Moving forward

9/1/2017, 10:02 a.m.

Yet, his proposed 2018 budget cuts more than $838 million from FEMA’s discretionary budget.

And just 10 days before Hurricane Harvey hit, he signed an executive order rolling back regulations that would have required federally funded infrastructure projects to be less vulnerable to flooding.

Like a replay of the August 2005 event, the big post-Katrina question again pops to mind: How ready and willing is the federal government and this president to help the victims of this or any natural disaster?

It seems we have a president now who continues to insist on cutting taxpayer dollars from agencies like FEMA to build a Mexico border wall. Fortunately for the people of Texas, Mexico is a compassionate neighbor. Just days into Hurricane Harvey, Mexico sent convoys filled with relief supplies into Texas.

But what response can be expected for the people in Rockport, Texas, for example, where 30 percent to 40 percent of all structures have been destroyed by Hurricane Harvey? Will they be permanently displaced like many of the people of New Orleans?

The Trump response so far has shown that we cannot rely on a president who doesn’t have a clue. It’s time to act — people to people — to assist the people of Texas in any way we can — through donations to relief agencies, with supplies of drinking water and clothing and by offering a helping hand in the coming days with rebuilding.

From Texas to Richmond, engagement in our community is paramount. We must continue to speak our minds on issues, turn out to public events to insist on positive outcomes for our children and our families and vote — register and go to the polls to vote.

Virginia’s gubernatorial election is just three months away. We must vote against people and forces who would protect racists, abandon disaster victims and roll back civil rights gains, education funding and environmental protections made by this state and nation.

We must support people who demonstrably value compassion, justice and equality.

We have to learn from the past, not continually relive it.