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“Lets see how far we can go.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has raised $2 million in less than a day for the Texas storm crisis. Photo:BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, Contributor / AFP/Getty Images
“Lets see how far we can go.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez has raised $2 million in less than a day for the Texas storm crisis. Photo:BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI, Contributor / AFP/Getty Images

After raising $2 million, Rep. AOC heads to Texas to meet Rep. Sylvia Garcia and distribute supplies

Texas Reps continue to raise efforts to mitigate the disaster resulting from the failure of Texas’ power grid that was years in the making.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) has raised $2 million dollars for Texas relief organizations working to aid people suffering from freezing temperatures and mass power outages in mere hours.

As millions suffered, Texas’ failing energy grid was also revealed. Most of the power outages stem from lack of winterization of the state's independent energy system, and it has been slow to recover because of the freezing conditions.

The longer it takes to restore power, the longer constituents are left in the cold, which is why dozens of lawmakers and leaders — or rather, the ones who stayed in the country — are raising money to help charity organizations do what they can. 

As Sen. Ted Cruz faced nationwide outrage after flying to Cancun as a storm left many people in Texas without power, other politicians were raising funds and making welfare calls.

Julián Castro, Beto O'Rourke, and even Rep. AOC hundreds of miles away in New York, put their social media power together to fund local organizations to provide warming shelters, food, and other resources. 

“Charity isn’t a replacement for good governance, but we won’t turn away from helping people in need when leadership fails. People understand that is the time for collective action and doing whatever we can w/ what we’ve got,” wrote AOC on Twitter.

She said she was “totally blown away” by the contributions, which by Friday morning had already surpassed $2 million.

The New York rep is now scheduled to fly to the Houston area to meet fellow Hispanic Caucus member, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, to distribute supplies and raise awareness about the situation.

O’Rourke ran against Cruz in the 2018 midterm election, and ran a subsequent bid for Democratic presidential nominee in 2019.  He said his volunteers contacted nearly 800,000 Texans, offering advice on food insecurity, transportation, and shelter.

He later thanked Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for her own fundraising efforts, which she says will go directly to five organizations that are providing food, shelter, and more. It is unclear whether O’Rourke will meet the Reps. AOC and Garcia during their distribution efforts. 

Nearly half a million Texans remained without power on Thursday, Feb. 18 and at least 20 people in the U.S. have died in the conditions, and at least 34 in total. Immigration camps across the border are bearing the most life-threatening conditions, with many living in flimsy tents in below-freezing temps.

To combat the slow return of power, Rep. Joaquin Castro led the Texas delegation in a letter to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, expressing “grave concerns” that power outages are not distributed fairly. He was joined by Reps. Garcia, Vicente Gonzalez, Veronica Escobar, and more. 

When the council finally replied to their concerns, Rep. Castro said their answers were “woefully inadequate.”

“It’s clear that @ERCOT_ISO failed to take sufficient action to prevent this crisis — and we need a full investigation, including federal oversight, for reforms,” he wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Castro also joined a letter calling on FEMA to approve Texas’ request for a major disaster declaration, which would release critical federal support to help impacted communities. 

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