Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Photos of the Week: Renewable energy, gymnast testimonies and a Met Gala dress Ocasio-Cortez, Bush push to add expanded unemployment in .5T spending plan MORE (D-N.Y.) has raised about $4.7 million in relief funding for Texas, CNN reported on Sunday.
Ocasio-Cortez began her fundraiser on Thursday after freezing temperatures took over Texas and left millions without power or clean water. Her press secretary, Ivet Contreras, confirmed to CNN that nearly $5 million had been collected as of Sunday evening.
CNN noted that this is Ocasio-Cortez’s first major fundraising effort and disaster site visit apart from efforts relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our first major relief effort was last year when COVID hit and so we were able to build a disaster relief and fundraising operation and we cut our teeth on that with COVID but that was in our home district, and so before that, we had mobilized for Hurricane Maria relief but that was before I was elected as a member of Congress," Ocasio-Cortez told CNN. "I think this is just something that we should be able to do whenever there is an area in our country that's in need."
Houston Public Media reported that the funds raised by Ocasio-Cortez will go to the Houston Food Bank, Family Eldercare, Feeding Texas, the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center and Corazon Ministries, among others.
The congresswoman visited Texas on Saturday, helping distribute food at the Houston Food Bank and visiting a home affected by the winter storm, CNN reported.
"It's one thing to read about what's going on but it's another thing entirely to see the damage for ourselves," Ocasio-Cortez said. "The message in Washington is let's not let people get caught up in a bunch of red tape. Let's try to get this assistance out the door as much as people need and as quickly as we can."
Dozens of Texans have died due to the harsh conditions brought on by the plummeting temperatures. Criticism has been raised regarding Texas's power infrastructure, which is largely cut off from the rest of the country. A family on Sunday filed a lawsuit against Texas's grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas alleging that gross negligence led to their 11-year-old son's death.