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[00:00:06]

HI, GOOD MORNING, MORNING.

I JUST PUT MY BABY DOWN FOR NAP, BUT IF HE CRIES, I MAY HAVE TO GO GET HIM.

HE MAY JOIN US, BUT HOPEFULLY FINGERS CROSSED.

THANKS.

WE ALWAYS LOVE, WE ALWAYS LOVED BABIES ON, WE ALWAYS LOVED BABIES ON OUR LIPS.

I'M GLAD TO HEAR THAT JUST IN CASE, YOU KNOW, IT'S NICE TO KNOW.

THAT'S AN OFTEN DOESN'T GET ABSOLUTELY.

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU HAVE A MUTE BUTTON AND NOBODY CAN HEAR, AND ALL WE GET TO DO IS SEE THIS SMILING BABY.

YEAH, FANTASTIC.

IT'S MEMBER CLEMENS.

WE HAVE A QUORUM SO YOU CAN CALL THEM MEANING WHEN YOU'RE READY.

ALL RIGHT.

[CALL TO ORDER - 10:00am]

UM, WELL, UH, THIS MORNING, EVERYONE, I WILL BE CHAIRING, UM, OUR TASK FORCE MEETING AND SEEING AS WE DO HAVE A QUORUM, I AM GOING TO GO AHEAD AND CALL THE MEETING TO ORDER IT IS 10:03 AM.

UH, WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE SAME TIME WE STARTED LAST TIME.

SO I'M GLAD THAT WE'RE ON A ROLL.

UM, AND SO,

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – May 21, 2021]

UH, THE FIRST ITEM ON OUR AGENDA IS GOING TO BE TO APPROVE THE MINUTES.

DID EVERYONE GET THOSE MINUTES AND, UH, WAS ABLE TO LOOK OVER THEM.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, WERE GREAT.

AND, UM, PATRICIA, WOULD YOU MIND DISPLAYING THOSE LOOKS LIKE WE'RE ALREADY DOING THAT.

ALL RIGHT.

OKAY.

SO THIS IS JUST OUR AGENDA.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, IF THERE ARE NO CORRECTIONS, UM, ON THE MINUTES THAT ANYONE WANTS TO MAKE, UM, WE APPROVE THE MINUTES SECOND.

GREAT.

ALL RIGHT.

UH, MINUTES ARE APPROVED.

ALL RIGHT.

[2. a. Listening Session – community members and organizational representatives provide testimony on their experiences during and in that aftermath of Winter Storm Uri.]

SO IF YOU ALL WERE NOT ALREADY AWARE, WE DO HAVE A COUNCIL MEMBER HERE WITH US THIS MORNING, SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE HER HERE.

UM, COUNCIL MEMBER, ALISON ALTER, UM, WHO IS HERE TO OFFER US A COUPLE OF WORDS TO START OFF BEFORE WE HEAR OUR SPEAKERS.

WELL, THANK YOU.

AND GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.

UH, MY NAME IS ALISON ALTER AND I REPRESENT CENTRAL AND NORTHWEST AUSTIN.

I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU BEING HERE, OUR CALLERS AND OUR TASK FORCE MEMBERS.

UM, THE WINTER STORM WAS AN EXPERIENCE, UM, THAT WE WERE HOPING NOT TO RELIVE AND THEN SOME OF US RELIVED IT THIS WEEKEND.

UM, ALTHOUGH WITHOUT THE INCLEMENT WEATHER, UM, SEE, I GOT MY KID, MOLLY, MOLLY TOO.

UM, CAUSE SHE'S NOT A BABY ANYMORE.

UM, ANYWAY, UM, YOU KNOW, THIS PAST WEEKEND, UM, I THINK MANY OF US HAD SOME PTSD, UM, ABOUT THE WINTER STORM.

UM, YOU KNOW, WE HAD ALMOST 35,000, 40,000 OUT OF POWER AGAIN, UM, THIS WEEKEND, UM, A LOT OF THE SAME THINGS THAT WE EXPERIENCED, THEN WE STILL HAVE MUCH MORE TO FIX, UM, WHEN IT COMES TO AUSTIN ENERGY.

UM, I KNOW THAT I UNDERSTAND THAT PART OF WHAT EACH OF THE COUNCIL MEMBERS IS DOING IS SPEAKING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES IN OUR DISTRICT.

UM, DURING WINTER STORM URI, UM, IN MY DISTRICT, THE EVENT REALLY STARTED ON FEBRUARY 11TH.

SO LONG BEFORE THE AIR CAUGHT, UM, OUTAGES BEGAN ON THE 14TH AND THE 15TH MORNING, UM, OF THE MONDAY, UM, BECAUSE WE HAD AN ICE STORM THAT REALLY CHALLENGED, UM, A NUMBER OF THE CIRCUITS IN OUR DISTRICT AT ONE POINT 40% OF MY DISTRICT WAS OUT OF POWER IN THAT FEBRUARY 11TH TO 14TH PERIOD.

UM, AND YOU KNOW, A BIG CULPRIT, THERE WAS VEGETATION MANAGEMENT THAT WE HAVE, UM, KNOWN FOR A WHILE HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE WITH AUSTIN ENERGY, BUT HAD JUST FINALLY PASSED OUR CONTRACTS TO GET THAT DONE, UM, AND HAD BEEN WORKING TO SET UP SYSTEMS SO THAT THE TREE TRIMMING THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN CAN HAPPEN OUT, UM, IN THE COMMUNITIES.

SO MANY PEOPLE IN DISTRICT 10 HAD THE OUTAGES FROM THE 11TH TO THE 14TH.

THEY MAY HAVE GOTTEN THEIR POWER BACK OFF AND FOR A LITTLE BIT ON THE 14TH.

AND THEN THEY WERE OUT AGAIN ON THE 15TH FOR HOWEVER MANY DAYS, IT TOOK FOR THEIR POWER, UM, TO GET BACK ON, UM, AS IT WAS FOR EVERYONE IN THE CITY, IT WAS A, YOU KNOW, A TRYING EXPERIENCE, UM, ON THE POSITIVE NOTE, UM, WE ARE REALLY SEEING, UM, THAT DOING THE VEGETATION MANAGEMENT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE NON-AIR CAUGHT RELATED ASPECTS OF THE STORM WITH RESPECT TO ENERGY.

UM, THIS WEEKEND, THE CIRCUITS THAT DIDN'T HAVE THAT HAD THE VEGETATION MANAGEMENT DONE, UM, DIDN'T EXPERIENCE THE SAME OUTAGES AS OTHERS.

UM, SAME THING HAPPENED DURING STORM URI, THE ONES THAT WE HAD MANAGED TO GET DONE BEFORE STORM URI DIDN'T HAVE THAT DAMAGE.

AND SO, UM, THERE ARE THINGS HERE THAT ARE IN THE CONTROL OF THE CITY THAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE.

UM,

[00:05:01]

ANOTHER ELEMENT OF THE PTSD THAT I'M SURE MANY EXPERIENCE WAS THE OUTAGE MAPS.

UM, AND THAT WAS A PROBLEM AGAIN, UM, THIS PAST WEEKEND.

AND WE, WE REALLY NEED TO BE, UM, LOOKING AT THAT, UH, FORTUNATELY THIS WEEKEND, THE WEATHER WAS REASONABLY GOOD FOR MUCH OF THE POWER OUTAGE PERIOD, AND THERE WERE MANY PLACES THAT PEOPLE COULD GO, UM, YOU KNOW, TO FIRE UP THEIR, THEIR PHONES AND, AND TO GET RELIEF AND GET FOOD, ET CETERA.

UM, OBVIOUSLY THAT WAS NOT THE CASE DURING THE STORM, UM, URI.

UM, AND SO, UM, YOU KNOW, WE ARE GOING TO LEARN FROM THIS AND I'M, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM ALL OF YOU AND LEARNING FROM THE TASK FORCE, FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS AS WELL.

SO THANK YOU TO THE TASK FORCE THAT'S HERE AND FOR THE, FOR THE FOLKS WHO ARE COMING TO TESTIFY, THANK YOU SO MUCH, COUNCILMEMBER ALTAR, UM, FOR YOUR INPUT.

AND THANK YOU FOR LETTING US KNOW, UM, ABOUT THAT.

UM, I'M SORRY TO HEAR THAT, YOU KNOW, SO MANY PEOPLE HAD EXPERIENCED THAT EVEN EARLIER THAN THE STORM.

UM, SO, BUT I THINK THAT YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT, THAT THERE ARE THINGS THAT ARE IN OUR CONTROL THAT, UM, HOPEFULLY WE CAN WORK ON, UM, AS A CITY TO GET DONE.

SO WE REALLY APPRECIATE THAT.

APPRECIATE THAT.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, AND WITH THAT, I THINK THAT WE'LL GO AHEAD AND ROLL INTO, UH, OUR CALLERS.

UM, PATRICIA, HOW MANY BOLTS DO WE HAVE IN THE QUEUE? WE HAVE TWO SPEAKERS IN THE QUEUE.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, WELL SEEING AS WE ONLY HAVE TWO SPEAKERS, UM, WOULD ANYONE BE OPPOSED TO, UM, KIND OF HAVING AN UNLIMITED TIMEFRAME HERE IN TERMS OF WHO WANTS TO TESTIFY? ALL RIGHT.

WELL HEARING NONE QUICK QUESTION THAT PATRICIA SAID SOMETHING IN THE EMAILS ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SENT WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS.

I HAD, SHE SUGGESTED WE READ THOSE INTO THE, UH, INTO THE RECORD TODAY.

DO WE NEED TO DO THAT IN ORDER TO INCLUDE THEM IN OUR REPORT? OR ARE WE JUST, I WASN'T QUITE SURE WHY YOU WERE SUGGESTING THAT.

SO THAT'S IN TERMS OF TIME, I THINK THAT'S THE QUESTION THAT I WAS JUST, SO THE TASK FORCE DOESN'T HAVE TO READ THEM INTO THE RECORD.

UM, I KNOW THAT A COUPLE OF TASK FORCE MEMBERS HAD MENTIONED THAT, YOU KNOW, WE COULD READ THEM OUT LOUD AND YOU BASS I'VE RECEIVED THOSE QUESTIONS.

