To All  AGIF Members Planning to Attend the AGIF National Conference in August

American GI Forum of Texas, Inc. Report: AUSTIN, Texas Just a short reminder that we continue working at the Texas state office to assure that the AGIF continues its work on the National Conference. This also is a short report on what’s going on In Texas. Although we are going through difficult times we are working keeping up with business. We are in communications with State Commander Ruiz regularly and with other members of the board as the need arises. We’re in communication with sponsors, hotels to make sure that they remain with us.

On Texas news, Governor Greg Abbott recently issued an Executive Order lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. This will have a bearing on our conference. The Governor made the following announcement:

“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” said Governor Abbott. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed. Today’s announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”

The Governor discussed the incredible advancements that Texas has made that allow the state to open fully and lift the mask mandate—noting the rapid increase of vaccines. By the end of March, every senior who wants a vaccine should be able to get one.  

“More than 2.5 million Texans who were lab confirmed for COVID-19 have recovered since the beginning of the pandemic, and experts note the total number of Texans who have recovered from COVID-19 is likely 4-5 times that amount. The number of active COVID-19 cases is the lowest since November—meaning more Texans are recovering from COVID-19 than contracting it. This order ends the statewide mask mandate in Texas. Businesses may still limit capacity or implement additional safety protocols at their discretion. However, County Judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity. This means our conference in August may be able to operate at a normal level.” –Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

We, the Commander and the Conference Committee, will continue to monitor every situation as it pertains to us in Texas and all persons visiting our state. We will work to assure that our conference is safe and that the hotel, and our committees will never put anyone at risk.

As we continue to upgrade our website, we will still communicate with you via email. Our webmaster and I have been working to improve postings and have better visuals and more information and updates. It looks very good, but progress has been slow. We have been working remotely, so at times the work is slow. We are looking forward to full use soon.

As for our State business, we are planning a Board Meeting for October in Austin to discuss the state-of-the-state and upcoming events for 2021. We’re hoping it will be eye-to-eye, but we will at least have a virtual meeting. I will keep you up to date on details.

We have received most all of the chapters’ dues and assessments and all cards have been mailed to those who have submitted transmittals and charter renewals. We understand that it is hard to keep in touch with members, so thank all of you for your efforts. Please if you have any questions, or information, please call or email us.

The latest Texas Governor’s announcements give us hope of a successful and safe conference. However, it’s your call to proceed as you feel may the safest options for you, your family and members. We ask that all of proceed with caution and use your discretions to stay safe.

State Commander Ceasar Ruiz stated, “One year into dealing with COVID-19, organizations such as ours understand what protocols they must implement to function safely, and AGIF Texas knows our members will work safely and  responsibly.

“Throughout the pandemic, Governor Abbott has implemented measures that protect our communities, striking the right balance by removing the heavy hand of government and allowing citizens and businesses to operate as they see fit. One year into dealing with COVID-19, organizations understand what protocols they must implement to function safely, and AGIF Texas will operate responsibly,”