Photo by KPRC.
By Terrance Turner
Feb. 20, 2021
While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) faces backlash for his trip to Cancun amid Texas winter storms, one of his political rivals is doing his job for him. House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) flew to Houston last night, joining Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) to help out struggling Texans. On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez (known as AOC) launched a fundraiser to help millions facing freezing temperatures without heat, lights, or water as a result of the storm (and Texas’ failure of an energy grid). The fundraiser was a rousing success.
“Wow. We officially raised $1 million for Texas relief at 9:17pm.,” she tweeted Thursday night. “Thank you all so much.” By Friday, she tweeted, that figure had risen to $2 million. She announced she would fly to Houston to join with Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia to distribute supplies. Ocasio-Cortez is using Act Blue to fundraise, a Democratic fundraising tool that helps her build an email “listserv” as she receives donations, according to CNN.
This morning, AOC partnered with two Texas lawmakers to continue relief work. AOC joined Garcia and Shelia Jackson-Lee of Texas on Saturday morning. According to KPRC, the elected officials met at the Houston Food Bank to pack boxes of meals and share their plan to help Texans hit hard by this week’s deadly weather event. Today, at 11:42 am, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez announced that she helped to raise $3.2 million.
The link included in her tweet (Support relief efforts in Texas — Donate via AB Charities (actblue.com) brings together groups that assist homeless, hungry and elderly Texans. (When you click on the link, you’re taken to a page that requests donations. Your contribution will be split evenly between 12 organizations, including the Central Texas Food Bank, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Family Eldercare, ECHO (Ending Community Homelessness Coalition), Southeast Texas Food Bank, Feeding Texas, and the Houston Food Bank — the largest food bank in the United States.) The chosen organizations either provide food support, elder care, or shelter assistance.
The congresswomen then made a stop to Texas’ 29th District, Garcia’s district, to knock on doors and talk to families impacted. As AOC noted, those impacted were already on the margins to begin with, struggling to make ends meet. “Disasters don’t strike everyone equally,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “When you already have so many families across the state and country, that are on the brink, that can’t even afford and emergency to begin with, when you have a disaster like this, it can set people back for years, not just days.”
UPDATE: The total amount has now reached $4 million, according to AOC.