SO IF THAT IS THE WILL OF THAT TASKFORCE, IF SHOULD YOU WANT TO, UM, YOU HAVE HARD COPIES, WE COULD INCORPORATE THEM, UM, INTO THE REPORT.

YEAH, I THINK THAT'S WHY, UNLESS ANYBODY FEELS DIFFERENTLY ABOUT IT, BUT SO THANK YOU.

SO TASK FORCE MEMBER HOUSTON, DID YOU WANT TO READ THOSE INTO THE RECORD TODAY? NOT PARTICULARLY.

UM, I, UH, I HAVE READ THEM AND I THINK WE WILL INCLUDE THEM IN OUR REPORT, BUT UNLESS SOMEBODY FEELS STRONGLY, I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO DO THAT.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, DOES ANYONE FEEL STRONGLY ONE WAY OR THE OTHER? ALL RIGHT.

WELL HEARING NONE.

UM, OH, GO AHEAD.

TASK FORCE MEMBER GONZALEZ.

UH, LET'S GET THROUGH THE FIRST TWO PEOPLE THAT HAVE ACTUALLY CALLED IN AND REVISIT IT IF YOU DON'T MIND.

UM, WHILE I AGREE THAT THE INFORMATION THAT HAS BEEN SENT TO US WILL END UP IN THE REPORT, UH, GIVEN WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN THROUGH.

I THINK THERE IS POWER IN SPEAKING THESE WORDS OUT LOUD INTO THE RECORD.

I KNOW THAT IF I WERE UNABLE TO MAKE A RESCHEDULED MEETING, UM, IT WOULD MAKE ME FEEL MORE VALUED AS A CITIZEN OF AUSTIN TO HAVE SPENT THE TIME TO PREPARE THE REMARKS, UH, TO HAVE THEM READ IN ABSOLUTELY WELL, UM, WOULD THAT, UM, I, I, THAT WE'LL, I THINK WE'LL GO AHEAD AND HEAR THOSE SPEAKERS, UM, AND IF THERE'S TIME AFTER THOSE SPEAKERS, UM, AND THERE WAS NO QUESTIONS, UM, WE'LL TRY TO GET THROUGH AS MANY OF THOSE WRITTEN TESTIMONIES AS WE CAN, UM, TODAY TO READ THOSE ON THE RECORD, SINCE I THINK WE HAVE ABOUT SEVEN OR EIGHT OF THEM, PATRICIA, THAT IS CORRECT.

WE HAVE SEVEN.

OKAY.

YEAH.

UM, SO LET'S GO AHEAD AND REVISIT THAT, UM, ONCE WE'VE HEARD THE SPEAKERS, UM, OR THE COLORS AND, UM, WITH THAT WHO OUR FIRST SPEAKER OR COLOR SPEAKER IS JOEL GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

UM, THANK YOU.

UH, COUNCIL MEMBER ALTAR, AND THE TASK FORCE.

I'M SO THANKFUL FOR ALL OF YOU.

I, UM, I DID NOT PREPARE REGULAR CITIZEN COMMUNICATION.

I DIDN'T KNOW HOW THIS PROCESS WORKED AND BY WATCHING YOU ALL ONLINE IS DELAYED.

SO I CAN'T REALLY TELL WHAT'S GOING ON, UM, VISUALLY, BUT WHAT I WANTED TO DO IS IF I COULD

[00:10:01]

JUST SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE IN WEST CAMPUS, IF THAT'S OKAY.

YES.

AND JOELLE, IF YOU COULD DO A COUPLE OF THINGS FOR THE TASK FORCE BEFORE YOU GET STARTED ON THAT, UM, I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING THIS.

I'M A COLLEGE STUDENT MYSELF.

SO THIS IS PERTINENT TO ME.

UM, IT SOUNDS LIKE, BUT, UM, COULD YOU JUST STATE YOUR NAME, UM, AND HOW TO SPELL IT FOR US? SURE.

IT'S J O E L L MAKE NEW M C N E W.

AND SAVE HORNS IS WHO I'M SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF.

AND WE ARE A NONPROFIT, WE ADVOCATE FOR SAFETY ON AND AROUND UT AUSTIN CAMPUS.

UM, WE STARTED IN 2016, WE GOT INVOLVED WITH THIS.

UM, SOME PEOPLE SAY, OH, YOU KNOW, WHAT ARE WE DOING? BECAUSE THIS TOOK ON AN ENTIRE LIFE OF ITSELF, BUT OBVIOUSLY, UH, PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY WE BELIEVE GOES TOGETHER.

SO THIS WAS DEFINITELY AN ORDEAL FOR SURE.

UM, SO IS IT OKAY JUST TO KIND OF SHARE OUR EXPERIENCE AND WHERE WE SAW THINGS THAT WE BELIEVE NEED TO BE ADDRESSED, OR WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO DO? YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

UM, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE FROM WEST CAMPUS.

UM, WE'D BE HAPPY TO HEAR, UM, IF, UH, I'M NOT SURE IF YOU'RE WATCHING THIS I'M, IF YOU'RE JUST CALLING IN, UM, OR IF ANYONE'S WATCHING, UM, IF YOU SEE ANY OF US LOOKING DOWN, I THINK WE'RE PROBABLY JUST TAKING NOTES ON, BUT WE'RE READY TO HEAR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE TO SHARE WITH US TODAY.

UM, AND JUST TWO MORE THINGS BEFORE, UM, YOUR FIRST SEED.

UM, WHAT DISTRICT ARE YOU IN DISTRICT NINE.

AND, UM, AND THEN HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THIS? UM, UM, I SAW THE, I FOLLOW THE CITY, SO I SAW THE CITY POSTED THAT THERE WAS A TASK FORCE.

UM, AND THEN I REACHED OUT TO RAY ARIANNA'S OFFICE AND, UM, THAT'S HOW I GOT CONNECTED.

GOTCHA.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH, JOEL.

UM, YOU CAN PROCEED AS SOON AS YOU'RE READY.

GREAT.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

SO, UM, DISTRICT NINE IS, UH, WHERE THE UNIVERSITY AND, UM, WEST CAMPUS IS WEST CAMPUS, 7 8, 7 0 5.

IT'S THE FOURTH, MOST DENSELY POPULATED ZIP CODE IN TEXAS.

UM, ONE THING THAT WE, WE HAVE MANY CHALLENGES THAT WE WANT TO SEE ADDRESSED IN THAT AREA.

BUT ONE THING WE LEARNED THROUGH THIS PROCESS IS THAT THIS IS MAINLY A POPULATION OF 18 TO 23 YEAR OLDS, UM, LIVING AWAY FROM HOME, MANY OF THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME, MANY OF THE PROPERTIES THERE.

UM, SO YOU HAVE THE LARGER PROPERTIES, WHICH, UM, ARE STUDENT HOUSING, WHICH ARE MUCH BIGGER COMPANIES, BUT THERE'S A LOT OF APARTMENTS, CONDOS, UM, AND PLACES WHERE STUDENTS ARE LIVING THERE THAT WE HAVE LEARNED THROUGH THIS PROCESS THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT ON SITE.

UM, SO THAT WAS A REALLY BIG CHALLENGE FOR US.

IS WHO DO YOU CONTACT? ONE OF OUR CONTACTS WAS EVEN IN CALIFORNIA, SO WE COULDN'T GET A HOLD OF ANYONE.

HOW WE GOT INVOLVED IN THIS SITUATION IS BECAUSE OUR STUDENTS LIVE THERE.

AND SO STUDENTS WERE TELLING US, AND THANK GOODNESS.

I MEAN, I HATE TO SAY IT, BUT WITH COVID WE DIDN'T HAVE AS MANY STUDENTS IN THAT AREA, WHICH HONESTLY WAS A BLESSING IN SOME WAYS.

UM, SO WHAT HAPPENED WAS STUDENTS STARTED SAYING, UM, ABOUT THEIR WATER, THEIR POWER, LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE ACROSS THE CITY? UM, AGAIN, A CHALLENGE WAS FOR US THAT THERE ARE NOT, UM, THERE'S NOT GOOD COMMUNICATION.

THERE IS NOT A CENTRAL, SO IN EACH DISTRICT, IDEALLY, OBVIOUSLY WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE, UM, POINTS OF CONTACTS AND THEN EMERGENCY, UM, WHETHER IT BE A CHURCH OR A GROUP, A NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION.

UM, WE DID NOT HAVE ANY OF THAT.

WHAT HAPPENED, LIKE I SAID, WAS BASICALLY RESPONSE.

UM, STUDENTS REACHING OUT TO THEIR PARENTS, TELLING THEM, AND THAT'S HOW WE GOT INVOLVED.

WE STARTED REACHING OUT TO THE PROPERTIES WHERE THEY WERE HAVING ISSUES.

UM, WE HAVE SOME PROPERTIES WHERE THERE'S 500 STUDENTS, 1200 STUDENTS, UM, THAT DID NOT HAVE WATER.

SO WHAT WE DID WAS WE ARE, I'M SO THANKFUL FOR THE UNIVERSITY CO-OP WE IMMEDIATELY CALLED

[00:15:01]

THE UNIVERSITY, CO-OP OUR CONTACT THERE.

AND WE HAVE SOMEONE, ONE OF OUR MEMBERS ALSO SAW THAT, UH, RICHARD'S RAINWATER WAS DOING A GIVEAWAY TO A NONPROFIT.

SO SHE REACHED OUT TO THEM.

WE WERE VERY LUCKY TO BECOME ONE OF THEIR RECIPIENTS OF THEIR DONATIONS, AND THEY GAVE US THREE PALLETS OF WATER.

SO WE IMMEDIATELY ORGANIZED AN EVENT, UM, IN WEST CAMPUS AT THE UNIVERSITY CO-OP FOOD TRUCK, COURTYARD, WHERE STUDENTS COULD COME.

A PROFESSOR JOINED US, WHO I JUST SAW HIM TWEETING.

UM, I HAD NEVER MET HIM BEFORE HE, UM, WAS ABLE TO GET COLT MCCOY, UM, AND OTHER PEOPLE TO JOIN US AND PROVIDING FOOD.

WE, WE PROVIDED FOOD.

