Due to the kind and generous donations raised from our (ongoing) fundraising effort that will be used for Harvey relief, Houston DSA would like to share the strategy we will be pursuing over the coming days, weeks, and months.
Importantly, our members will be working with other organizations in their communities as well as with other DSA chapters and at-large members who have offered their support from across the country. We aim to ensure that all effort and donations will go to those directlyaffected. Specifically, we will be pursuing a threefold strategy:
- Financial assistance to organizations working with undocumented people. Thanks to SB4 and a hostile environment bred by state Republicans, some undocumented residents may be scared away from using local, state and federal resources. So undocumented communities are especially impacted by Hurricane Harvey.Houston DSA is in talks with organizations that are already working in these communities to assess their needs and how we can support them financially through our fundraiser.
- Direct aid to individuals and communities. Material aid in the form of food, water and clothing is good, but many impacted individuals simply need direct financial aid to make it through the days and weeks to come. We are asking people impacted to let us know their needs through this form. When the floodwaters recede, we will go out into communities to talk directly to folks to identify persons in need as well. Direct aid efforts will be coordinated with local non-profits and emergency management.
- Tool kits for volunteer clean up teams. In addition to the outpouring of money going to the fundraiser, we have received a tremendous amount of people in DSA chapters around the country offering to come down to Texas to volunteer. In the weeks to come, many large, national charities will leave once the immediate danger has passed, but we will still be here. We want to harness that volunteer support by organizing “muck and gut” teams to help clean up efforts and potentially repair efforts (with guidance of contractors). We plan on purchasing a tool kit with equipment for each of these teams.
It is important to remember that Tropical Storm Harvey is a natural disaster. But the human suffering involved isn’t natural at all. Years of short-term profit based development decisions have made Houston more flood-prone just as climate change makes incoming storms larger and more dangerous.
The same capitalists who push this unsustainable development are the ones saying that climate change isn’t real. But Houston DSA members — and DSA members from across Texas and even surrounding states — are showing that we can do better. We can come together as socialists, support each other, and build a better future.