Power4PuertoRico, a national coalition of organizations and leaders who advocate for the rebuilding of Puerto Rico and support for displaced families following the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.
launched a signature drive for a petition that urges the Trump Administration, and US Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson specifically, to stop illegally withholding approved federal aid for the island.
“I am deeply concerned that your office is withholding approved federal aid to the over three million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico who are struggling to rebuild two years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Because funds have been approved by Congress, you are legally required to disburse funds to Puerto Rico. I urge you to immediately release funds to support Puerto Ricans as they pursue critical reconstruction projects, such as repairing tens of thousands of homes and communities affected by the hurricanes, mitigating risks of flooding and landslides, and rebuilding the electrical grid,” reads the petition, which is available for the public to review and sign through actionnetwork.org.
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Participating organizations in the signature drive include Daily Kos, Progress America and 198 methods.
In a joint statement posted on the signature petition drive’s webpage, the organizations sustain that withholding the much needed $18 billion package, which was approved by Congress and signed into law over 660 days ago, is setting up Puerto Rico for failure in the reconstruction work and putting people in imminent danger, given that the island remains at high risk for natural and man-made disasters, according to multiple reports.
“The 2020 Global Climate Risk Index ranked Puerto Rico, along with Myanmar and Haiti, at the top of places most vulnerable to extreme weather events. And as recently reported by Dig Deep and the U.S. Water Alliance, unsafe drinking water in Puerto Rico is a ‘ticking time bomb’ for public health,” the statement says.
According to the organizations, signing the petition is a step to ensure that Puerto Rico, which is under the U.S. flag and whose residents are natural-born U.S. Citizens, receive Congressionally approved federal disaster assistance to support critical reconstruction projects, such as repairing tens of thousands of homes and communities affected by the hurricanes, mitigating risks of flooding and landslides, and rebuilding the electrical grid.
For a direct link to the signature petition drive, click here.