WE ALSO NOTICED THAT BECAUSE STORES WERE CLOSED, WE HAD STUDENTS THAT, UM, NEEDED THEM THEN HYGIENE PRODUCTS, UM, MORE THAN EVER, OR WHICH WE THOUGHT WAS KIND OF FUNNY IS, YOU KNOW, BEFORE STUDENTS DIDN'T REALLY THERE WASN'T THE WHOLE HAND SANITIZER WIPES.

THAT BECAME SOMETHING THAT THEY WANTED.

SO WE GATHERED ALL THESE THINGS.

WE HOSTED, THESE EVENTS, STUDENTS CAME OUT AND THE, THE STILL, IT WAS STILL SNOW ON THE GROUND.

AND WE WERE ABLE TO REACH, UM, OVER 800 STUDENTS AT OUR FIRST EVENT.

UM, THEN WE DID ANOTHER EVENT.

WE REACHED CLOSE TO 4,000 STUDENTS DIRECTLY, BUT THEN IT BECAME THIS RIPPLE EFFECT WITH THE WATER.

WE HAD STUDENTS REACHING OUT FROM RIVERSIDE.

SO THERE WAS AN APARTMENT COMPLEX, OVERALL RIVERSIDE WHERE STUDENTS AND ELDERLY, UM, AND FAMILIES LIVED THAT THEY HEARD THAT WE WERE HELPING PEOPLE.

SO LIKE I SAID, IT BECAME THIS DOMINO EFFECT.

NOW WE HAVE, UM, THOUSANDS OF RESIDENTS OF RIVERSIDE THAT WE WERE THEN NAVIGATING ABOUT GETTING THEM WATER.

UM, THEN WE STILL HAVE OUR STUDENTS IN WEST CAMPUS.

WHO, ONE THING WE ALSO LEARNED IS YOUNG PEOPLE.

UM, THE CITY WAS SAYING OUR COUNCIL MEMBER WAS SAYING, OH, YOU KNOW, MAKE SURE YOU DRIVE OVER TO GET WATER AT A SPECIFIC LOCATION, WHICH WAS CLOSER TO HIGHLAND.

WELL, COLLEGE STUDENTS DON'T HAVE CARS.

NOT ALL OF THEM.

THAT WAS A HUGE ISSUE.

TWO THINGS THEY DON'T ALL HAVE IS THEY DON'T HAVE CARS AND THEY DON'T HAVE BUCKETS.

IF A PROPERTY DIDN'T HAVE A POOL, WE WERE TELLING THEM TO GET THEIR POOL WATER, TO USE, TO FLUSH THE TOILET.

IF THEY DIDN'T HAVE A POOL, THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO FLUSH AND WE COULDN'T GET THEM BUCKETS SO THAT THEY COULD USE THE BUCKETS AS A TOILET.

SO WE HAD STUDENTS WHO WERE, WHO DID HAVE BUCKETS, WHO WERE GOING DOWN THE STREET TO TRY AND FILL IT, TRY AND FILL UP THEIR BATHTUBS.

NOT ALL APARTMENTS HAVE BATHTUBS.

SO IT JUST BECAME THIS NIGHTMARE IN TERMS OF THEIR HYGIENE ISSUES OF BEING ABLE TO FLUSH THE UNIVERSITY WAS GIVING THEM TWO BOTTLES OF WATER.

IF YOU DID WALK OVER TO CAMPUS.

UM, BUT STUDENTS SAID IT CAME DOWN TO, IT TAKES TWO GALLONS TO FLUSH.

I HAVEN'T BRUSHED MY TEETH, WASH MY FACE AND I'M THIRSTY, YOU KNOW? SO IT WAS JUST NAVIGATING, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? AND, AND SO WE TRIED TO CONTINUE TO GET THEM BOTTLED WATER.

WE HELD MULTIPLE EVENTS AFTER THAT.

UM, WITH THAT WE HANDED OUT OVER 20,000 BOTTLES OF WATER, UM, TO WEST CAMPUS.

THE PEOPLE AT RIVERSIDE, THE PEOPLE ON RIVERSIDE ACTUALLY OWN PROPERTIES UP BY THE ARBORETUM UP IN NORTH.

SO A PROPERTY AND COUNCIL MEMBER POOLS DISTRICT.

SO WE WERE DISTRIBUTING WATER WITH VOLUNTEERS IN MULTIPLE DISTRICTS WITH OUR FOCUS, OBVIOUSLY OUR FOCUS BEING STUDENTS.

BUT LIKE YOU SAID, YOU COULDN'T TURN PEOPLE AWAY.

YOU HAVE PEOPLE WITH FAMILIES, SMALL CHILDREN, ELDERLY.

WE WERE TRYING TO GET WATER EVERYWHERE.

WE COULD FINALLY, WE WERE TRYING TO GET IN CONTACT WITH THE FIRE TO NAVIGATE THAT PROCESS OF TURNING ON THE HYDRANT SO THAT THEY COULD HAVE PORTABLE WATER.

UM, AND SO IT REALLY WAS THIS HUGE NIGHTMARE, AS YOU ALL KNOW, AND EVERY PART OF THIS CITY, BUT I THINK FOR US, WE WOULD FINALLY GO DISTRIBUTE WATER BECAUSE STUDENTS DIDN'T HAVE CARS.

LIKE I SAID, SO WE WOULD GO TAKE PALLETS, UM, CASES AND CASES OF WATER STUDENTS DON'T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER.

SO THAT WAS INTERESTING ALSO IS THAT WE WOULD GO TO A STUDENT HOUSING AND SAY, OH, WELL GO TELL YOUR NEIGHBORS THAT WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE'RE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF WATER DISTRIBUTION.

WE'RE JUST TRYING TO HELP YOU.

AND

[00:20:01]

MANY OF THEM DIDN'T KNOW THEIR NEIGHBORS.

AND THAT WAS A LESSON AS WELL, IS THAT IT'S SO CRITICAL THAT WE KNOW EACH OTHER, THAT WE HAVE A, A PLACE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY THAT CAN BE A, DROP-IN A RESOURCE FOR THINGS TO BE DELIVERED, BECAUSE THAT WAS ALSO IF IT WASN'T FOR THE CO-OP, UM, ALLOWING US TO HAVE A BOX TRUCKS COME IN WITH PALLETS OF WATER AND THE CO-OP DISTRIBUTED, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE.

AND WE WERE THE ONLY ONES, UH, MAKING THIS HAPPEN IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.

AND LIKE I SAID, IT'S A NEIGHBORHOOD OF THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

SO I THINK WAS A CHALLENGE, UM, UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS PARTICULAR NEIGHBORHOOD IS EXTREMELY DENSE, BUT THEY ALSO DON'T HAVE CARS.

THEY DON'T HAVE SAME SIMILAR RESOURCES AND THE LITTLE STORES AND RESTAURANTS THAT THEY DO HAVE IN THAT AREA WERE ALL SHUT DOWN.

ONCE WE STARTED OUR WATER DISTRIBUTION, EVEN THE RESTAURANTS THAT WERE OPEN IN THE AREA, THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE WATER FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES.

SO ONCE WE GOT FINISHED WITH OUR WATER DISTRIBUTION, WE EVEN WENT BACK TO SOME OF THE SMALL RESTAURANTS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND GAVE THEM WATER AS WELL.

IT WAS JUST, IT WAS JUST UNBELIEVABLE, HONESTLY, TO REALLY TRY TO DETERMINE WHO WAS IN MOST NEED, HOW DO WE HELP THEM AND HOW DO WE ADDRESS, YOU KNOW, THEM AND THEIR, THEIR ABILITY TO USE THEIR TOILETS, UM, AS WELL AS HAVE DRINKING PORTABLE WATER.

JOEL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR, UM, THAT TESTIMONY.

I THINK THAT SPEAKING FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, AGAIN, AS A COLLEGE STUDENT, I GOT TO HOUSTON TILLOTSON.

UM, SO NOT QUITE IN WEST CAMPUS, BUT, UM, THAT WAS A LOT OF THE SAME THINGS I HEARD, YOU KNOW, MANY OF MY PEERS TALKING ABOUT, UM, JUST NOT HAVING PROPER COMMUNICATION.

UM, YOU HAVE THESE MANAGEMENT COMPANIES WHO, YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU SAID, ARE NOT EVEN BASED IN TEXAS.

UM, SO SIMILAR TO ERCOT, YOU KNOW, HOW WOULD THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO DURING A WINTER STORM? UM, I DID HAVE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS AND IF THERE ARE ANY OTHER MEMBERS WHO HAVE QUESTIONS, UM, I THINK THIS WILL BE THE TIME IF YOU DON'T MIND STAYING ON FOR A COUPLE MORE MINUTES.

UM, YEAH.

SO YOU SAID COMMUNICATION AND I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW, HOW DID YOU ALL COMMUNICATE WITH THE STUDENTS AND HOW DID YOU ALL MANAGE TO GET, YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU SAID, IT WAS ME, IT'S 4,000 STUDENTS AT ONE POINT.

UM, SOME OF THESE RESOURCES, WHAT WERE YOUR MEANS? UM, HONESTLY IT WAS THROUGH TWITTER AND TWITTER WAS HOW WE WERE ABLE TO, UM, GET PEOPLE TO HELP US WITH RESOURCES, BUT IT WAS THROUGH INSTAGRAM AND OUR OWN PARENTS, UM, THROUGH OUR SOCIAL MEDIA.

UM, THAT WAS HOW WE MADE IT ALL HAPPEN.

IT WAS, IT WAS DEFINITELY ONLINE.

AND I THINK THAT WAS, THAT WAS THE MOST FRUSTRATING PART TO US IS IT SEEMS LIKE WHERE WAS OUR, I DON'T KNOW.

IT'S IT SEEMS LIKE THERE WAS A HUGE DISCONNECT BETWEEN WHAT WAS HAPPENING ON THE UNIVERSITY AND WHAT THE UNIVERSITY WAS ABLE TO DO, BUT ALSO FOR OUR OWN DISTRICT.

I MEAN, EVERYONE KNOWS, I BELIEVE, YOU KNOW, THAT STUDENTS WILL LIVE IN CERTAIN AREAS.

SO I THINK IT'S COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT STUDENTS LIVE IN WEST CAMPUS AND NORTH CAMPUS AND RIVERSIDE ALL OVER.

UM, AND THEIR SITUATION IS DIFFERENT THAN REGULAR PEOPLE.

