Dear Neighbor,

This week, as our community reflects on the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey and its impact on our region, we are closely monitoring, not just one, but two storms in the Gulf.  Current forecasts predict Houston will see impacts from these storms – I urge you, if you haven’t already, to prepare, stay informed, and above all, stay safe.

Ready Harris has prepared a hurricane brochure, a disaster kit checklist, an evacuation zip zone map, and COVID-19 sheltering information in multiple languages, all of which you can find here.  You can also sign up for ReadyHarris alerts here.  My office has prepared a 2020 Hurricane Season Resources List, which you can access here

I know our strong and resilient community will get through this as we have before: by helping one another.  And be assured that my office stands ready to provide assistance wherever we can.  While our primary concern is anticipating the impacts of Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura, I also wanted to provide a brief update on my work this week below.

In response to concerns about what is happening with the U.S. Postal Service, the House passed the Delivering for America Act yesterday in a special Saturday session.  I have heard from neighbors across our district that protecting the Postal Service is a priority.  In fact, this issue has quickly risen to one the top of the list of issues people have called our office about this entire Congress.

That’s why I was proud to co-sponsor and vote for this bill, which provides the $25 billion in emergency funding that the Postal Service requested to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It prohibits any changes to operations that would impede prompt, reliable, and efficient service.  People across our district and across the country rely on the Postal Service to deliver their mail – their medicines, paychecks, social security checks, ballots, and more – and I am glad this critical bill to ensure the Postal Service has the support it needs to continue delivering our mail passed the House. 

After talking with U.S. Postal Service personnel and residents, I dropped by my post office this week to check in.

This week I also worked with my colleagues to introduce the bipartisan Pipeline Safety Pilot Program Act.  This bill would establish a pilot program for pipeline safety enhancement at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  I originally presented this program as an amendment to the PHMSA reauthorization bill the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed last year, and I am glad to work with my colleagues to introduce it as a standalone bill to ensure the technology necessary to maintain pipelines operating safely can be included in any final legislative package to reauthorize PHMSA.

Before heading back to Washington, I visited with many constituents throughout our community to discuss the issues that matter most to them.  I was also able to get a preview of the new Uptown Bus Rapid Transit silver line on Post Oak with Houston METRO and Uptown Houston.  We took this photo on the line high above 610.  It almost looks like an album cover!  

Tour of Uptown Bus Rapid Transit silver line

I was glad to meet by telephone and over Zoom with residents and groups including the Harris County Medical Society and the Greater Houston Oncology Nursing Association to hear about the ways that COVID-19 directly impact healthcare professionals in our community.  I also spoke with local restaurateurs about the RESTAURANTS Act, a bill I have co-sponsored, about the ways it could help local restaurants struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas health officials reported nearly 200 coronavirus deaths Saturday, marking it the 20th highest day for newly reported deaths since the pandemic began.  The number of hospitalized continued to steadily decrease this week.  In Harris County, we have had more than 97,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,183 deaths.  Harris County has developed Metrics for Success to keep track of how COVID-19 is impacting our community and outline the coordinated efforts and systems our community leaders are utilizing to make decisions in this difficult time.  In order for it to be effective, we must all do our part to slow the spread of the virus. 

This week, we face a unique challenge with the approaching storms and the ongoing pandemic.  Please know that my team and I are here to help and serve as a resource during this time.  I urge you to reach out to us with any concerns, questions, or to share your experiences.  You can call email here or call us at (713) 353-8680 any time.

I am proud to represent you, and I am here to help you.

Best wishes, 

1429 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2571
5599 San Felipe Road, Suite 950
Houston, TX 77056
Phone: (713) 353-8680