How to Help Demand an Urgent Federal Response in Puerto Rico
The winds and water from Hurricane Maria were devastating.
But the current humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico is largely Trump-made. It is unconscionable and it is getting worse.
Nearly a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, more than 35% of the island remains without drinking water and 85% is still without electricity.
A couple of weeks ago, Axios published a leaked White House internal memo with quotes like this: "Then we start a theme of recovery planning for the bright future that lies ahead for Puerto Rico. Planned hits, tweets, tv bookings and other work will limit the need for reactionary efforts. The storm caused these problems, not our response to it."
That argument came to its logical conclusion last week, when Trump tweeted his threat to end his half-hearted recovery effort altogether:
But as Rachel Maddow reported last week (in a story - yes, you're reading this right - about a medical worker quitting in protest when she saw federal disaster relief staff giving themselves a "spa day" in a triage tent meant to treat Puerto Rican survivors):
"This storm is no longer killing Americans. The federal government's response to this storm is now killing Americans."
How to help demand an urgent federal response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico
Call on your member of Congress (202.224.3121) to:
1) Extend the 60 day deadline for Puerto Ricans to file individual claims with FEMA. The vast majority of Puerto Ricans remain without any form of communication to be able to file these claims.
2) Exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, which requires ships bringing goods to American ports to be built in the United States. The White House's 10 day waiver has expired and is grossly inadequate for the current crisis.
3) Cancel Puerto Rico's debt, rather than saddling the island with new loans for disaster recovery. The legality of a large amount of this debt is questionable, particularly in the absence of an audit. Puerto Rico instead deserves a funding package with no strings attached.
4) Eliminate Puerto Rico’s federal ceiling on Medicaid in a parity basis. Hurricane Maria exacerbated an already-dire health crisis in Puerto Rico, and full funding for Medicaid will help alleviate it.
5) Protect the island's environment against financial vultures during the rebuilding process. Puerto Rico's rich ecosystem has long been targeted for profit rather than sustainability.
The Boricua Families United Travel Fund, launched by the National Domestic Workers Alliance to help reunite families impacted by the hurricane.
The Hurricane Maria Community Relief and Recovery Fund, created by the Center for Popular Democracy to support local, equitable rebuilding efforts in the most vulnerable communities.
The Report/Reimagine/Revive Puerto Rico campaign, launched by Rosa Clemente and a team of journalists to document the crisis on the island even as it fades from the mainstream news cycle.
La Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, a farmer-led organization working to support farmers and rebuild the island's food sovereignity (recommended by the Brooklyn-based, Puerto Rican-led group UPROSE).
The ViequesLove campaign is focused on the island of Vieques, which has been cut off from federal help even though for decades it was used by the federal government for naval bombing practice.
The Friends of Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Recovery Fund, a nonprofit raising funds specifically for Puerto Rico's thirteen Boys & Girls Clubs.