SOME PEOPLE WERE SAYING TO US, WELL, YOU KNOW, YOU JUST GIVE THEM WATER, ISN'T HELPING THEM MAKE A GO TO THE STORE LIKE OTHER PEOPLE.

WELL, AGAIN, IT GOES BACK TO NOT ALL THE BUSES WERE RUNNING, YOU KNOW, HEB WHEN THEY DID OPEN, IT WAS A LIMITED.

UM, BUT IT REALLY WAS OUR SOCIAL MEDIA THAT GOT ALL OF THIS STUDENTS TO COME.

YOU KNOW, STUDENTS ARE ON INSTAGRAM, MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

THEIR PARENTS TEND TO BE ON FACEBOOK.

UM, SO IT WAS REALLY US TELLING.

AND AGAIN, IT GOES BACK TO, THERE'S A SMALL WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY WHEN YOU'RE GETTING THESE BOX TRUCKS.

OUR BOX REP CAME FROM CHICAGO.

UM, SO THESE ARE PEOPLE THAT DON'T EVEN LIVE IN AUSTIN.

SO WE HAVE BOX TRUCKS COMING FROM CHICAGO, GIVING US WATER, AND WE HAD TO KEEP IT REALLY TIGHT FOR THEM TO HELP

[00:25:01]

US.

UM, AND THEN TO GET THE PEOPLE AT THE CO-OP WHO HAD THE FORKLIFT, WHO WOULD BRING IT TO, YOU KNOW, THAT SPACE IN WEST CAMPUS.

UM, IT WAS DEFINITELY A LOT OF LOGISTICS, UM, WITH MANY PEOPLE WORKING SO HARD AROUND THE CLOCK, AND THIS WAS FOR DAYS WE DID THIS FOR DAYS AND IT WAS REALLY, I FELT LIKE JUST US AND OUR LITTLE EFFORT, BECAUSE AGAIN, WHEN STUDENTS WOULD MENTION NO RESOURCES, WE SAID, WELL, DIDN'T YOU SEE THAT THEY'RE POSTING ABOUT, YOU COULD GO TO HIGHLAND, UM, OR DIFFERENT AREAS.

AND STUDENTS ARE LIKE, HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET THERE? AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO CARRY THIS WATER BACK? AND JUST LIKE THE UT EXAMPLE, WHEN UT IS HANDING OUT TWO BOTTLES OF WATER, SOME STUDENTS WHO LIVED FARTHER AWAY OR ON RIVERSIDE SAID, I'M NOT TAKING AN UBER TO CAMPUS TO GET TWO BOTTLES OF WATER.

THEY WERE BEGGING US.

AND THAT'S WHEN WE DID THE BIG DROPS OVER AT RIVERSIDE, WHICH WE MADE IT AVAILABLE TO ANYONE IN RIVERSIDE WHO LIVED IN THAT AREA.

AGAIN, WE WOULD USE OUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND THEN WE CONTACTED THOSE PROPERTY MANAGERS, UM, WHO WERE THERE AND DESPERATE FOR WATER TELLING THEM, HEY, WE DON'T HAVE THE LOGISTICS TO PASS IT OUT TO YOUR RESIDENTS, BUT WE WILL COME AND WE WILL BRING A FULL TRUCK OF CASES OF WATER.

UM, BUT YOU ALL HAVE TO DISTRIBUTED AND OBVIOUSLY THEY WERE MORE THAN HAPPY TO DO THAT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, FOR THAT, THAT WAS A VERY THOROUGH ANSWER.

UM, AND EVEN GAVE US SOME MORE TO THINK ABOUT, UM, MY OTHER TWO QUESTIONS.

UM, I GUESS AGAIN, SPEAKING FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF BEING, YOU KNOW, THE PRESIDENT, UM, OF SAFE HORNS, WHAT KIND OF, UM, SAFETY CONCERNS DO YOU FEEL LIKE WERE RAISED THROUGHOUT THE STORM THAT, UM, HAVEN'T REALLY BEEN CONSIDERED YET REAL QUICK.

THIS IS THE INTERPRETER SPEAKING.

IF I CAN JUST INTERJECT THE OTHER INTERPRETER IS HERE, BUT APPARENTLY HIS CAMERA IS DISABLED AND HE'S NOT ABLE TO SWITCH ME OUT.

JUST LETTING YOU KNOW HIS NAME IS ROGER BROWN.

I DON'T KNOW IF SOMEBODY CAN ENABLE HIS CAMERA.

ALL RIGHT.

UH, PATRICIA, IS THAT SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO DO? BABY TECH IS WORKING ON IT RIGHT NOW.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT, BECCA.

UM, BUT YES.

UM, IF YOU WOULDN'T MIND TOUCHING ON SOME OF THOSE, UM, SAFETY CONCERNS THAT MAYBE YOU SAW THAT WERE, UM, UH, ROAD SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF THE STORM THAT YOU HAVEN'T TOUCHED ON ALREADY.

UM, I, WELL OBVIOUSLY THE, THE HOMELESS POPULATION THAT LIVES IN WEST CAMPUS, IT WAS, IT WAS VERY CONCERNING, UM, AS WELL, ACCESSIBILITY FOR THEM TO GET TO WARMING LOCATIONS, UM, BECAUSE SOME OF THEM WERE BREAKING INTO PROPERTIES.

UH, THERE, YOU KNOW, SOME STUDENTS, BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T COME BACK FOR COVID OR WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE.

UM, THEY WERE HAVING SITUATIONS WHERE PEOPLE WERE ENTERING IN TO FIND WARMER PLACES.

SO IT, IT WAS VERY SAD, UM, WHICH I KNOW THAT'S A WHOLE SEPARATE TOPIC, BUT IT WAS VERY SAD AND, AND CONCERNING, UM, FOR OUR HOMELESS POPULATION TO SEEK HELP, UM, AND GET THEM TO WHERE THEY NEED TO BE.

UM, IN TERMS OF REALLY, IT GOES BACK TO MORE OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY COMPONENT OF, UH, HEALTH SAFETY THAT PEOPLE, LIKE I SAID, THE PROPERTIES THAT DID NOT HAVE, UH, POWER WATER THAT DON'T HAVE ONSITE, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S SO CONCERNING THAT THERE'S NO COMMUNICATION ON SITE, WHICH IS NOT REALLY SOMETHING WE CAN FIX.

WE, WE HAVE TOLD STUDENTS THAT YOU SHOULD RESEARCH THAT BEFORE YOU MOVE INTO A PROPERTY AND FIND OUT WHO IS ON CALL WHEN AN EMERGENCY HAPPENS, WHO IS GOING TO BE A VOICE FOR YOUR PROPERTY AND HELP YOU.

UM, BUT NOT HAVING THE TOILETS WAS A REALLY BIG ISSUE.

UM, AND LIKE I SAID, SO MANY OF THEM WERE USING THE POOL WATER.

SOME OF THEM SAID THE POOL WAS SO DRAINED BECAUSE OF THE USAGE FROM THAT THEY COULDN'T ACCESS IT BECAUSE IT WAS NOW TOO LOW, UH, TO JUST LAY OVER AND REACH WITH A BUCKET.

SOME PEOPLE DID HAVE THE WATER TO GO DOWN THE STREET.

AND WHEN SOME PEOPLE HAD WATER TURNED ON, THEY WOULDN'T LET THEM USE THEIR HOSE.

BUT THEN THEY SAID TO CARRY BUCKETS OF WATER, BACK DOWN THE STREET, UPSTAIRS

[00:30:01]

INTO THEIR BATHROOM, THEY WERE JUST EXHAUSTED.

AND MANY OF THEM, I HAD STUDENTS, YOU KNOW, THAT WERE GRADUATE STUDENTS THAT I HAD A COUPLE OF GUYS COME UP AND THEY WERE VERY EMOTIONAL.

THEY WERE SO UPSET.

IT HAD BEEN DAYS.

AND THEY FELT LIKE NO ONE CARED ABOUT WEST CAMPUS.

UM, BECAUSE THEY SAID WE WERE THE ONLY ONES OUT THERE TRYING TO DO ANYTHING AND IT, AND IT WASN'T EVEN ENOUGH.

SO I, I THINK BECAUSE THEY FELT ISOLATED IS SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO ADDRESS BASED UPON THAT POPULATION.

LIKE YOU SAID, IT IS DIFFERENT BEING A COLLEGE STUDENT AND NAVIGATING A CRISIS THAT JUST LIKE PUBLIC SAFETY, WE'RE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN PERSONAL SAFETY.

BUT AT SOME POINT THERE IS A TIME WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE YOU CAN CONTACT A PLACE TO GO WITHIN THE COMMUNITY THAT, YOU KNOW, UM, THERE WILL BE RESOURCES IN A TIME OF CRISIS.

SO IT WOULD BE NICE IN EVERY PART OF THE COMMUNITY.

CAUSE LIKE I SAID, WE HELPED IN RIVERSIDE, WE HELPED IN COUNCIL NUMBER POOL, AND THEN UP IN THE ARBORETUM THAT, THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, OKAY, IF SOMETHING DOES HAPPEN, THESE ARE THE PLACES, THESE ARE THE RESOURCES THAT, YOU KNOW WILL BE THERE.

OF COURSE.

YEAH.

WELL, THANK YOU FOR THAT.

UM, AND THEN MY LAST QUESTION WAS, UM, FROM THE UNIVERSITY CO-OP, I THINK YOU MENTIONED SOMEONE NAMED RICHARD RAINWATER OR RICHARD'S RAIN WATER.

I JUST WANTED TO GET THAT NAME.

RIGHT.

UM, SO THE, THE WATER, UM, THAT WAS DONATED WAS FROM RICHARDS RAINWATER.

UM, AND THEY ARE THE ONES WHO WE RECEIVED THE PALLETS OF WATER FROM WHEN THEY NO LONGER HAD RICHARDS RAINWATER.

UM, THEY FOUND US OTHER WATER, UM, WHICH WAS BOTTLED WATER.

UM, WE ALSO THEN REACHED OUT, UM, AT THE UNIVERSITY CO-OP THOUGH.

UM, THEY HAVE TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE THERE, KELLY AND A MAN NAMED NASSER NASSER HAS WORKED FOR THE UNIT VERSITY CO-OP FOR YEARS.

AND, UM, I'M SORRY, VASSAR VASSAR WAS EXTRAORDINARY.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT HIM.

