As you know, a devastating hurricane reached landfall in southeast Texas over the weekend. Winds reached more than 100 miles an hour, with at least 50 inches of rain expected in some areas by the time the storm is through. There is widespread property damage and power outages. Much of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, is underwater. Roughly 7,400 AFSCME members are in the heavily-impacted areas. A crisis like this brings out the best in public service workers. Your AFSCME sisters and brothers have been on the front lines of the rescue effort. This is one of those moments when we show our commitment to our communities.
On Saturday afternoon, AFSCME correctional officers helped evacuate roughly 5,000 prisoners from three different units without incident, thanks to incredible teamwork, planning and preparedness.
Members of HOPE (Houston Organization of Public Employees, AFSCME Local 123) are doing heroic work with their fire and police colleagues, rescuing flooded families and delivering clean water. Many of the hospital workers of Harris County Local 1550 have been unable to leave work to check on their own homes. One AFSCME member even rescued two women in labor and helped ensure healthy delivery of their babies.
We are in ongoing contact with our leaders on the ground in Texas, finding out what they need and how we can help. We’ll follow up with you as we learn more. In the meantime, please let your fellow members know that the AFSCME family nationwide is thinking about them and praying for them. Please give today. Any little bit will help.
Thank you for everything you do.
In solidarity, Lee Saunders President Elissa McBride Secretary-Treasurer