How we approach the challenge of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will define the Texas that we live in going forward. This monumental event has revealed important issues that we have failed to address in the past. We have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this moment in time and create a stronger Texas. A Playbook for Resiliency: Creating Opportunity for All Texans outlines nine principles and associated actions for an inclusive and more resilient Texas.
- Build partnerships instead of rivalries. Collaboration is essential if Texas is to achieve lasting resiliency. Local leaders have an invaluable view on what is happening on the ground, while the state government offers a broader picture of Texas's overall needs.
- Foster resilience through economic inclusion and diversification. Let's be innovative in how we grow our export sectors when we begin to reopen the state, while supporting the small and local businesses that bring character, creativity, and authenticity to Texas communities.
- Increase healthcare investments for economic development. Texas's hospitals are not just providers of healthcare and centers of advanced research—they are job creators and have the potential to become important community catalysts.
- Lead the energy future. As the world's leading knowledge and production center for energy, Texas must seize the opportunity to innovate and develop an alternative energy ecosystem for the future.
- Protect essential workers to protect Texas's resiliency and future. They need access to affordable childcare, guaranteed healthcare and family-supporting wages.
- Promote the growth of rural communities with state-supported investments. With a renewed focus, Texas's rural communities can emerge as centers of entrepreneurship, improving the well-being of all Texans.
- Invest in the skills of Texans. It's time to double down on our investments in the skills and pathways that expand economic opportunities for Texans, improving well-being across the board.
- Leverage Texas universities as community hubs and accelerators for talent and thought leadership. Texas universities can serve as laboratories for the development of practical solutions to intractable problems.
- Advance an infrastructure that supports the orderly growth of metropolitan Texas. As expensive as they are, digital and physical infrastructure projects can help to jumpstart the recovery by putting people to work, while laying the groundwork for a Texas that is more sustainable.
Steven W. Pedigo, Professor of Practice, Director of the LBJ UrbanLab, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs The University of Texas at Austin
Kirk Watson, Founding Dean, Hobby School of Public Affairs The University of Houston
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