HE IS MY HERO FOREVER.

HE CAME IN TO WORK, REGARDLESS OF THE WEATHER, HE GOT THE WATER WITH THEIR PALETTE, UM, FORKLIFTS, HE WOULD MOVE THE WATER AS WE NEEDED IT.

HE WOULD STORE IT AS WE NEEDED IT.

LIKE I SAID, WE WERE DOING THIS FOR DAYS.

IF A TRUCK CAME THAT WAS GOING TO DISTRIBUTE WATER, NOT EVEN IN WEST CAMPUS, HE WOULD MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE IN EVERY PART OF AUSTIN, WHEN WE ASKED TO HELP LOGISTICALLY MAKE THIS HAPPEN, UM, HE WOULD DO THAT.

AND HE IS A TRUE HERO, UH, FOR US IN TERMS OF, UH, THAT RELATIONSHIP THAT WE HAVE WITH THE CO-OP.

AND I HOPE THAT EVERY, EVERY NEIGHBORHOOD IN EVERY DISTRICT CAN HAVE A VASSAR AND PEOPLE WHO JUMPED ON BOARD, BUT RICHARD'S RAINWATER, LIKE I SAID, WAS AMAZING.

UM, CK, CHEN, HE IS AN AUSTINITE.

THAT REALLY IS THE ONE WHO MADE SO MUCH WATER DISTRIBUTION HAPPENED THAT PEOPLE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO HE IS.

UM, HE DID THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF CANS OF WATER.

HE'S THE ONE WHO WORKED WITH RICHARD'S RAINWATER TO MAKE DISTRIBUTIONS HAPPEN.

I HAVE STILL NEVER MET HIM YET IN PERSON, BUT HE WAS EXTRAORDINARY, A TRUE HERO TO MANY, MANY NONPROFITS AND ORGANIZATIONS IN TERMS OF DISTRIBUTION AND LOGISTICS.

UM, AND HE DID IT ALL FOR FREE.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT.

UM, MAYBE WE'LL TRY TO REACH OUT TO, UM, BOTH OF THOSE PEOPLE, SINCE IT SOUNDS LIKE THEY WERE SO HELPFUL AND FUNDAMENTAL TO THE COMMUNITY.

UM, BUT I DON'T HAVE ANY MORE QUESTIONS.

UH, WERE THERE ANY OTHER MEMBERS WHO HAD QUESTIONS BEFORE WE MOVE ON? UM, I SAW, UM, MEMBER MEMBER GONZALEZ FIRST, FIRST, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING MORE THAN YOU WERE CALLED TO DO WHAT WE ARE DISCOVERING IN THESE LISTENING SESSIONS IS THAT IT WAS THE HEROES OF AUSTIN THAT STEPPED UP WHEN THEY WERE NEEDED MOST, WHICH IS WHAT HEROES DO.

AND I APPRECIATE YOU IDENTIFYING OTHER HEROES IN THE COMMUNITY, BUT YOU AND THE SAFE HORNS DESERVE ALL OF OUR THINGS TO, UM, AS A

[00:35:01]

TWO TIME GRADUATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, UM, AND HAVING BEEN AROUND AND KNOWN THE SAFE HORNS FOR AS LONG AS I HAVE IT DOESN'T SURPRISE ME THAT YOU STEPPED UP AND STILL AM GRATEFUL.

UH, I HAD TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU FIRST.

UM, I APPRECIATE THE PERSPECTIVE OF KNOWING WHAT HAPPENED IN WEST CAMPUS.

I'M ALSO VERY INTERESTED IN HEARING THE EXPERIENCE OF, UH, STUDENTS WHO LIVED ON CAMPUS.

SO IS THERE SOMEONE, UM, EITHER IN ADMINISTRATION HOUSING AND FOOD SERVICE, DO YOU HAVE ANY PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUE CONTACTS OR EVEN STUDENTS THAT LIVE ON CAMPUS THAT YOU RECOMMEND THAT WE REACH OUT TO, TO HEAR ABOUT HOW THEY EXPERIENCED THE STORM? I REALIZED THAT THE CITY AND THE UNIVERSITY HAVE A VERY SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP AND STILL, I THINK THEIR VOICES DESERVE TO BE HEARD IN THIS AS WELL.

UM, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

FIRST OF ALL, FOR THOSE VERY KIND WORDS, UM, YOU KNOW, IT WAS NOT SOMETHING I EVER THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD HELP WITH AND I THOUGHT THE SNOW WAS PRETTY.

AND THEN, YOU KNOW, IT BECAME A COMPLETE NIGHTMARE.

UM, AND, AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE THE PHONE NEVER STOPPED RINGING IN MY HUSBAND'S LIKE, OH MY GOD.

CAUSE I, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A FULL-TIME OTHER REAL JOB THAT CONTRIBUTES TO OUR FAMILY OUTSIDE OF FAPE HORN AND OUR PARENTS.

AND WE KEPT SAYING, YOU KNOW, WE, CAN'T NOT HELP SOMEONE.

WE HAVE TO ANSWER THE CALL.

AND, AND I'M SO THANKFUL THAT WE HAVE THAT ABILITY THROUGH THE HELP OF OTHER COMMUNITY HEROES.

BUT YES, WE DO HAVE STUDENTS AND I WILL GET SOME CONTEXT FOR YOU BECAUSE I THINK THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT AS WELL.

THE STUDENTS THAT WE HEARD FROM FELT VERY ISOLATED, UM, IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT AS WE ALL KNOW TO JUST NAVIGATE AND ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE AND HELP.

UM, SO I KNOW THAT THE UNIVERSITY WAS UNLIMITED CAPACITY AS WELL FOR PEOPLE WORKING ON SITE AND RELIED ON RAS A LOT AS WELL.

PEOPLE WHO WERE ON CAMPUS, UM, THEY USED WATER THAT THEY HAD FROM CONCESSIONS.

UM, SO IN TERMS OF SUPPLY, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS HELPFUL TO THEM, BUT WE DID HAVE STUDENTS THAT FELT ISOLATED AND ALONE.

AND AGAIN, INITIALLY FELT THAT THE COMMUNICATION WAS POOR.

UM, AND, AND I CAN GET THOSE CONTACTS FOR YOU SO THAT THEY CAN SHARE THEIR PERSPECTIVE, UM, FIRSTHAND, BECAUSE AGAIN, IT GOES BACK TO ALL OF US REALIZING THAT FOR THIS POPULATION, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING THE WORK IN THESE EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ALSO HAD THEIR PIPES FROZEN, THEIR POWER OUT.

THEY'RE NAVIGATING THEIR OWN PERSONAL CRISIS AT THEIR HOMES.

UM, AND, AND MANY OF THEM, YOU KNOW, AREN'T CLOSE PROXIMITY TO CAMPUS NECESSARILY.

SO, UM, I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO, TO GET SOME PEOPLE FOR YOU TO SPEAK WITH.

I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THAT.

I WILL REMIND YOU AND ASK YOU TO PASS THIS ALONG TO YOUR STUDENTS AND CONTACTS AS WELL AS ANYONE LISTENING.

OFTENTIMES SPEAKING ALOUD LIVE AT A MEETING IS INTIMIDATING, SCARY.

WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT.

UH, BUT THERE ARE ALL OTHER WAYS TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD SPECIFICALLY THROUGH THE SPEAK-UP AUSTIN WEBSITE, WHERE YOU CAN SUBMIT WRITTEN TESTIMONY.

TESTIMONY IS EVEN A FANCY WORD, SUBMIT YOUR WRITTEN STORY, SUBMIT YOUR PICTURES.

YOU CAN SUBMIT VIDEO AUDIO.

UM, YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO IT IN THIS FORMAL WAY.

UM, AND MY SECOND QUESTION, YOU'D BROUGHT UP, UH, THE DIFFICULTIES THAT UNHOUSED AND DISPLACED PEOPLE FACED GETTING TO WARMING CENTERS AND HOW THEY WERE SEEKING WARMTH, UH, REALLY ANYWHERE GIVEN MY WORK AT OUT YOUTH FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS, KNOWING THAT 40% OF HOMELESS YOUTH ARE QUEER.

UM, I'M CURIOUS TO KNOW, UM, IF THE, THE FOLKS THAT WERE SEEKING WARMTH AND SHELTER WERE YOUNGER FOLKS, UM, OR MORE JUST GENERALLY WHAT THE DEMOGRAPHICS WERE, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT WE TEND TO FIND MOST OF OUR, UH, ON HOUSETON DISPLACED YOUTH AROUND THE UNIVERSITY, FROM OUR EXPERIENCE IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION, WE DO SEE A LOT OF YOUNGER PEOPLE

[00:40:01]

AS WELL, BUT, UM, IN THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION, IT WAS, UM, OLDER, UM, OLDER MALE POPULATION.

UM, AND WE DID HAVE AN OLDER WOMAN, UM, THAT I WAS TRYING TO GET HER HELP.

UM, WHEN WE STARTED DOING OUR DISTRIBUTION, UM, THEY, IT WAS SURPRISING TO ME, HONESTLY, BECAUSE WE DO DIFFERENT EVENTS THERE, UM, AT THE FOOD TRUCK COURTYARD, BUT IT WAS SURPRISING, UM, HOW MANY WERE REALLY NOT SURE WHAT TO DO OR WHERE TO GO.

AND THEY WERE RECEIVING FOOD FROM THE CHURCH NEXT DOOR ON ONE OF THE DAYS WE DID A DISTRIBUTION, UM, BUT THEY WERE WANTING HELP.

AND SO THEY WERE ASKING, YOU KNOW, I WOULD GIVE THEM WATER AND, AND WHAT WE HAD, BUT WHERE CAN THEY GO? AND AT THAT POINT, I WASN'T SURE, I DON'T THINK THE WARMING, THE AREAS HAD OPENED UP OFFICIALLY LIKE THE CITY ONES.

SO I THINK IT GOES BACK TO, I THINK WE HAVE ALL, ALL OF US HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH FROM THIS EXPERIENCE THAT I KNOW THANKS TO YOUR WORK AND ALL THE UNSUNG HEROES OUT THERE WHO WORKED SO HARD THAT COLLECTIVELY WE CAN DO BETTER IN THE FUTURE.

