Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American political activist, took to Twitter early Tuesday to ask for donations for a Harvey Hurricane relief fund, but some of the organizations to receive the money are highly politicized.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) August 29, 2017
The primary organization spearheading the funding is The Texas Organizing Project Education Fund, a labor-affiliated group known for demonstrating against what it deems are inequities in society. On the funding page Sarsour linked to, which is hosted by the Texas Organizing Project, it greets users at the top with the message “Donate to the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund.”
The page lists off a number of prominent liberal organizations towards the bottom (with logos) that are apparently sponsoring the relief page, including: massive labor unions like the Communication Workers of America and Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Faith In Texas, a group that advocates for “economic and racial justice,” among others. At least 20 percent of SEIU’s budget went to political endeavors, according to The Washington Free Beacon, having spent $61.6 million during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and $113 million throughout former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election bid. It was also one of the first unions to endorse Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. (RELATED: ‘Fight For $15’ Leader Claims He’s Not Paid To Protest — Actually Paid Six Figures By SEIU)
Nowhere on the page does it specifically outline how it will use the donated money to help the victims of the natural disaster. Instead, it describes the plight of “marginalized communities” while enumerating how many people in the Houston metro area live in poverty and are immigrants.
“Together we will organize and advocate for our devastated communities, shining a spotlight on inequalities that emerge in the restoration of lives, livelihoods, and homes, amplifying the needs of hard-hit communities, and providing legal assistance for residents wrongfully denied government support,” the page concludes.
While its somewhat likely that at least some of the money will go towards humanitarian aid, it is not clear how much, and what exactly such support would entail. (RELATED: Linda Sarsour Rails Against ‘Right Wing Zionists’ At Kaepernick NYC Rally)
“The fine print for this so-called ‘relief fund’ makes clear that it funds workplace organizing efforts, rather than direct aid for Harvey victims,” Michael Saltsman, research director for the pro-free market Employment Policy Institute, told the Free Beacon. “If Americans want to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, they should donate to an organization like the Red Cross—not Big Labor and its affiliates.”
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