Preparing Texas for the Future

By State Representative Eric Johnson

With a death toll of at least 103 people with a price tag of $125 billion in damage, Hurricane Harvey was the most devastating and costly natural disaster the State of Texas has ever endured.  Although Hurricane Harvey occurred two years ago, the impacted areas are still in recovery.

A report commissioned by Governor Greg Abbott last year warned that changing climate will only make disasters like Hurricane Harvey more likely in the future.  Despite this, the Legislature has failed to adequately prepare for natural disasters and has consequently put the lives of Texans at risk. The 86thTexas Legislature must develop comprehensive strategies to address the devastating effects of a changing climate to ensure that the state is prepared for natural disasters of this scale in the future.

Since 1980, Texas has experienced ninety-five extreme weather events, more than any other state in the nation.  The smallest of these events caused $1 billion in damage, with many costing much more. Whether it be blizzards in North Texas, tornadoes in the Panhandle hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, or droughts like that of the 2010-2013 crisis that spanned the entire state, extreme weather events affect every corner of Texas.

These recurring disasters can take a toll on Texas’ leading industries, such as agriculture.  Drought conditions will lead to a 10% decrease in Texas’ agricultural yields by the year 2100.  But we do not have to wait until then to see the effects of a changing climate.

In 2011, the driest year in Texas history, the Great Plains region directly lost $10 billion in agricultural yields due to weather conditions.  According to a United States Department of Agriculture report, these droughts will only get longer and drier, making Texas susceptible to some of the worst droughts in the world.

Texas is also affected by sea levels rising due to a changing climate.  In certain areas of the Gulf Coast, more than a football field of land is lost every hour due to erosion from the rising waters.  Not only do property values decrease as homes are lost to a shrinking coast, but the tourism, farming and fishing industry on the coast are also irreparably harmed.

The 86thTexas Legislature needs to take every possible step to ensure that the state is prepared for future severe weather events.  That is why I have authored House Bill 100, a bill that would require state agencies to include information about weather patterns, water availability, climate variability and other key environmental information collected by our tax payer-funded state climatologist in their biennial strategic plans.  I filed versions of this bill during previous legislative sessions, and in 2015, the bill made it all the way to the House floor, where it died.  I hope that in the aftermath of the costliest natural disaster in our state’s history, Hurricane Harvey, the Legislative will finally pass this common sense measure.


October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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