BUT, UM, COMMUNICATION DEFINITELY WAS A CHALLENGE.

AND FOR THAT POPULATION, IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU HAVE, UM, EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY THAT SERVED BY GIVING FOOD, BUT HAVING A PLACE FOR THEM TO GO, UM, IS SO IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS, WHERE IT WAS SO EXTREME.

AND, AND WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, FOUND THIS FEAST IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BEFORE, AND THAT'S VERY SAD TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE HAVE DIED ON OUR STREETS ALONE, UM, BEFORE RECEIVING HELP AND PARTICULARLY IN THIS SITUATION.

SO I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE CAN DO AS WELL.

NOW, ON THE FLIP SIDE, WE ALSO HAVE SOME VERY AGGRESSIVE PEOPLE THAT WE DID HAVE TO CALL THE POLICE AND APV CAME OUT.

THEY WERE, UM, THEY WERE MORE LIKE 30 YEAR OLD, I GUESS, THIRTIES, UM, MALE, UM, VERY, VERY AGGRESSIVE.

UM, BUT IT WAS CONCERNING TO THE STUDENTS THAT WE WERE AT WHEN WE WERE THERE DOING OUR DISTRIBUTION, UM, FOR OUR SAFETY.

BUT APD DID COME, UM, AND RESOLVE, YOU KNOW, KIND OF DEESCALATE THE SITUATION, UM, TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT IT IS THEY NEEDED SO THAT WE CAN, YOU KNOW, CALM THE SITUATION, GET THEM THE RESOURCES THAT THEY NEED SO THAT THEY, THEY WEREN'T SO AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS US, WHICH MADE STUDENTS BELONG UNCOMFORTABLE TO, YOU KNOW, JOIN THIS EFFORT IN TERMS OF GETTING WHAT THEY NEEDED.

BUT, UM, YEAH, I MEAN, THAT'S A WHOLE SEPARATE TOPIC AS WE KNOW THAT WE'RE WORKING WITH NOW AND, AND ANYONE WHO DID ASK FOR HELP, WE DID NOT TURN THEM AWAY.

OBVIOUSLY WE WANTED EVERYONE TO RECEIVE WHAT THEY NEEDED, UH, TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY, BUT, BUT HAVING RESOURCES FOR ANY CITIZEN IN THESE CRISIS IS SO VITAL AS YOU ALL KNOW.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

THANK YOU.

UM, EARLIER I BELIEVE I SAW, YES.

REMEMBER HOUSTON THERE.

OH, AGAIN, I WANT TO REINFORCE, UH, THE COMMENTS OF COMMISSIONER GONZALEZ.

YOU ALL DID AMAZING WORK AND WE'RE HEARING AMAZING STORIES ABOUT CITIZENS AND ESPECIALLY NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN THIS COMMUNITY THAT STEPPED UP AND JUST, UH, WORKED NIGHT AND DAY TO TRY TO HELP PEOPLE GET BASIC NEEDS SATISFIED.

SO THANK YOU AGAIN VERY MUCH FOR YOUR EFFORTS.

UM, I WAS JUST CURIOUS SINCE, UH, I WOULD ASSUME THAT FOOD WAS ALSO AN ISSUE OR THE STUDENTS THAT YOU WERE SERVING AND WERE, WAS THERE ANYBODY HELPING THEM TO GET ACCESS TO FOOD OR WHAT, UH, WHAT HAPPENED ALONG THOSE LINES? UM, SO FOOD WAS A BIG ISSUE WHEN WE ASKED STUDENTS WHAT THEIR BIGGEST NEEDS WERE.

UM, IT WAS WATER WAS NUMBER ONE, OF COURSE.

UM, AND THEN

[00:45:01]

IT WAS FOOD AND THEN IT WAS ESSENTIAL.

SO LIKE I SAID, FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS WAS A BIG ONE, UM, HAND SANITIZER BECAUSE OF THE NAVIGATING USING A BUCKET AND TRASH CANS FOR THEIR TOILETS, UM, AND BAGS BECAUSE THEY WERE LINING THEIR TRASH CANS AND THINGS TO USE AS TOILETS.

UM, SO THOSE WERE THE TOP THREE.

WHAT WE DID IS, UM, OUR FIRST DISTRIBUTION EFFORT, UM, WAS BREAKFAST TACOS.

SO WE SUPPLIED BREAKFAST TACOS.

THAT WAS THE MOST STUDENTS I'VE EVER SEEN LINE UP IN WEST CAMPUS.

OH MY GOSH, I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

LIKE I SAID, THERE WAS STILL SNOW AND ICE ON THE GROUND.

UM, BUT WE WERE ABLE TO CONNECT WITH SOMEONE AT A RESTAURANT WHO WOULD OPEN TO MAKE THE BREAKFAST TACOS.

SO WE GAVE THEM BREAKFAST, TACOS, WATER, AND THE ESSENTIAL THAT THEY HAD ASKED FOR.

WE ASKED FOR LIKE A WISHLIST, WE WORK WITH DIFFERENT STUDENTS TO HELP US.

WE HAD AN AMAZING GROUP OF STUDENTS, UM, THAT ALL LIVED TOGETHER.

UM, AND THESE STUDENTS WERE OUR CONTACT WITH OTHER STUDENTS TO REALLY FIND OUT WHAT THEY NEEDED.

UM, AND THEY ACTUALLY WENT OUT, WE GAVE THEM MONEY AND THEY WENT BASICALLY WALKING THROUGHOUT THE DIFFERENT, THE CVS AND WHOEVER THEY COULD FIND OPEN TO GET THE THINGS THAT STUDENTS WANTED.

THEY CAME AND HELPED SET UP.

AND, AND THESE STUDENTS WERE JUST REALLY AMAZING.

UM, UH, A STUDENT NAMED CASEY SHE'S EXTRAORDINARY AND HER ROOMMATES.

SO, UM, THEN AS FAR AS FOOD STUDENTS WERE TELLING US BECAUSE OF POWER BEING OUT AND THEN THE WATER, OR THEY HAVE MICROWAVE, UM, PORTABLE WATER.

SO MAKING FOOD WAS THE CHALLENGE.

SO WE ARE A NONPROFIT.

WE DO, UM, HAVE MONEY THAT WE'RE SAVING TO ADD BLUE LIGHT CALL BOXES TO WEST CAMPUS, WHICH IS SOMETHING STUDENTS WANT BECAUSE WE FOCUS ON PUBLIC SAFETY.

BUT WHAT WE DID DECIDE TO DO WAS USE MONEY THAT WE HAVE FOR SAFETY, UM, TO BUY STUDENTS GIFT CARDS.

SO ON OUR NEXT WATER DISTRIBUTION, UM, I HAD DRIVEN ALL OVER.

I WANTED TO SUPPORT THE BUSINESSES IN OUR OWN AREA.

SO I HAD GONE TO EVERY RESTAURANT THAT WAS OPEN AND BOUGHT GIFT CARDS.

AND WE BOUGHT A HUNDREDS OF GIFT CARDS SO THAT EVERY STUDENT THAT WE COULD, UM, WE HAD OVER 250 GIFT CARDS, UM, STUDENTS WHO NEEDED WATER AND FOOD, UM, WE HAD SNACKS AND BASIC GOOGLE FOOD THAT WAS JUST EASY TO EAT.

UM, WE PROVIDED THAT, UM, THAT THEY COULD PICK WHATEVER THEY WANT.

THEY COULD PICK WHATEVER ESSENTIALLY THEY WANTED.

UM, AND THEN WE PROVIDED A BAG FROM EVERY SMALL RESTAURANT IN WEST CAMPUS AND IN THAT BAG WAS BOTTLES OF WATER AND A GIFT CARD FOR A MEAL.

UM, AND LIKE I SAID, THAT'S NOT MONEY.

USUALLY WE ALLOCATE SOMETHING FOR, BUT WE'VE NEVER BEEN IN THIS POSITION BEFORE.

UM, AND WE HAD FRUIT AND, UM, JUST BASIC THINGS AND IT WAS GONE VERY QUICKLY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT.

UM, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE CULTURE YOUR COMMISSION HAS ACTUALLY.

UM, WE PASSED THE RECOMMENDATION TO CREATE A FOOD INSECURITY GRANT PROGRAM, AND I THINK THAT THIS WINTER STORM, UM, DEFINITELY HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED, UH, FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

UM, I DO KNOW THAT MOLLY, UM, YOU HAVE TO LEAVE AT 11.

IS THAT STILL TRUE? ALL RIGHT.

UM, I THINK WE STILL HAVE A QUARTER.

I DO AS WELL AT, FOR SOME REASON THIS IS JUST ON MY CALENDAR UNTIL 11, SO OFF I HAVE TO LEAVE AT 11, SO.

GOTCHA.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

REMEMBER, UM, MOLLY, DID YOU HAVE A QUESTION? I DO.

I DO HAVE A QUESTION.

THANK YOU.

UM, THIS IS A TASK FORCE MEMBER, MOLLY WONG.

UM, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING.

I, SINCE I'M A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL, I'M VERY CURIOUS ABOUT, WAS THERE A, I GUESS, IS THERE STILL A, UM, UNADDRESSED NEED FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR ANY STUDENTS WHO WENT THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE? BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I REMEMBER BEING A COLLEGE STUDENT, UH, BARELY HAD ANY LIFE SKILLS, NOT TO MENTION COPING SKILLS AT THE TIME.

SO, UM, ARE THERE ANY STUDENTS WHO ARE STRUGGLING RIGHT NOW THAT YOU KNOW OF, OR DO, DO YOU KNOW, BEAUTY OFFERED ANY POST DISASTER, UM, COUNSELING FOR STUDENTS? UM, THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION BECAUSE THAT WAS SOMETHING DEFINITELY, OBVIOUSLY THAT

[00:50:01]

IMPACTED STUDENTS.

UM, I DON'T RECALL IF YOU T DID HAVE SOMETHING AFTERWARDS.

I KNOW THAT UT DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB WITH, WITH PROMOTING THEIR, THEIR MENTAL HEALTH THAT THEY DO OFFER ON CAMPUS.

WE'RE ALSO ALWAYS PUSHING THAT, UM, UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF DEAN OF STUDENTS, THEY HAVE SO MANY GREAT, UM, GROUPS THERE, WHICH SADLY, WE ALWAYS TRY TO EDUCATE STUDENTS BECAUSE MANY TIMES STUDENTS DON'T KNOW ABOUT THOSE RESOURCES UNTIL THEY NEED THEM.

