AOC Flies to Texas to Help at a Food Bank

Elizabeth Conley/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.In the aftermath of the historic winter storm that knocked out Texas’ power grid and hobbled its water supply, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) flew to Texas to join her house colleagues Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.) in volunteering at a food bank in Houston.

We hit $3.2 MILLION in Texas relief support last night!
One of the places it’s going is the Houston Food Bank. I’m visiting Reps. @JacksonLeeTX18 & @LaCongresista with volunteers to pack meals.
The bank REALLY needs helping hands.
Can you join a shift?
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 20, 2021

Not only were millions of Texans left in the dark and without running water, the disaster has also spurred a crisis with lines at food banks wrapping around city blocks across the state.
With the absence of state and local politicians, mutual aid networks and organizations stepped up to bring badly-needed supplies to those affected. And now Democrats in Congress are joining in—even those who are struggling as well. “Like many of you, I still don’t have running water and am using rain water to flush my toilet,” Rep. Garcia said on Twitter.

Like many of you, I still don’t have running water and am using rain water to flush my toilet.
I will continue fighting hard in Washington to ensure that we have power back in our homes, food on the table, and warm places to sleep.
We will get through this together.
— Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) February 18, 2021

The Democratic representatives lending a hand at the food bank stands in stark contrast to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) The senator, who lives in Houston with his wife and daughters, has faced a storm of criticism this week after getting caught flying with his family to Cancun, Mexico for a little rest and relaxation while everyday Texans froze in their homes.
No one expects any single politician, whether they represent Texas or not, to single-handedly fix all of state’s problems on their own, especially members of Congress who are not involved in state-level politics. But it creates an interesting split screen. Democratic representatives are raising money and handing out food to desperate people. When Cruz was forced to cut his vacation short, he flew home and did what any seasoned politician does in time of crisis—he went on Fox News.