Texans are wrought with concern over serious human issues in our state. Why doesn’t our governor share the same sentiment?
Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered a State of the State address on Monday, February 1st, 2021.
What native Texas residents were reminded of in this address was the continuing stark distinction between what matters to most Texans and what matters to the Governor of Texas and his cronies.
After giving preliminary statements intended to create unification between Texas residents, business patrons, and political parties, Abbott continued with an informal run-down of items and topics he would be proposing for change and improvement to session this year.
For those generational Texans still left in Texas, particularly Austin, Texas, who indeed, are what Facebook calls “woke”, this speech falls short in terms of addressing with any real strategy or believable exuberance, the things that the average Texan is actually concerned about.
I fell short myself in being impressed with not only the prioritization of “emergent points,” but also the lack of answers to how-we-gonna-do-that for any of the topics mentioned in his address.
That said, following is a brief overview of presented points, emergent and otherwise.
- Boosting border patrol efforts. Mention-in-passing of trafficking and drug “smuggling.”
- Continued protection of Freedom of Religion.
- Improved and increased protective laws for gun ownership.
- (Inconclusive) support for abortion control.
- Creating strategies to protect businesses from claims/suits of unsafe Covid practices with decreased regulations overall for business safety protocols, despite the many cases of Covid infection caused by those same businesses’ refusal to follow Covid safety measures. EMERGENT
- Creating strategies to help businesses stay open (safely) during a pandemic.
- Continued (inconclusive) support for funding education with emphasis on promoting stateism and patriotism.
- Healthcare: pandemic support -mental health funding- (not well-explained as to who true recipients are or the addressing of Texas governor’s refusal to accept Medicaid funding which would provide said support, wonderfully.) Includes his intent to help more Texans with pre-existing conditions acquire access to adequate care. No route or plan to do this explained, or possible, without accepting and implementing Medicaid expansion funding.
- Support of telemedicine to address residents’ needs: increasing broadband to meet this need regionally. EMERGENT
- Increase of funding to law enforcement for “training/tools.” EMERGENT
- Funding to address and better monitor bail requirements and follow-up: Damon Allen Act. EMERGENT
- Securing “Election Integrity.” EMERGENT
If several of these named issues were actually to be resolved, and were indeed major priorities for the governor and our political leaders, they would not still be on the register for session. They would have already been funded and dealt with as the necessity that they are.
Other issues are a misnomer, not the emergency hailed, and certain others are under-represented and under-valued…primarily those involving actual human rights/ basic needs.
As a Texan nurse and a mother, I would have to say that I certainly do not agree with the “emergent” status of most of the topics presented in the address as emergencies.
I find it ridiculously appalling that Election Integrity wins a seat at the emergency table, but sex and human trafficking and abortion management do not. The lack of such, once again, reveals the governor’s priorities actually do not include life and the protection of it. A mere mention of human and drug “smuggling” (a term not used since the 1980’s, by the way) is exactly what session will make of the crises of both in comparison with said “emergency” of funding the police to better train and ‘tool” (appropriate word used) the police force to better serve the people.
Abbott’s claim is that the Austin community would be at risk by de-funding the police.
Well, I suppose, that to the Governor of Texas, the risk imposed daily by the Austin Police Department and its widespread racially motivated and discreet crimes towards our residents of color, is not an emergency at all. To clarify the reality, the actual widespread emergency here is law enforcement’s treatment of minorities and their unabashed cover up of their crimes in uniform. Lives are being lost here in record numbers, but this, again, is not a priority or emergency to the governor.
It is to me. It is to many, many residents of Texas.
Abbott’s claim regarding his stance on (de)funding police leads me to present, as a citizen of Texas and as a human being, what an actual emergency is and what it is not.
When life, limb, safety and health are compromised in an individual, home, community or city…there is an urgent state of emergency at hand. When freedom and liberties are violated and no one in authority stands for them…this is an urgent state of emergency. When human beings are being sold, trafficked, abused and violated…this is of utmost emergent category requiring immediate and persistent intervention.
However, these items are NOT on our governor’s emergency list.
In contrast, what Texas Governor Abbott considers an emergency is increased border control…not for the actual prevention of human and drug trafficking, but to prevent the downtrodden and desperate from entering our state.
In addition, it appears that protecting businesses (from much deserved lawsuits) that were at the forefront of contributing to the covid infection rate through their refusal to adhere to covid safety regulations, is another “emergency” to the governor.
