AUSTIN, Texas - As Texas begins to reopen services and business around the state, policy experts from both UT Austin and the University of Houston have issued a playbook for the state's post-pandemic recovery.
According to a UT Austin press release, the playbook labeled, "A Playbook for Resiliency: Creating Opportunity for All Texans," is a nine-point report with the author's vision of rebuilding a more equitable and inclusive future for Texas. The report calls for state and local leaders to evaluate past policies and unequal growth.
“We have to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that, going forward, our state is more resilient than it’s ever been,” said Kirk Watson, a former state senator who serves on Gov. Greg Abbott’s Strike Force to Open Texas and co-author of the playbook. “How we approach the challenge of recovery from the pandemic will define Texas going forward and whether it is stronger and better prepared for the future.”
The report is broken down into these nine points:
- Build Partnerships Instead of Rivalries
- Foster Resilience Through Economic Inclusion and Diversification
- Increase Healthcare Investments for Economic Development
- Lead the Energy Future
- Protect Essential Workers to Protect Texas’s Resiliency and Future
- Promote the Growth of Rural Communities with State-Supported Investments
- Invest in the Skills of Texans
- Leverage Texas Universities as Community Hubs and Accelerators for Talent and Thought Leadership
- Advance an Infrastructure that Supports the Orderly Growth of Metropolitan Texas
The report also notes that COVID-19 has caused disruptions that have provided opportunities to reshape Texas' approach to critical services such as health care, education, and economic development for both rural and urban communities.
"Even in a downturn, Texas cannot afford to turn away from investment at this crucial time,” said Steven Pedigo, an economic development strategist and co-author of the playbook. “As important and urgent as it to reopen Texas, our ultimate challenge is to make our state stronger and more prosperous in the future. That starts with investing in policies and plans that put Texans first.”
In the view of the authors, the report will also require Texas to discard the "zero-sum" approach that pits jurisdictions, regions and economic sectors against one other as it makes investments in economic, workforce and community development," the UT press release stated.
You can read the full playbook below:
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