Texans Focused on Cleanup, Housing and Health in Wake of Harvey

Texas voters are pretty content with how all levels of government responded to Hurricane Harvey, per the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

One of three approved debris removal sites in Port Arthur, where some residents have raised concerns about the city’s plans for post-Harvey clean up. “It’s just not right,” said Tami Pinkney, who lives in a home across the street from one of the sites. “This is not safe. It’s just not safe.”

What you need to know

Texas voters are pretty content with how all levels of government responded to Hurricane Harvey, per the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Here’s what you need to know

• Safety first. Twenty-eight percent of Texas voters ranked debris cleanup and removal as the most important post-Harvey problem, while 26 percent said housing was the No. 1 issue for them after the storm. Public health and environmental contamination were ranked third and fourth, respectively. Other items, such as unemployment, transportation and public education are extremely or somewhat important to voters — but the priority across the board was making sure everyone is okay first. 

• “Texans love how Texans did,” as Jim Henson, co-director of the UT/TT poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, puts it. Whether it was boat owners rescuing Harvey victims or rescue teams from around the state traveling to southeast Texas to help, 86 percent applauded the response of Texans after historic amounts of rainfall devastated swaths of the state. 


• Texas voters liked how the government responded to the storm. Large majorities thought highly of local and state governments’ actions, while 57 percent of voters said they approved of the feds’ response. The high approval ratings for state and local government though come at a time of some rift between those institutions — just look at this year’s legislative sessions and the fights that ensued over local versus state control. 

Now, your take

What do you think is the most important post-Harvey problem? Tell us with #MyTexasTake on Twitter and Facebook. 

Other stories we’re watching today:

• U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is in Austin this morning to speak about President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities. Follow Texas Tribune reporter Julián Aguilar for updates. 

• It’s the second day of the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s conference in Dallas. Patrick Svitek is your go-to for updates.

• A federal judge ruled earlier this week that a pregnant and undocumented immigrant could have access to an abortion, but that ruling is now up in the air, and a federal court in D.C. today will hear the Trump administration’s attempt to block it. Claire Allbright will be there. 

• The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is holding a news conference this morning to call for juvenile justice reform in the state. Jolie McCullough will be live-tweeting.