…My family and I personally made more than 15 complaints and reports to the City of Austin regarding the gross violations of Covid safety regulations being made by Snarf’s Sandwiches and Lowe’s during the height of the surge of Covid in this town last year. Investigators who came out to Snarf’s Sandwiches were offered lunches by the Snarf managers and disgusted employees watched as the investigators and managers laughing and guffawed with each other. Snarf’s managers continued to violate ordinances and regulations thereafter…
We do not know what, if any, liability Lowe’s was forced to accept concerning the consistent complaints to unresponsive management and to the city of Austin, regarding the company’s continued refusal to follow city and state Covid ordinances. Lowe’s fired my family members who made the complaints before knowledge of any investigation was acquired.
Governor Abbott does not state specifically why the above topic is such a priority for him, but does go on to cloud the reality of the blatant disregard for the health of those sued businesses’ employees and customers with a subversive highlight of other businesses who actually attempted to adhere to Covid regulations, (healthcare, grocery stores) instead.
He then just follows those statements with one revealing his intent to preserve the idea of election integrity.
This is primarily, as we know, due to the contributory vote and funding to his own political seat per said business colleagues…ahh, and here we have another “emergency” per Abbott in preserving election integrity…and what is that exactly?
Does that entail ensuring that our politicians are full of integrity or that the vote as the people make it is counted as it is? No need to wonder, based upon the latest debacle of a nationwide voting system as contested by America’s then-president, Donald Trump. We know as citizens of Texas and the U.S that our voting rights are compromised permanently due to the lack of authority either party involved took to adequately confirm that they were counted as valid and sacred.
Pride and self-serving agendas win out in this democracy and thanks to the most recent president, are now hailed as the norm for citizens to expect, with no apologies or hesitation on the part of our governing bodies and elected officials.
I agree with very little that this state-of-the-state-address considers important, but there are a few topics I do believe need to be addressed and scrutinized for better implementation and funding, in Texas and nationwide.
True emergencies requiring prompt funding and intervention:
The first is further increases in pay and benefits for teachers, as well as accompanying training associated with their specialties (age, subjects and teaching method-types).
The second is healthcare: across the board our state and its residents would wholly benefit from Texas accepting the Medicaid funding currently refused by our governor. This would exponentially expand widespread eligibility and access to consistent care for any Texans in need of adequate healthcare. Hands down.
The third issue is one mentioned by Abbott, but one he did not consider an emergency, which is really contraindicative of his intent to really force real change in this area. I support the need to protect the unborn. While I am not an advocate of abortion, I am an avid advocate for increased and persistently increasing funding for non-profits to help educate, provide for and support single parents, needy families and children and all associated issues encompassed for these vulnerable populations. It can be done when our political leaders agree that life in all stages is as important as the prenatal stage.
Lastly, human trafficking is a global pandemic which could have been virtually eradicated by now if it was seen and dealt with under the conviction that no amount of revenue made from extorting human life and innocence was ever an option to profit from.
Conversely, political leaders have given less than a glance at the problem, shamefully allowing it to fester and grow to horrific proportions.
This is not because anyone is afraid to tackle and address this issue. It is because so many people in high places are actually involved in it and yes, that is what I said. The revenue produced from trafficking in this country alone, in conjunction with revenue from drug “smuggling,” is inconceivable. Money wins.
Exorbitant revenue from the trafficking industry funds many politicians’ homes, trips, kids’ college tuitions, the endeavours of multitudinous small and large businesses, and even more individuals’ sordid goals, globally.
Reiterating, the human trafficking problem is an emergency as opposed to attempting to add more funds to any police department that is riddled with crimes and abuse towards the citizens it is supposed to serve.
Texas session this year has the responsibility to reprioritize the issues that Governor Abbot has presented and make changes, funding and decisions that protect both the basic human rights of Texas’ citizens and the overall morality of the state…accomplishing this through honoring and respecting all human life as the main priority.
This would entail meeting the need to widely increase access to healthcare, demanding a certain end to all police brutality and to preserving truth and justice, through refusing to continue assisting criminal acts and businesses.
A personal suggestion to add to session’s bullet-points would be the strong demand to remove our current Austin mayor, Steve Adler, from office as his own personal and professional agenda includes not one of the suggested topics on Governor Abbott’s list, emergent or not. He has, in fact, made a distinguishable joke out of the seriousness and professionalism of the position he holds and given the residents of Austin confirmation that he has no qualms about enforcing regulations that he himself has no intention of following.
The desire to rid ourselves of this multi-faced mayor-ship is one that already truly unifies many Texan residents, at least, in Austin.
Additional citing for Austin, Texas police brutality:
Additional citing for the benefits of Texas Expansion of Medicaid:
Additional citing for Texas businesses’ noncompliance to Covid regulations: