Yesterday morning, Bob Fleming put out a call to his network of faith-based organizations, asking how people in the Houston area are coping with the record-breaking winter storm that has gripped much of Texas for five days.
"For those asking, it's four days later and I still don't have power. I've been looking for a hotel since day two. We got power for maybe 20 minutes yesterday and then it went back out. It's devastating for me and my two children," said one woman.
The winter storm and freezing temperatures have left more than millions of people without power, water or both.
The failure of the state electric grid led faith leaders across the state to call out Gov. Greg Abbott for a lack of leadership and preparation. They urged him to request assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Administration and to utilize the state's $10 billion "rainy-day" fund to help Texans cover expensive home repairs and energy bills.
They also called on state leadership to take steps to modernize and weatherize its electric grid. They pointed to cities like El Paso and Beaumont, both of which receive electricity from out-of-state grids and did not face the same level of outages.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash hit musical "Hamilton," is practically a household name. And as a theater enthusiast who has long admired his work, NCR national correspondent Christopher White has had a peripheral knowledge of his father, Luis.
"It's hard to watch any interview with Lin without detecting his father's influence on him and, very often, Luis is seen in the background cheering on his son," writes White. And with the release of a new HBO documentary, "Siempre, Luis," Luis Miranda is now center stage.
Long before his son was in the spotlight, Luis Miranda made a name for himself as a fixture in New York's state politics, first cutting his teeth in the 1980s working for Mayor Ed Koch. He has since gone on to advise Sen. Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton and a host of other political luminaries.
As the documentary chronicles, Luis has two great loves in life: family and country. And for him, the borders of both should be welcoming and expansive.
- You can find more content like this in NCR's weekly culture newsletter, written by opinion editor Olga Segura. Click this link to sign up for the newsletter.
- NCR political columnist Michael Sean Winters says
the U.S. bishops should capitalize on President Joe Biden restoring the
faith-based partnership office in the White House, rather than picking
fights with the president.
- St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Chicago has received a $1 million grant
from the Lilly Endowment to help establish a center inspired by Fr.
Augustus Tolton, the first U.S. Catholic priest recognized as Black.
- Students are demanding a stronger response from Boston College after two recent cases in which white students were accused of harassing Black and Hispanic students in a campus dorm.
- Your thoughts on the U.S. bishops disbanding its controversial working group formed to deal with President Joe Biden.