The growing list of local entities defying Gov. Abbott’s anti-safety orders

While Gov. COVID refuses to keep Texans safe, local leaders are stepping up to protect our communities.

Toplines and Key Points:

  • While Gov. Abbott banned local governments and school districts from issuing mask mandates, many are rejecting his orders.

  • The risk of the Delta variant is too great to listen to a governor who prioritizes politics over heath.

  • Courts in Dallas and San Antonio are siding with local leaders, and cities across the state could get the same backing to save lives.

With the Delta variant of COVID-19 quickly spreading across Texas, we’re once again stuck between a governor who ignores public safety and local leaders doing everything they can to save lives. As ICU beds fill to near-maximum capacity, Gov. Greg Abbott has banned local governments and school districts from enforcing mask mandates or vaccine requirements.

Abbott’s dangerous use of executive authority has forced local leaders to make the only choice left for public safety — defy his executive orders. 

Here’s the growing list of local entities taking action against Gov. COVID’s executive orders. With advocacy by Texans like you, your city could be next! (If you see more updates to add, please drop me a note).

School districts requiring masks: 

Local governments taking action:

Schools are rejecting the order

Texas students are returning to school as Texas reaches its highest peak of COVID cases yet. But under Gov. Abbott’s executive order, no teacher or administrator can require their students to wear masks, even as kids under 12 are still unvaccinated. There’s no question that the policy will increase the spread of the Delta variant, inevitably costing lives. That’s why school districts in Texas’ largest cities are resisting the orders and requiring masks anyway. Each district risks a fine to keep students safe, while our governor is too scared of primary challenges to do what’s right for public health.

Abbott’s anti-safety orders also restrict government offices from requiring masks, forcing local leaders to mount legal challenges to keep Texans safe. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has consistently put COVID safety before politics, asked a court to block Abbott’s mask mandate ban. In San Antonio, local officials sued Abbott over his executive orders. 

Fortunately, their decisions have been fully supported by the judicial branch. Two judges have ruled in favor of local governments enforcing their own mask mandates in Dallas and Bexar counties, opening the door for localities across the state to require masks. That means your city has no excuse for ignoring public safety.

The risk of the Delta variant is too great to listen to a governor who prioritizes politics over health.

How you can help

Take action today by advocating for your local governments and school districts to take the strongest possible precautions against COVID-19. Attend school board and city council meetings to advocate for public health measures and email or call your representatives to demand they support mask requirements. As always, get vaccinated as soon as possible if you have not already. And while Greg Abbott continues to put our lives at risk, keep wearing your mask.