Something special is in the air, and it’s not just cedar fever.
2017 was a devastating year for many Texans. Hurricane Harvey killed at least 90 people, caused over $100 billion in damage, flooded hundreds of thousands of homes and displaced tens of thousands of people.
A largely misguided Texas legislative session and special session put ideology over the concerns of hard-working Texans, which led to missed opportunities and some dangerous new laws.
Congressional leaders attacked the Affordable Care Act, a valuable law that has led to dramatic reductions in the uninsured rate in Texas.
Immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ Americans and others were unfairly targeted, and remain vulnerable to political and personal attacks as the new year begins.
But I am fiercely optimistic about what we can accomplish in 2018.
I’m inspired by the powerful voices of women telling their stories of harassment and abuse through the #MeToo and TimesUp campaigns, and demanding accountability.
I’m inspired by the bravery of DACA recipients, young immigrants who are contributing so much to our state and country and who refuse to give up on their dreams.
I’m inspired to see so many newcomers across the political spectrum engaged in our democracy and running for office.
And I’m inspired by all the conversations I’ve had with Texans of all backgrounds who are revved up and ready for real change.
I don’t want to sugarcoat the challenges ahead of us in Texas. But as we saw after Hurricane Harvey, we will harness the power, compassion and resilience of the Texas spirit to demand a more just and prosperous Texas.
Image: “Sunrise Over PM”, BFS Man, Flickr Creative Commons, License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode