Author: Christopher Huron

It has come to our attention, through a plethora of media outlets, that the city of Dickinson, Texas is requiring businesses and individuals applying for grants, from monies donated for hurricane relief, to sign away their rights to freely express their own political beliefs.

The clause from the application reads:

Dickinson mayor, Julie Masters, points to the newly enacted Anti-BDS (boycott, divestments, and sanctions) House Bill 89, signed into law in May by Greg Abbott, as the reason for the inclusion of the clause. This law prohibits state agencies from contracting with companies that boycott Israel, a restriction the ACLU argues is unconstitutional.

This justification rings hollow, however, in light of no other Texas city making this political prohibition a condition tied to hurricane relief grants.

Having seen the devastation in Dickinson first hand, and having organized work crews to help in recovery efforts there, the folks at West Street Recovery find this to be completely unacceptable. The politics of the citizens of Dickinson, or anywhere else for that matter, should not be a factor used to determine who is eligible for hurricane relief funds and who isn’t.

We call on the Mayor of Dickinson to remove this egregious clause from the hurricane relief grant application, and we call on the state of Texas to repeal this preposterous law as well.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/if-youre-boycotting-israel-texas-town-then-no-hurricane-relief-you

http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=HB89

http://time.com/4992101/hurricane-harvey-texas-dickinson-israel/

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/Dickinson-claims-no-Hurricane-Harvey-relief-if-12292001.php

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_59ea2e0fe4b00f08619e9776