• March 7, 2021

LANDGRAF: It’s personal when something happens to our community - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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LANDGRAF: It’s personal when something happens to our community

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Posted: Sunday, February 21, 2021 3:30 am

Aside from walking down the aisle with my bride and witnessing the birth of our daughter, the moment I was first elected to serve as your state representative back in 2014 was the proudest moment of my life. I hope you realize how honored I feel to have your vote of confidence, and how seriously I take my duty to represent your voice in the halls of the Texas Capitol building.

When something happens to my family, my West Texas family, I take it personally. When state transportation funding is laser focused on communities along the I-35 corridor to the detriment of our roads and bridges, I fight tooth and nail to ensure the Permian Basin gets its fair share of funding. And I’m thankful to say we are now in the middle of a highway construction renaissance in the Permian Basin, with more funding allocated over the next few years than any other time in our history.

When an active shooter terrorized our community, I fell to my knees, praying for God’s strength and mercy. I went to see the pain on the faces of the victims, to listen to them, and to hear the hurt in their voices. That’s why I filed House Bill 103, to create an active shooter alert system to save the lives of as many Texans as possible the next time there is a shooting rampage.

When COVID-19 started taking jobs and lives out in the oilpatch at a disproportionate rate compared to the rest of the state, I was as angry as I was sad. So I advocated for business owners to have more flexibility to stay open, directed my staff to help field unemployment claims, and worked with state and local leaders to turn Odessa into the largest COVID-19 vaccination hub in West Texas.

When the federal government started taking an inch on their way to taking a mile, I felt as though the livelihoods of my friends and family were being threatened. So I filed House Bill 1683, to stop any federal overreach on oil and gas regulations in Texas.

And now, when millions of Texans are shivering in their own homes because of a bloated, inefficient state agency and power companies who refuse to be transparent or be held accountable, you better believe I take that personally. Now it isn’t just a fight for West Texans, this is a fight for all Texans against state agencies that have failed to fulfill basic functions.

I’m thankful for, and personally know, many of the frontline workers working in hazardous conditions to get the grid working, and I’m grateful to those assisting vulnerable Texans during this time of dire need. But the leaders at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Public Utility Commission (PUC) have dropped the ball. My colleagues and I in the Texas House are going to hold their feet to fire. Changes and reforms are clearly needed, and I’m going to work until we have them.

It is an honor to serve and fight for you in the Texas House. It has been one hell of a 22-month stretch, but I wholeheartedly believe that God is already on the other side of this struggle. Until we get to that other side, with God’s grace, I’ll be fighting for you, fighting to make Texas and the Permian Basin the greatest place in which to work, live and raise a family.

God bless Texas!

Odessa, TX

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