Posted on August 13, 2019 on The Dallas Morning News website
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday appointed 27 people to a newly created Texas Safety Commission that will create an "immediate action plan" for the state after the Aug. 3 mass shooting by a white supremacist in El Paso.
I'm honored to be among those appointed.
AUSTIN -- Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday appointed 27 people to a newly created Texas Safety Commission that will create an "immediate action plan" for the state after the Aug. 3 mass shooting by a white supremacist in El Paso.
Following up on the pledge he made three days after the massacre to name a group that would hold "roundtables with experts," Abbott announced the commission would meet Thursday at the state Capitol in Austin and in El Paso on Aug. 29.
He has charged the panel with devising strategies "to provide community healing, combat the rise of extremist groups and hateful ideologies, keep guns out of the hands of deranged individuals, and combat domestic terrorism, including cybersecurity threats," said a release from the governor's office.
Abbott named to the group himself, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen and seven other lawmakers -- including five El Paso Democrats.
He appointed eight members from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including Assistant Dallas Police Chief Lonzo Anderson, and Superintendent Juan Martinez of the Clint school system in El Paso County.
In addition, Abbott tapped representatives of Facebook, Google and Twitter; psychologist Susan Fletcher of Plano; University of Texas law professor Robert Chesney; Ed Scruggs, president of Texas Gun Sense, a group that advocates strengthening gun laws; state health and human services czar Courtney Phillips; and pastor Tory Mayo of The Well, a nondenominational church in Austin.
Abbott's release said that "portions" of the two upcoming commission meetings "will be open to the press."
In a written statement, the Republican governor said the state "will not relent" as it tries to help El Paso heal and keep all Texans safe.
The plan will "address the link between mental health challenges and gun violence in our communities," he said.
- Posted on August 20, 2019 on The Dallas Morning News website
Until next time,