February 27, 2021

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travel, Always a step ahead

AOC raised more than $4 million for Texas winter storm crisis relief, volunteers at Houston Food Bank

5 min read

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flew into Houston Friday with a Texas-sized donation to deliver. She raised more than $4M for victims of the winter storm. By Saturday morning she was volunteering with other local elected Democrats at the Houston Food Bank, which stocks smaller food pantries in the city. A major portion of the money she raised will go to it.

AOC came to Texas at the invitation of Rep. Sylvia Garcia. Garcia, you may remember, was an impeachment manager for former President Trump’s first impeachment trial. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee was present, too. The main message was that disasters don’t strike everyone equally. The social justice warrior made a point to say that no one would be turned away from receiving food, documented or undocumented, as did Garcia.

“You already have so many families in the state and across the country on the brink that they can’t afford an emergency to begin with,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This can set people back for years, not just days.”

The country is rallying around the state of Texas to rebound from this tragedy, she said, but there must be policy decisions so “this kind of preventable devastation never happens again.”

The Houston Food Bank, which stocks smaller food pantries in the city, will receive a large portion of the funding, she said. At the food bank, no one has to prove they need assistance.

“Documented, undocumented, no matter your income or housing status, you can get help here,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Jackson Lee took the opportunity to put the blame for the hardships being experienced on Republicans who have been in control of the state. Those in need have “seen decades of neglect”.

Jackson-Lee said she has seen decades of neglect by the state when it concerns vulnerable and marginalized populations. Much of Garcia and Jackson-Lee’s districts went days without power or potable water this week, they said.

“A lot of vulnerable people, essential workers, marginalized people, a lot of documented or undocumented, they are our residents, they are our brothers and sisters,” Jackson-Lee said. “We know so many of them suffered hardships even more than I imagined.”

AOC spent some of her Saturday in Houston knocking on doors in Garcia’s district and checking on residents. She pointed to “her privilege” – she’s received the COVID vaccination. In photos, it looked like she was double masking but she was shaking hands with people, which I thought was still a no-no. It’s hard to keep up. Anyway, because she’s been vaccinated, she said it allowed her to travel to Texas in person. “We want to help everybody. You need it, we’ll be there,” she said. “That’s the New York spirit, the Texas spirit; that’s the American spirit.”

I’m not going to criticize her for raising money for people in need and then delivering it. It does, though, make Garcia and her fellow Houston Democrats look less capable at delivering for their constituents. Sandy from the Bronx raised a lot of money that will feed a lot of Houstonians. There is a little bit of curiosity I have about all this, though – did she do it to dunk on Ted Cruz? She has an antagonistic relationship with him on social media and after his Mexican resort adventure public relations disaster, it makes me wonder. She began raising money online Thursday. With her loyal following and almost celebrity status among leftists, it didn’t take her long to raise an impressive amount of money.

As Houston Public Media reports, the money will go toward several organizations, including the Houston Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas, and the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center. But charity itself, while helpful, doesn’t replace the need for policies that prevent power grids from failing in the future, Ocasio-Cortez said.

“We need to make sure that we make short and long-term policy decisions to that this devastation — preventable devastation — never happens again,” she said.

Another Democrat in Congress, Rep. Ro Khanna, Chairman of the Environment Subcommittee, wants to investigate how fossil fuel failed Texans. That is cynical and disingenuous – renewable energy like wind and solar failed miserably when every other form of energy failed. Never let a crisis go to waste, right?

Frankly, I’d love to be able to write about Texas Republican officials pitching in and distributing food and water for those in need. So far, I’ve noticed two on social media- my own state legislator who worked along with a Democrat state legislator and his television reporter wife yesterday to distribute tacos with an elementary school’s PTO. Also, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who always works energetically for fellow Texans.

AOC sings the praises of socialism yet she proves that government aid is slow while Americans pitching in to help other Americans is often the more speedy and efficient way to go. She unintentionally proves that government cannot move quickly and can’t always deliver in a timely manner for those in real need.

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