“It’s criminal”: A Texas community left without aid in the cold | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

“It’s criminal”: A Texas community left without aid in the cold

Gloria Vera-Bedolla, a Latina community organizer and mother of three, feels like her neighborhood near Austin, Texas, has been forgotten in a deep freeze that has plunged the state into a humanitarian crisis.

“We continue to be the victims of social injustice, food injustice, systemic racism — all of it,” she said. “And lots of people don’t speak up because they’re not used to being heard.”

Known as Forest Bluff, Vera-Bedolla’s neighborhood is on the east side of Interstate 35, where a vast share of the city’s Black and Hispanic populations reside. Her family moved there in 2017 after rising property taxes pushed them out of central Austin, drawn by cheaper real estate and more square footage.

But the nearest major grocery store is more than 10 miles away and there is no public transportation, making it a food desert. Even under normal circumstances, the tap water sometimes runs brown. Many of her neighbors are undocumented immigrants who live paycheck to paycheck and are ineligible for public benefits. Her 24-year-old son is reluctant to visit because he’s been pulled over so many times by the Travis County Sheriff’s Department for no stated reason.