Doing Something – Year Four
A longtime friend recently contacted us and expressed concern. He noted that we post about going to meetings, talking to people, and creating a law, but asked if anything has actually changed.
That conversation has made us realize that we are not doing a good job of sharing our progress.
Our supporters know that the WTH Power Line Safety Act became law in 2019. About the same time, the power line involved was buried under the lake and the lake manager put up warning signs. We wondered if our work was done. It didn’t feel done. So, we asked ourselves, what is next?
During the pandemic quarantine, we stayed home. We turned a bedroom into a home office. Old school brainstorming. White boards and sticky notes. We wanted to continue work to make power line safety a priority. After about 6 months, we had a plan, we had a mission, we had a name.
The Power Line Safety Initiative. The dictionary defines Initiative as the right to initiate legislative action, it can also mean an act or strategy intended to resolve a difficulty or improve a situation. Our initiative is both. It is a place where ideas can be fostered, solutions can be implemented, and lives saved.
Our mission is to prevent public injuries and fatalities due to unsafe power lines through enhanced legislative action, active industry oversight and continued public education.
The first half of 2021 has been more than busy. Several events have created opportunities for us to be involved in legislation and education. Here are some of our recent activities and accomplishments:
- Testifying at Texas House and Senate committees on Public Utility Commission, ERCOT, and electric utility reforms.
- Monitoring outcomes of HB 4150, specifically industry compliance and PUC enforcement.
- Meeting with government officials in the PUC, TPWD and other agencies to review existing safety regulations and promote ideas for new ones.
- Launching a new non-profit – The Power Line Safety Initiative, including a dedicated website.
- Establishing an official partnership with the National Safe Boating Council.
- Participating in Waves of Hope, a coalition of forever-changed families and friends working to prevent boating and water tragedies.
- Researching lakes with over water lines, contacting lake controlling authorities and planning an education campaign to place warning signs at all public boat ramps.
- Networking through other civic and educational organizations to share our story and find support for our mission.
One thing we have learned, is that when people do nothing, history repeats itself. We lost our son to a preventable tragedy that happened before and can happen again. So here we are, working full time at a job we never expected to hold. We have left the security of our careers to follow our hearts. We are committed to continued oversight of existing regulations and maintaining public visibility on power line safety. Every day is not easy or fun, but then there are days that we know we are doing the right thing, to honor the boys and save lives. Our son would be proud.