This has been a difficult and important week in our country. In our community and across the country, people are coming together to remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others before them, to protest against the injustices that led to their deaths, and to demand equal justice for all.
As we have seen continued protests across the country, we have seen the great challenges before us and an unyielding hope in America. At this moment, as we confront profound pain and a complex history, but we also have a real opportunity to do critical work to move our community and our country forward.
On Tuesday, I joined the 60,000 Houstonians who came together for a peaceful march in memory of George Floyd, in support of his family, and in a spirit of hope. I was grateful to be present to listen and to feel the power, compassion, and strength of our Houston community as we work for change, here and across the country.
I continue to be grateful for the community leaders here in Houston who have led peaceful marches, demonstrations, and memorial events as well as for our local government and law enforcement officials who have marched with them. We have seen the very best of this country reflected in the peaceful, hopeful messages and in the belief that we can work together for meaningful change.
At the same time, we have seen abuses of this moment, as well, in violent acts by some that seek to distract from the message or to take advantage of this moment and do damage to people and property is unacceptable. All Americans deserve to be safe from violence and fear.
This week, I joined as an original cosponsor of H.R. 7100, the George Floyd Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act of 2020 (LETIA). This bill, authored by Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, calls for new policing standards, including measures to incentivize accreditation and development programs as well as proposals for oversight, reform, and accountability in law enforcement.
Following the use of tear gas, flashbangs, and rubber munitions during a peaceful protest outside the White House on Monday, I joined more than 80 of my colleagues in calling on Attorney General Barr to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate this decision, and I joined more than 120 of my colleagues calling on Attorney General Barr to explain the decision to have unidentified law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C.
This week, I participated in telephone meetings with my colleagues in Congress about the events happening across the country, legislative responses, and oversight as well as our work responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and other committee work.
I was glad to participate in a virtual panel discussion organized by the Anti-Defamation League with Houston City Councilmember Abbie Kamin and Constable Alan Rosen about the issues facing our community and country, including racism, bigotry, and intolerance. And also to join State Representative Sarah Davis to for a virtual meeting with the Greater Houston Women's Chamber of Commerce to discuss what the “New Normal” in the COVID-19 pandemic means for businesses across our community.
I also enjoyed a virtual visit with nurses across our community about the work Congress is doing to keep health care professionals safe as they continue to work on the frontlines of COVID-19. And of course, I was glad to hear from so many of you about ways my team and I can be helpful, and the issues on your minds.
As you know, Governor Abbott instituted the third phase of reopening last week, and many people throughout our community have come together to mourn and to march. Our public health experts remind us that the novel coronavirus is still prevalent in our area. In recent days, the number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations have risen. I urge you to take care, take appropriate precautions, and stay safe. Testing is still available through Houston and Harris County, and you can find more information here:
In addition, my office has a list of resources on my website
– everything from housing assistance, veterans resources, unemployment information, support for small businesses, and more. We’ve also assembled guides that you can download, print, and share:
During these difficult times, we are continually reminded of the values we share and the things we can accomplish together. I am honored and proud to represent you, and I am here to help you. Please let me know what my team and I can do for you by emailing here or calling (713) 353-8680 any time.