June 24, 2020


Houston. Harris County.

Being a blue city/region in a red state is really dangerous. If we forget to unite the region in concerted actions – the actions that protect and strengthen us – it will cost us. It’s costing us now.

It’s completely fair to say that the virus threat is different in Houston than it is in – say – Buna. But it’s not fair to undermine the efforts of citizens in high risk regions to protect themselves. To actively render local actions untenable. To make state guidelines indecipherable. Cowardly.

I’m always amazed at the hostility in state governments toward the cities that serve as economic generators. Cater to the countryside. Deal callously with cities that pay your bills and your salaries.

As I spoke today with emergency management professionals, we reviewed our vulnerabilities – virus and hurricanes. Hurricane risk is also not shared by all regions in the state. Clearly.

For the next few weeks leaders in this region need to be tightly united, fiercely, concertedly, managing our resources. Constantly reminding and guiding residents toward right action. Prevent the spread. Prepare for all manner of surges. Virus and hurricanes.

Wherever you are influential. In whatever arena. Exercise your power and make sure your own house is in order. Are you protected? Are you protecting others? Are you prepared? Are you helping others prepare?

Are we waiting for an order to do what we know we should do?

This is also a reminder: leadership has nothing to do with position. Your title doesn’t make you a leader. Your lack of title doesn’t prevent you from acting as one.

The key component is responsibility. Will we each take an extra measure of responsibility for our own wellbeing and that of our neighbors, colleagues and family members?

Remind. Teach. Guide.

I wrote this for me and maybe for you too.PS: Yes – it appears we screwed up and earned ourselves the surge we sacrificed so much to avoid. If you’re tempted to rage and blame – me too. But in the coming weeks it won’t prevent the spread of the virus and it won’t prepare your family and your home for hurricane season.

© Angela Blanchard

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