Dear MoveOn member,
Imagine if after a devastating natural disaster New York was forgotten by the federal government and had to wait more than one week for real emergency relief. Wouldn't you be outraged?
Well, as you read this message, 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico are struggling for survival in the wake of two devastating hurricanes that happened more than one week ago.1
Nearly half of Puerto Rico has no access to clean water. The majority of Puerto Rico still has no electricity. Puerto Ricans have almost no access to medical care. No way to communicate.2 We need Congress and FEMA to do more. MUCH more. And they need to do it now.
Will you sign and share my emergency petition demanding that Congress immediately take action to provide aid and rebuild my home, Puerto Rico? Click here to add your name.
My petition to Congress says:
I was born in Puerto Rico, and my parents still live on the island in Bayamon, a town near the capital city of San Juan. I am a New York state senator from the Bronx, and many of my constituents are Puerto Rican. Hurricanes Irma and Maria have laid waste to my home; what's happening there is personal for me.
I have been able to speak to my parents twice, and they are OK so far. They have enough food and water for about a week—but time is running out.
I'm lucky that I've been able to reach them at all. Constituents are coming into my office who can't reach their families. One man can't reach his mother; he doesn't know if she has access to medicine and is worried about her survival.
Thus far, the response from Congress and FEMA has not come even close to addressing the tragic destruction and human suffering on the island. Congress and FEMA must:
1. Adequately address this tragedy by devoting the immediate people power and resources that Puerto Ricans need and deserve.
2. Cancel Puerto Rico's $73 billion in predatory debt.3
3. Pass a significant relief and recovery package that includes a permanent end to the Jones Act, so that Puerto Rico has the resources both for this acute crisis and for the longer rebuilding process. Puerto Rico must rebuild, but the same vultures who caused this crisis are going to try and make money off of Puerto Rico’s rebuilding effort, and we cannot let that happen.4
Numerous credible sources report that basic relief functions in Puerto Rico are in shameful chaos.5 And as time passes, this is only going to get worse. Let's make sure that Congress acts before it's too late.
Thanks for all you do.
–State Senator Gustavo Rivera, New York
1. "After Hurricane Maria, what will it take to turn Puerto Rico's power back on?" The Verge, September 25, 2017
2. "9 Numbers That Put Puerto Rico’s Daunting Recovery Into Perspective," The Huffington Post, September 27, 2017
3. "Who owns Puerto Rico's mountain of debt? You do," CNN, September 27, 2017
4. "What Is the Jones Act? Opponents to 1920 Law Argue It’s Worsening Puerto Rico’s Crisis," NBC News, September 28, 2017
5. "'This Is Chaos': Sweltering Puerto Rico on Day 6 Without Power," Bloomberg, September 25, 2017
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