WE TRIED TO CHANGE THAT SO THAT THEY'RE MORE PROACTIVE AND AWARE.

BUT, UM, NO, BUT THAT'S AN EXCELLENT QUESTION BECAUSE I KNOW THAT THAT WAS SOMETHING, UM, STUDENTS WHO LIVED ALONE WERE VERY ISOLATED.

UM, MENTAL HEALTH IS A VERY IMPORTANT, UH, PART OF THIS CONVERSATION.

SO THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THAT UP.

UM, HAVING THOSE RESOURCES AGAIN FOR FUTURE CRISES WOULD BE REALLY EXTRAORDINARY.

SO THANK YOU FOR BRINGING THAT UP.

UM, BECAUSE WE DEFINITELY W THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD PROMOTE, UM, ALONG WITH HAVING OUR DISTRIBUTION IS MAKING SURE THAT THEY KNOW WHERE TO GO.

UM, SO THAT WOULD, THAT WOULD BE A GOOD, UM, PART OF THE CONVERSATION FOR, FOR FUTURE CRISES.

THANK YOU.

WELL, ALL RIGHT.

UM, ARE THERE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS THAT ANY MEMBERS HAVE OF OUR SPEAKER? ALL RIGHT.

HEARING NOW, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, JOELLE, UM, I THINK THAT YOU'VE REALLY GIVEN US JUST SO MUCH INFORMATION SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT.

UM, YOU'VE OBVIOUSLY UPLIFTED SO MANY HEROES, UM, IN OUR COMMUNITY, INCLUDING YOURSELF.

ONSIDE JUST REALLY APPRECIATE YOU COMING IN, UH, TESTIFYING TODAY.

THIS WAS, UM, THIS WAS EXCELLENT.

WELL, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

UM, HOPEFULLY WE NEVER GO THROUGH THIS AGAIN, BUT, UM, I CANNOT THANK YOU YOUR TIME AND ENERGY FOR THIS IS SO CRITICAL.

AND LIKE I SAID, EVERY COMMUNITY, WE JUST HAVE TO BE AWARE OF WHAT OUR RESOURCES ARE, BUT KNOW THAT ONCE WE HELP ONE, IT DOES BECOME A DOMINO EFFECT AND THERE ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE ALL OVER AUSTIN THAT NEEDED HELP AND PEOPLE WHO STEPPED UP AND IF WE CAN REALLY COLLABORATE BETTER IN THE FUTURE, UM, IT WOULD BE EXTRAORDINARY.

BUT, UH, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALLOWING ME THIS TIME.

ABSOLUTELY.

YEAH.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, SO DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WE STILL HAVE ONE, UH, OTHER SPEAKER ON THE LINE? UM, NICK WHITE.

UH, IS HE STILL HERE? YES, I'M HERE.

YES.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, WELL HELLO, MR. WHITE.

UM, IF YOU WILL JUST START OUT YOUR TESTIMONY WHENEVER YOU'RE READY, IF YOU'LL JUST GIVE US YOUR NAME, HOW TO SPELL IT, WHAT DISTRICT YOU'RE IN, UM, AND HOW YOU HEARD ABOUT THE SESSION.

OKAY.

MY NAME IS NICK WHITE SPELLED, LIKE, IT SOUNDS, I LIVE OUT IN THE, UH, WEST TRAVIS COUNTY IN SPICEWOOD, AND, UM, I'M GLAD I WAS ABLE TO HEAR THE, UH, PREVIOUS, UM, MY, UH, ESPECIALLY THE LAST QUESTION, EVEN THOUGH, YOU KNOW, IT RAN IN THE PERIOD, THE SESSION QUITE LONG.

UM, I LOST MY FATHER TO DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE.

AND SO I, I DO WONDER ABOUT THE, UH, SITUATION.

I THINK THERE SHOULD BE SOME SPECIAL EFFORTS, UH, BY THE UNIVERSITY, UH, TO, YOU KNOW, ESTABLISH THE DAMAGE THAT'S BEEN DONE ON THE STUDENTS THAT, UH, SUFFERED, UH, THAT WERE ON CAMPUS AND SEPARATELY ON THIS.

UM, OTHER, ANOTHER POINT WAS, AND THIS IS NOT MY ONLINE TOPIC, UH, UH, IS THAT, UH, BECAUSE, UH, THE AUSTIN, UM, WATER SEEMS TO FREQUENTLY LOSE, UH, LOSE THE ABILITY TO PROVIDE WATER TO THEIR, TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

UM, IT DOESN'T SEEM THAT, UH, THEY'RE VERY WELL PREPARED TO, UH, HAVE BACKUP BACKUP SUPPLIES.

AND EVERY TIME I SEE THESE, UH, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, AND I WOULD SAY IN THIS EVENT, MILLIONS OF PLASTIC BOTTLES GOING OUT, UM, AND MANY OF TIME, UH, BY VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS, MOSTLY VOLUNTARY ORGANIZATIONS.

UM, I'M CONCERNED ABOUT HOW MUCH OF THAT ENDS UP IN THE WASTE STREAM, AT LEAST IN ON WEST CAMPUS.

I WOULD THINK THAT MOST STUDENTS WOULD BE CONSCIENTIOUS AND THOSE WOULD END UP IN RECYCLING.

WELL, ANYWAY.

OKAY.

UM, I'LL TRY TO GET VERY QUICKLY THROUGH, UH, MY, MY STATEMENT AND, UM, MAYBE WE'LL HAVE TIME FOR DISCUSSION, HAPPY TO STAY ON.

I'M HERE TO TALK ABOUT A GLARING STATEWIDE INFRASTRUCTURE ISSUE THAT MAY

[00:55:01]

EVERYONE'S SITUATION MORE DANGEROUS THAN NECESSARY.

EVEN THOUGH I LOST POWER, WE HAD TAKEN PRECAUTIONS FILLING UP OUR HOME PROPANE TANK JUST DAYS BEFORE URI.

SO WE ADD HEAT AND SUFFERED NO TRAGIC LOSS DURING OR AFTER URI.

HOWEVER, MY FRIENDS AROUND THE STATE SUFFERED GREATLY DUE TO THIS STATE'S POOR ENERGY AND INFRASTRUCTURE, INTEGRITY POLICIES AND PRACTICES, ME AND MY FRIEND.

THE DUE TO BEING CUT OFF FROM RELOCATE EXPERIENCE, SERIOUS DISCOMFORT, AS WELL AS DEMONSTRATE.

THE LACK OF LOCALIZED STORAGE FOR NATURAL GAS IS A KEY SHORTCOMING IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDED FOR ENERGY SECURITY.

WHILE GAS PIPELINES ACTUALLY DO PROVIDE A LOT OF STORAGE WHEN A BIG WINTER STORM LIKE URI HITS THE EXTREME DRAWDOWN BY ALL CONSUMERS QUICKLY SAPS THE LINE PACK.

WHEN SUPPLIES TO RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS ARE CUT OFF FOR DAYS.

FOLKS THAT DEPEND ON GAS HEAT CAN DIE.

WHEN SUPPLY TO POWER GENERATORS ARE CAN TEL CURTAILED FOR EXTENDED PERIODS.

FOLKS THAT DEPEND ON ELECTRICITY FOR SURVIVAL WILL DIE NOW, EVEN MORE OR LESS LOSS OF LIFE IS BEING TO THIS EVENT, BUT WE KNOW IT WAS NOT AN EVENT.

IT WAS DECADES OF MISGUIDED POLICY AND NEGLECTED CAUSED THE LOSS OF LIFE.

WHEN OUR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS GIVE THEIR SUPPORT TO ESTABLISHING STRATEGICALLY LOCATED NATURAL GAS STORAGE FACILITY, WE WILL SEE THAT POWER PLANTS DO NOT HAVE TO COMPETE WITH PEOPLE FOR GAS SUPPLIES, A FEW DAYS OF GAS STORAGE AT PLANTS LIKE AUSTIN'S AUSTIN POWERS, SAND HILL FACILITY WOULD AVOID A DANGEROUS STRUGGLE FOR SUPPLY FROM REMOTE GAS SEALS, MANY POWER GENERATION GENERATORS ACROSS THE NATION ARE TURNING TO L AND G, BUT IS LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS STORAGE AT THEIR FACILITIES TO ENSURE ENERGY SECURITY, BUT LNG HAS A BIG CARBON FOOTPRINT AND AUSTIN, I WANT TO LIMIT CARBON EXHAUST.

FORTUNATELY PRESSURIZED LNG CALLED P L N G WAS INVENTED FIVE DECADES AGO.

AND EARLIER THIS CENTURY WAS PROVEN TO COST MUCH LESS AND REQUIRE HALF AS MUCH ENERGY AS LNG UNTIL TODAY, THOUGH.

THE PROBLEM WITH P LNG HAS BEEN THAT THERE NEVER WAS A PRACTICAL MEANS FOR STORING LARGE VOLUMES.

NOW EASY AND GE SOLUTION OFFERS A PRACTICAL MEANS FOR PLN G STORAGE.

HOWEVER, EVEN THOUGH PLN G IS SIMPLER, MUCH LESS COSTLY AND MUCH GREENER THAN LNG, IT WILL STILL TAKE MONEY AND GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO ENSURE THAT POWER PLANTS GET THE LOCALIZED STORAGE.

WE ALL NEED THEM TO HAVE FOR MANY YEARS NOW, TEXAS ENERGY POLICY HAS NOT PROVIDED A FOUNDATION FOR ENCOURAGING MOST BASE-LOAD ELECTRICITY GENERATORS TO ADEQUATELY INVEST IN ENERGY SECURITY WHILE WIND AND SOLAR ENERGY PROVIDERS HAVE BEEN INCENTIVIZED IN WAYS THAT HAVE GREATLY INCREASED ENERGY COSTS FOR MOST CONSUMERS.

UNFORTUNATELY, THE BILLS PASSED IN THE MOST RECENT SESSION, CONTINUE TO USE THE STICK RATHER THAN OFFER CARROTS TO THOSE PROVIDING FUEL AND BASELOAD POWER.

THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME SPEAK AND PRAISE THAT OUR LEADERS ACT WISE AND THAT'S IT.

