The following is a letter to ERCOT, Gov. Abbott, and other Texas leaders from an Our Revolution Texas member.   

I’m a teacher in Austin, TX, and I am outraged. I have suffered along with my colleagues and students during this egregious mismanagement of our power by ERCOT. Every day without my power I thought about how my kiddoes were doing. Some had literally just received coats in our coat drive a week ago. If all they had was a stylish new jacket to weather this epic failure, I can’t imagine how greatly they and their family suffered. I hope like hell I see them in class next week.

I feel desperate. Desperate for good news. Desperate because I could not provide good news to my students, friends and family about this crisis ending soon. Which it hasn’t yet. I am currently surviving on Minute rice and pickles. My partner, who teaches with me at a public high school here in Austin, has severe allergies which makes grocery shopping and/or eating out very difficult in the good times. Now we can’t even drive out of our parking lot, and even when that thaws...where would we get food safe for his consumption? Right now I don’t know.

I actually have no idea because another tragedy of epic proportions was extreme lack of information. I had no cell data as I’m sure towers were throttled. I was only spared drinking contaminated water because Austin ISD, bless them, called and left a voicemail. We had no alerts sent to phones or calls that went out. We had no idea where to go or who to turn to for help. Luckily for us, we are campers. We had gear. We’ve been in freezing temperatures before. We didn’t have small children or pets to protect. But where are these emergency alert systems and why weren’t they activated?

I’m from Amarillo, so honestly the weather was nothing new. I can still remember the time it snowed so much I walked right up on top of our roof. But what was new were the conditions. We can’t even winterize major arterial roadways? I live off s 1st a direct corridor into the heart of downtown, and on Monday the road became a death trap. And as I sat watching the temperature fall in my 500sq ft apartment, I could look out my kitchen window at the rows of high rise buildings sitting empty and well lit through it all. Those lights mocked our meager provisions and a miserly hourly existence.

What most angers me is that, I know it could have been worse and that it was worse for thousands of my fellow Texans. It angers me that you will write this letter off and never look back. This letter coming to you from a life-long Texas constituent. This letter coming to you from someone who loves Texas more than you’ll ever know or understand. Certainly more than you understand because you value money and pride above all things.

I’m not religious, but I believe in your “good book” Pride cometh before a fall. And I hope you fall hard and fast and get out of our way. Because Texas is a great state, made greater without you in it or “working” for it.

Sincerely,
Kristen Jones

Our Revolution Our Revolution Texas

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Official Account: Fighting to turn Texas progressive, born from @BernieSanders 2016 run & from @JimHightower. #1u #GreenNewDeal #MedicareForAll #JusticeForAll