Over the past few weeks, a winter storm that swept the South has left many homes and families suffering devastating destruction. With infrastructure not built or prepared for heavy, cold weather and a lack of access to supplies, people from the state of Texas have been struggling to stay warm, stay fed, and stay healthy, and while so many suffered, US Senator Ted Cruz abandoned his representative state to fly to Cancun for the weekend.
Despite this, other politicians recognized that Texans didn’t have the option to get on a plane to escape the cold weather like their Senator did. Instead, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez left her home state of New York to help Texans first-hand. She met Rep. Sylvia Garcia (Texas) in Houston to help distribute aid and supplies at the Houston Food Bank to those who needed it.
In addition, AOC’s grassroots campaign also sent out an email to her supporters asking for donations and mutual aid for Texans. She also used the moment to point out the need for a Green New Deal in the wake of a climate crisis like this one.
“Nearly 3 million households across Texas are still without power – and more snow and ice is expected in the coming days. At least 31 people have died in storm-related incidents as millions are without heat or running water in subzero temperatures. People are seeking warmth in their cars, searching for places to get a meal and electricity.
Only inaction and failed leadership are to blame for what’s going on. The lack of investment in our infrastructure is what got us here and this is an example of what to expect if we don’t pursue a Green New Deal.”
As a long time advocate for climate change prevention, providing jobs that help and not hurt the environment, and protecting the American working class, AOC also drew attention to the fact that many of Texas’s lack of resources were due to Republican planning and failure to prepare for climate emergencies.
“The failure of fossil fuels and Republican governing caused the blackouts. Almost all of the outages were caused by non-functioning gas power plans. Yes, some wind turbines and solar facilities were affected, but on Monday while gas plants were freezing, wind and solar exceeded expected power delivery.
As climate change accelerates, many electric grids will face extreme weather events like this that go beyond what they were designed to handle. We must help people now, and prepare our infrastructure for the future.”
Thanks to donations that went directly to mutual aid funding, the help of many volunteers, and outreach from her grassroots campaign team, AOC alone raised in total $5 million dollars to help Texans recover from the storm.
While the winter storm may be over, millions of people who are part of families and communities in Texas have been left in the aftermath of disaster. It’s reported that their recovery could take months. From losing homes to losing loved ones, and suffering great amounts of damage, there are still ways you can.
Consider donating to the organizations still distributing mutual aid among Texans below.
- Donate to a mutual aid fund.
Mutual Aid Houston, Austin Mutual Aid, and Feed the People Dallas are groups that provide housing, food, and other support systems to those in need.
- Donate to a food bank in Texas.
Feeding Texas has compiled list of food banks across the state. You can search by zipcode.
- Donate to a national organizations.
The Salvation Army and American Red Cross in North Texas, Central and South Texas, and the Gulf Coast region of Texas.
- Donate to or volunteer with disaster relief organizations.
Crowdsource Rescue, which has been activated to help those in Texas.
- Help animals in need by donating to
Austin Pets Alive!, SPCA of Texas, and Operation Kindness.
- Support local journalists who are responding to the winter storm crisis and working around the clock to help get useful tips to mass audiences who may be trapped in their homes.
GoFundMe for the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Donate Via Venmo
- Dallas: @feedthepeopledallas
- Houston: @mutualaidhou
- Austin: @austinmutualaid
- San Antonio: @pmgmutualaid
Photography by Seth Winig for AP Photo