ted Cruz’s office defended his conduct this week in a statement to CBS pic.twitter.com/FOYuLuB7rb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 21, 2021
Fortunately, other elected officials stepped up to the plate
Fortunately, Texas wasn’t left completely high and dry last week. On Saturday, President Biden declared a major disaster in Texas, which opens up new avenues for the state’s citizens to receive much-needed aid. And last Thursday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced that her team had partnered with 5 local Texas organizations to raise money to get on-the-ground help to Texas residents, fast. The fund just reached $4 million, and AOC flew to Texas on Friday to help distribute supplies. Meanwhile, Cruz seemingly laments his poor decision-making, saying, “In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it” (source)
We hit $3.2 MILLION in Texas relief support last night!
The bank REALLY needs helping hands.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 20, 2021
What does Texas still need, and how can we help?
Though the snowstorm has subsided, Texans have a long road to recovery ahead of them. Fortunately, there are a ton of ways you can help from wherever you are! Here are some resources:
This article has a comprehensive list of places you can donate to, and even ways you can house Texans in need if you live nearby
This article lists other organizations accepting donations of both money and goods
What do you think of Cruz’s brief escapade during his state’s time of need? And do you know of any other ways we can help in the wake of the snowstorm in Texas? Share with us in the comments below!
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