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TOP Thanks Harris County Commissioners Court for Fund to Help Families Left Out by Federal Stimulus

Thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Rodney Ellis, today, the Harris County Commissioners Court gave preliminary approval for the creation of a $15 million fund to help people affected by the COVID-19 crisis who were unjustly left out of the federal stimulus package.

“The impact of this crisis has been felt by nearly every family in Harris County, but the federal government isn’t helping all of us,” said Damaris Gonzalez, organizer with the Texas Organizing Project. “We are grateful that Commissioner Ellis sees people’s suffering and has done something to help. We’re also grateful to Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioner Adrian Garcia for supporting this effort.”

The stimulus package passed by Congress was meant to help people who have been impacted by this unprecedented crisis that has exacerbated the precarious financial existence of many people in Harris County.

“I thank the commissioners who voted to pass this relief fund to help families like mine,’ said Kelly Sanchez, a TOP member who spoke during today’s meeting in support of the fund. “Since the coronavirus, my parents’ food truck has seen a decrease in customers, and they are not making the income to even buy essentials. Thank you for showing that we are all in this together, that we care for our neighbors’ well being. I’m proud of our county, and I’m grateful for everyone who voted for this.”

Last week, TOP worked with the City of San Antonio to pass a $9.1 million fund to help people left out of the federal stimulus package. TOP will continue urging local governments to fill the gap left by the federal government, including the City of Houston, Bexar County, the City of Dallas and Dallas County.

“No families should lose their homes, go hungry or suffer because the federal government chose to ignore their plight,” said Adan Fuentes, another TOP member who spoke in favor of the fund. Adan is a college student who was left out of the federal help. “We are all in this together, and we have to look out after our neighbors. I’m proud that our commissioners court today showed that they share our values, and cares about every resident in Harris County. We will be there to support them when they vote again to make this fund a reality.”

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Texas Organizing Project organizes Black and Latino communities in Dallas, Harris and Bexar counties with the goal of transforming Texas into a state where working people of color have the power and representation they deserve. For more information, visit organizetexas.org.

This press release was sent out April 28, 2020.