Texas Lawmakers’ Response to Disaster and Crisis is Fatally InadequateLawmakers must provide direct economic relief to Texans pushed to the brink
February 18, 2021
Right now, 4.4 million Texans are without reliable power, 12 million Texans are without clean water, and 27,000 more are without reliable housing. The polar vortex has created an unprecedented climate disaster, exacerbating the ongoing devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed over 41,000 lives in the state. The catastrophe has heightened disparities between wealthy and low-income Texans, as the latter struggle without water, power, economic relief, or the means of basic survival.
Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director, URGE:
“What we are seeing in Texas is the deadly confluence of preventable climate disaster and failure to invest in the survival of low-income families, immigrants, and people of color. This crisis only compounds the suffering of millions of Texas already pushed to the brink by a deadly and ongoing pandemic, not to mention chronic underfunding of essential programs. It’s time for Texas lawmakers to take all necessary steps to provide immediate relief, including tapping the rainy day fund, prioritizing Black, immigrant, and low-income people’s survival right now, and preparing for ongoing climate disasters which we all know are only getting worse.”
Statement from Yaneth Flores, URGE Texas Coordinator:
“Texas deserves better. We deserve access to safe housing, clean water, and reliable green electricity. Right now, Texans are bearing the brunt of climate change denial. Working class communities are hurting, Black and brown communities are without electricity and water, and essential workers are being forced to show up to work or lose their jobs, even when doing so risks their lives. The Texas government knew over a decade ago that the power grid was not prepared for climate change, but still refused to winterize equipment. Texas politicians have abandoned us, but Texans always show up for each other. Across the state, Texans are organizing to save our lives. It’s time for the people we elected to do their part.”
URGE envisions a liberated world where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. To achieve our vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people of low-income. As a state-driven national organization, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest.