As you can see from the news, Houston and surrounding areas were hit hard, and many of my fellow Houstonians and members of surrounding areas lost everything. The City of Houston is about to transform from an area with an economy so strong it weathered the Great Recession into something else entirely.
I’m writing today because of the overwhelming response of Indivisible groups across the nation asking how you can support our city right now.
As Houston Rep Al Green told NPR yesterday, “We've got to show our people that when we have these tragedies, when they're confronted with catastrophic events, that the federal government is going to do what it's supposed to.”
As Indivisible members and groups, we’ve called our representatives all year demanding they stand up to the Trump administration and its repulsive agenda, with pretty damn impressive success. Right now, it’s time to call your member of Congress (MoC) and demand the federal government step up up to rebuild Houston over the long haul. You can check out Indivisible’s new policy explainer here.
Here’s what your MoCs need to hear from you:
Demand immediate relief for areas affected by Harvey. Members of the Texas delegation are leading efforts to appropriate emergency relief for Houston, coastal Texas, and Louisiana. This is a national crisis and every Member of Congress should support aid for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. Make sure that your MoCs do, too.
Resist funding cuts to disaster preparedness and response.Trump has called for massive cuts to FEMA, the coast guard, and other programs that are essential to prepare for and respond to disasters like Harvey. But funding is the job of Congress, so make sure your MoC doesn’t cut these important programs.
Rebuild Houston, not some stupid wall. We need infrastructure, medical help, jobs and economic security to rebuild Houston and the Gulf Coast, not a thousand mile long political posture for Trump’s white supremacist worldview. Demand your members of Congress supply federal funding to rebuild our cities and our communities—not for a costly and unnecessary wall.
Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. Even as Houston sits under water, Congress is unsure about whether it should reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, which is intended to protect Americans from events like Harvey and expires on September 30. Congress needs to not just reauthorize the program, but strengthen it.
Address climate change in a meaningful way. Tropical Storm Harvey is real, so is climate change. We need a deliberative grassroots-driven plan that takes into account the strong likelihood of future climate disasters while taking action to avert the worst of the climate crisis. If Congress won’t address climate change, then we need to make sure our local and state governments are.
We’re in a terrible situation, and it’s going to take a lot of time, effort and money to get us out. But we will get through it. Indivisible is the broadest, most powerful grassroots political community our nation has ever seen, and y’all can help. And when we do rebuild, come and visit us sometime!
For more ways to help specific communities and a list of organizations working on the ground that you can donate to right now, check out my IndivisiBlog post.