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Texas Is Hot, and Getting a Whole Lot Hotter

On April 26, two important Town Hall meetings took place in Dallas. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) packed the Senior Room at the Martin Luther King Jr Center with Dallasites who are good and angry at utility companies, particularly TXU. Earlier that day, the National Nurses Organizing Committee outlined the desperate situation in hospital patient care at the Fretz Recreation Center in North Dallas.

Margarita Alvarez blasted TXU from the back of the room

Community activists exposed the unfairness of utility deregulation in Texas. Person after person mounted the podium to tell how their electricity was cut off, or how their bills varied unreasonably. Among many other well-validated complaints was the revelation that TXU had raised rates dramatically after the Katrina storm disaster. They claimed that high natural gas prices had forced the increases, but they kept the rates high long after the natural gas prices fell!

Others pointed out that the pending sale of TXU will cause even higher rates in Texas. The company has made astounding profits and has paid executives astounding amounts while the ordinary people, well represented in the large crowd, were ripped off.

Melba Williams spoke at the ACORN meeting

Here are typical statements:

"Electric bills are higher than rent!"

"You're just one electric bill away from being homeless!"

"You think they are taking advantage of us now, just wait until they go private!"

"Every month, I have to call and beg."

"It's not about color. If it is about color, the color is green!"

"The 15% decrease they are offering us is really a 9% increase, because they already raised rates 24%!"

ACORN has a strong program to oppose high rates. They are sending delegates to the Texas Legislature in Austin on May 3, , 8, 15, and 22 to "put a face" on the problem of high rates. They plan a special trip to Weatherford in May 5 to talk to political constituents of Representative Phil King, head of the Regulated Industries Committee. Speakers said that King has clearly sold out to the utility companies and does not even support the tiny decrease that other legislators are trying to force on TXU.

Audience participants signed up to join ACORN, to participate in activities, and to switch electricity companies if the sale of TXU goes through. Everybody was asked to contact their state representatives about high utility rates. When July comes, and older Texans begin to die of heat, the situation will be even more urgent.

For a report on the National Nurses Organizing Committee Town Hall meeting, click here.

Registered nurses Nancy, Deborah, Rossia, Shelly, and Jan spoke about the sorry state of hospital patient care in Texas

Jan and Rossia had appeared on KNON radio's "Workers Beat" program on 89.3 FM and the previous Wednesday. Their presentation moved a poet to write the following spontaneous tribute:

Nursing Is A Ministry
All That Are Hired
Are Not Called
About That
I Am Not Appauled
Money Is Essential
All Nurses Are Not About That
You Can Tell By The Care
Nurses Provide
Where Their Heart Is At
People Get Sick, Sick, & Sicker
People Are Dieng
Some Nurses Don't Care
Some Nurses Are Crying
Nurses Help Heal
While People Feel
Pain In Their Bodies
Pain In Their Mind
The Need For ThemTo Be Able To Take Care Of Their Own
None Of Them Can Hide
Money, Money, Money
Money, Or No Care
Unless The Government
Helps Nurse's Out
Their Ministry Get's No Where!

Written By Willie Edward Turnipseed Sr.
The Original Soldier4Christ

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