I, TO PRAY THEY ACT WISELY, UM, AFTER, AFTER THE STORM, UM, MEMBERS, WERE THERE ANY QUESTIONS OF OUR COLOR? ALL RIGHT, WELL HEARING NONE.

UM, MR. WHITE, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, I THINK WE'LL HAVE TO GET DOWN TO SOME OF THOSE ACRONYMS. AND IF YOU HAD ANY INFORMATION YOU WANTED TO SEND IN, UM, TO THE OFFICE, UM, I THINK THAT THAT WILL BE VERY HELPFUL AS WELL.

UH, MEMBER HOUSTON.

YES, THIS IS HOUSTON.

I AM, I WOULD JUST APPRECIATE SOME CLARIFICATION OF THE TECHNICAL THINGS THAT YOU ARE SUGGESTING.

AND IF, IF YOU WOULDN'T MIND PUTTING YOUR REMARKS IN WRITING AND SUBMITTING THEM TO US, I THINK THAT WOULD REALLY BE HELPFUL.

OKAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I CAN DO THAT.

I DID SEND IN A WHITE PAPER THAT WE PREPARED A WHILE BACK.

GOOD ONE, THIS PARTICULAR INCIDENT, JUST THIS ONE INCIDENT WOULD HAVE PAID BECAUSE OF THE HIGH COST OF ELECTRICITY DURING THIS PERIOD WOULD HAVE MORE THAN PAID FOR THE FACILITIES THAT WOULD HAVE COMPLETELY AVOIDED THIS AS A STATE ACROSS THE STATE.

IT WOULD HAVE ELIMINATED OR CUTS A CRITICAL COLLAPSE.

WOW.

WELL, THANK YOU AGAIN, MR. HOUSTON.

UM, WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR TESTIMONY.

UM, AND, UH, WITH HOPE WE WILL ALSO TELL OTHER PEOPLE THAT YOU MIGHT OH,

[01:00:01]

UH, MEMBER GONZALEZ.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. WHITE FOR JOINING US.

I DO SEE YOUR WHITE PAPER HERE, WHICH GOES INTO A LOT MORE DETAIL.

I AM CURIOUS IF I HAVE FOLLOWUP TECHNICAL QUESTIONS.

IS IT BEST TO CONTACT YOU BY EMAIL OR THAT MOBILE PHONE THAT YOU HAVE LISTED? YOU CAN CONTACT ME BY EMAIL THAT'S THAT'S THE BEST.

I THINK, I THINK THERE ARE PHONE NUMBERS ON THERE AS WELL, BUT NOT MY CELL PHONE.

SO RIGHT NOW I'M, I'M WORKING REMOTELY, SO IT'S BEST TO USE THE EMAIL.

OKAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL THAT DETAIL.

ALL RIGHT.

MEMBERS, ANY OTHER QUESTIONS FOR THE CALLER? ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY, MR. WHITE.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

I APPRECIATE ALL YOUR WORK.

YES.

ALL RIGHT.

UM, THE TIME IS 1103, UM, OR IT'S 1104.

NOW I'VE BEEN INFORMED THAT WE HAVE THIS SPACE OPEN UNTIL 12 TILL NOON.

UM, SO WE ACTUALLY DO HAVE SOME TIME TO READ IN THOSE, UM, WRITTEN TESTIMONIES THAT WE GOT SENT IN.

UM, IF, IF NO ONE WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER, TO READ, TO START READING THOSE, UM, I CAN CERTAINLY DO IT.

UM, IF YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING MY VOICE.

SO, UM, PLEASE STEP UP AND SPEAK NOW.

ALL RIGHT.

REMEMBER GONZALEZ.

UM, I BELIEVE THE FIRST ONE, UH, THAT WE HAVE LISTED IS FOR, UH, EVEN MORE.

DO YOU HAVE THAT ONE AVAILABLE? I DO.

AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'VE ALL SEEN THE COMMENTS IN THE EMAIL THAT PATRICIA THANKFULLY SENT TO US.

THE LAST TWO SPEAKERS HAVE ASKED, UH, FOR THEIR NAMES TO BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL AT THE MORE, NOT BEING ONE OF THOSE.

OKAY.

EVERMORE SAYS, GOOD MORNING.

I DON'T WANT TO SPEAK AT THE MEETING, BUT I DO WANT TO SHARE MY THOUGHTS.

I AM A CITY EMPLOYEE, BUT THAT DOES NOT SWAY MY THOUGHTS ON THIS MATTER.

I NEVER LOST POWER DURING THE STORM.

NOT SURE HOW I WAS SO FORTUNATE, BUT I WAS, I DID LOSE WATER ON THURSDAY, BUT IT WAS BACK BY SATURDAY.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN DID AN AMAZING JOB COMMUNICATING WITH ME.

I GOT TEXT MESSAGES THAT THERE WOULD BE ROLLING BLACKOUTS.

I GOT EMAILS, PHONE CALLS AND TEXTS THAT THERE WERE WATER ISSUES AND TO CONSERVE WATER.

I DID NOT WATCH THE NEWS FOR UPDATES.

I FOLLOWED THE CITY OF AUSTIN ON TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA.

SO I KNEW WHERE THE OUTAGES WERE AND FELT VERY INFORMED.

AUSTIN ENERGY DID THE BEST THEY COULD WITH WHAT ERCOT GAVE THEM.

OUR INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOT MADE FOR CONDITIONS LIKE WE HAD.

AND I THINK AUSTIN WATER AND AUSTIN ENERGY RALLIED AND DID THE BEST THEY COULD.

SOME OF MY FRIENDS SAID THEY DIDN'T GET NOTIFICATIONS, BUT I SUSPECT THEY DON'T SIGN UP FOR AUTOMATED BILL PAY, ET CETERA.

I DON'T RECALL SIGNING UP FOR TEXT MESSAGES, BUT I ALWAYS GET NOTIFIED VIA TEXT REGARDING SERVICE ISSUES.

THE ONE SERVICE I WAS NOT IMPRESSED WITH WAS AUSTIN RESOURCE RECOVERY.

AFTER THE STORM, THEY DIDN'T PICK UP BINS FOR OVER A MONTH AFTER THE STORM, I HAD TO CALL 3 1 1 MORE THAN ONCE.

I THINK THEY COULD HAVE DOUBLED UP THE TRUCKS TO MAKE SURE BINS GOT EMPTIED WEEKLY, OR AT LEAST SENT THE BIG TRUCKS AROUND LIKE THEY DO ON BULK PICKUP DAYS IN THE GRAND SCHEME.

THAT IS SMALL POTATOES THOUGH.

SO IT IS WHAT IT IS.

THANKS CITY BOSTON FOR ALL THAT YOU DO.

I SAY THAT AS A CITIZEN EVER.

AND MORE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING THAT.

UH, YOU REMEMBER GONZALEZ, OBVIOUSLY YOU CAN'T ASK A QUESTIONS.

UM, SO WE'LL GO AHEAD AND MOVE ON.

UM, I KNOW THAT THERE WERE A COUPLE OF SPEAKERS WHO SPECIFICALLY WANTED TO HAVE, UH, THERE'S RED AND ONE OF THOSE, OUR FIRST ANONYMOUS, UM, WRITTEN TESTIMONY.

UM, I CAN READ THAT ONE.

OH, GO AHEAD AND DO THAT AT THIS TIME.

ALL RIGHT.

SO THIS IS GOING TO BE OUR FIRST OF TWO ANONYMOUS SPEAKERS AND THEY WRITE THAT MY FAMILY LOST POWER FOR FOUR DAYS.

UM, WE ARE TWO ADULTS, TWO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, AGE CHILDREN, AND ONE DOG.

THE POWER WENT OUT ON 2:00 AM ON SUNDAY THE 14TH, AND DID NOT RETURN UNTIL THURSDAY THE 18TH AT 11:00 AM.

MY CHILDREN WERE FREEZING AT NIGHT, EVEN WHILE UNDER MOUNTAINS OF BLANKETS.

MY INDOOR PLANT FROZE.

WE HAVE A TEENY TINY WOOD-BURNING FIREPLACE THAT WE HUDDLED AROUND DURING THE DAYTIME.

BUT SINCE WE HAVE AN OPEN FLOOR PLAN, THERE WAS NO WAY TO CORRAL THE HEAT.

WE LITERALLY HAD TO SIT RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE FIREPLACE TO FEEL ANYMORE AT ALL.

WE HAVE NO SNOW GEAR, SO ALL OF OUR SHOES AND MEN'S GOT WET WITH NO

[01:05:01]

WAY TO DRY THEM OUT.

I HAD TO PUT OUT, PUT THE CONTENTS OF OUR REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER ON SNOW INSIDE COOLERS.

WE USE A TINY CRACK RADIO TO HEAR NUNES.

IF WE HAD HAD ELECTRICITY, THIS TIME COULD HAVE BEEN FUN.

INSTEAD WE WERE COLD, MISERABLE AND WORRIED.

WE WERE GOING TO OUT OF FOOD.

FORTUNATELY, WE HAD RUNNING WATER THE ENTIRE TIME AND FILL OUR BATHTUBS UP BEFORE THE BOIL WATER NOTICE WENT INTO EFFECT MONDAY THE 15TH AT A COVID VACCINE SCHEDULED AT CVS IN LAKEWAY, YOU POINTED IT WAS NOT RESCHEDULED DUE TO THE WEATHER.

I FELT COMPELLED TO GO BECAUSE IT WAS SO HARD TO GET THE APPOINTMENT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

BUT ALSO BECAUSE I HAVE AN UNDERLYING HEART CONDITION, DIFFICULT DECISIONS WERE MADE.

KNOWING THE ROAD CONDITIONS WERE ICY AND DANGEROUS.

MY HUSBAND STAYED HOME WITH THE KIDS WHILE MY NEIGHBOR DROVE ME IN MY HUSBAND'S FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TRUCK TO LAKEWAY ON THE WAY HOME, WE WERE REAR-ENDED WHILE STOPPED AT A MAJOR INTERSECTION WITH A NON-FUNCTIONING STOPLIGHT.

SINCE THE LIGHT WAS DARK, ALL DRIVERS WERE TREATING IT AS A FOUR-WAY STOP, BUT THE DRIVER BEHIND US