Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Galveston & Mayor White—After Hurricane Ike Post #2 From Downtown Houston Library

Some observations about Hurricane Ike and its impact on Houston and Galveston in the 31 minutes I have left on the computer at the Houston Downtown Public Library. Many people are at the terminals and others are waiting in line to use the computers.   

( Sorry for the absence of links here. Don’t have the time in this setting.)

The wife and I are now at five days without power since Ike. The wife and I and hundreds of thousands of others in and around Houston are without power. While I have little trust in the electric company,( or in the cable company or the phone company,) I do believe they are doing their best to restore power. In any case, the absence of power is a small burden in relation to the problems others have in Galveston and elsewhere.

It’s a small burden in relation to the problems people have around the world everyday.

It seems clear that officials in Galveston are over-matched by the task of letting folks back on the island to see their homes. The failure to order a mandatory evacuation in good time is an issue voters in Galveston can address later. For now, the Governor’s office or some wise man or wise woman should offer help to Galveston city officials to work this problem out. It felt yesterday that they were pretty much fending for themselves. They have so much work to do. They need some outside guidance.

I’m still waiting to pass a more solid judgement on FEMA. Though I don’t understand why the FEMA Director and the Homeland Security Secretary have not been here 24/7. Houston Mayor Bill White has clearly not been happy with some of FEMA’s early efforts. Though the Mayor has his own agenda of a statewide run in the next few years and his words and deeds must be viewed through the prism of his own ambitions. The Mayor surely does not want to be blamed for a poor hurricane response.

Houston and the Houston- area have so many poor people all the time. I guess it takes a disaster for their needs to be seen as meriting swift action. A disaster and the fact that many others have big problems at the same time. You can be certain that these folks will be forgotten again soon enough. It will take more than people volunteering to cut down a neighbor’s fallen tree limbs to give a more complete sense of community to this city.

It would be great to see so-called civic leaders and alleged community leaders and self-professed religious leaders call now for a kind of reconstruction of our city and its everyday acceptance of poverty and inequality. Just as we can we can rebuild structures, we can also change our minds and see a new and better city. 

Let’s also make sure we don’t forget the good folks in Beaumont, Orange, Bridge City and other places that took a hit from Ike. 

My time is running out. (In so many respects!) In the immediate sense my time is running out on this computer. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal and good luck.

September 17, 2008 - Posted by | Galveston, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , ,


  1. You are a rare find with your desire to see more equality in our society. While volunteering at a shelter following hurricane Katrina, we met a family that we have been trying to help ever since.
    People do not understand how their lives were devastated and how the government, laws and policies hold them down. They are much worse off than they were before Katrina – and there is no way for them to even get back the life that they had. It is complicated and people don’t want to listen long enough to understand – they just want to blame the people who “don’t help themselves”.

    Comment by Stephanie Ehmen | September 22, 2008

  2. Stephanie–Thanks for your nice comment. Nothing I can add to improve on it.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 23, 2008

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