In the past week, the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA) has been urging state and federal policymakers to designate Green Industry businesses as “Essential Business” in order to exercise the option to remain open for business. We have already sent letters to Governor Abbott, USDA Secretary Perdue, and Ag Commissioner Sid Miller calling on them to support the Green Industry with the Essential Business designation.
But, it’s in the hands of your local officials now. For the time being, Gov. Abbott has decided to not issue a statewide lockdown. So certain county officials have begun doing it themselves.
Now we need your help to get your local officials on board. Dallas County was among the first to issue a “Stay-At-Home” Order exempting certain Essential Business as defined by their order, including 14 areas of critical infrastructure in this memo from the CISA. Click Here to Read the CISA Memo.
While our association believes many sectors of our industry qualify under the CISA guidance for Essential Business, Dallas Co. and others have not clarified it yet. Primary of concern are the Landscape and Retail sectors and whether all businesses fit within the CISA guidelines.
TNLA has sent the letters below to statewide officials. Staff will also be following up with the local officials to clarify their orders/declarations and make our case for both retail and landscape. (We firmly believe that Growing operations are safely covered under the Agriculture Exemption in CISA memo).
1) We urge you to download, modify and place on your company letterhead, a letter that you can email or mail to your local officials stating that your company should be considered an "essential business" and remain open.
Retail Garden Center "Essential Business" during COVID-19
Landscape "Essential Business" During COVID-19
Horticulture is “Essential Business”
TNLA will issue updates as the cases continue to progress.
Dallas County Judge
Judge Clay Jenkins
411 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75202
City of Fort Worth Mayor
Mayor Betsy Price
200 Texas St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Cheif of Staff: Mattie Parker, Mattie.Parker@fortworthtexas.gov
Tarrant County Judge
Judge Glen Whitley
100 East Weatherford Street
Fort Worth, TX 76196
(Insert letter into the body of the email)
Travis County Judge
Judge Sarah Eckhardt
700 Lavaca, Suite 2.300
Austin, TX 78701 (Map)
PO Box 1748
Austin, TX 78767
Phone: (512) 854-9555
Chief of Staff: Peter Einhorn, firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 854-9229,
City of Austin Mayor
Mayor Steve Adler
Online Portal for email messages
P.O. Box 1088
Austin, TX 78767
Chief of Staff/Attorney: Lesley Varghese, Email Lesley online portal
Bexar County Judge
Judge Nelson Wolff
Email Judge Wolff: nwolff@Bexar.org
101 W. Nueva, 10th Floor
San Antonio, TX 78205
Director of Policy and Planning: Nicole Erfurth, email@example.com
City of San Antonio Mayor
Mayor Ron Nirenberg
Online contact form
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
Chief of Staff: Jim Greenwood, online contact form for Jim
Harris County Judge
Judge Lina Hidalgo
1001 Preston, Suite 911, Houston, Texas 77002
Chief of Staff: Vivian King
City of Houston Mayor
Mayor Sylvester Turner
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251
Phone: 311 or 713.837.0311
Chief of Staff: Marvalette Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org
*Please remember to continue to observe the CDC guidelines for the best hygienic practices and social distancing in all areas of the industry in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Encourage employees to stay home when ill, wash their hands, sanitize appropriate personnel and equipment.*
For additional questions email Amy Graham at Agraham@tnlaonline.org.