Call-to-Action: Plea to contact Congress to pass emergency funding for Puerto Rico
GritoBlast! The pictures of Puerto Rico’s assault by Hurricane Maria is heart-wrenching. The pictures of people flooded out of their homes, wading through swirling waist-high waters, lining up for gas, searching for water rival pictures of what we saw in Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
However, unlike Houston, where half the city wasn’t touched by the same devastation, all of Puerto Rico is suffering the same. What makes matters worse is that it is an island, miles away from the U.S. mainland. A country that was self-sufficient in many ways now faces an uncertain future.
According to Puerto Rico’s Department of Agriculture, 80 percent of crops could be lost.
Only 27 percent of the San Juan area — the capital — has cellphone service, and 65 percent of fixed lines can make long distance calls, according to the Puerto Rico Governor’s Office said.
Sixty percent of the population don’t have access to running water.
“This is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million U.S. citizens,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “People cannot forget we are U.S. citizens — and proud of it. Now, we’ve been essentially devastated. Complete destruction of the power infrastructure, severe destruction of the housing infrastructure, food and water are needed. My petition is that we were there once for our brothers and sisters, our other U.S. citizens, now it’s time that U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are taken care of adequately, properly.”
While there are representatives of the president and FEMA on the ground in Puerto Rico, the sentiment is that help is not coming fast enough. A request has been made that concerned residents contact their local representative and either leave a message or send an email asking Congress to pass legislation that includes emergency supplemental appropriations funding.
Use this link https://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep to find your representative and the following is a script to either use or inspire:
Dear Congressman/Senator X,
Congress needs to include emergency supplemental appropriations funding for Puerto Rico now. Anything less would be irresponsible and immoral.
At a minimum, any legislation to assist Puerto Rico during this critical time, should include: a) immediate emergency disaster relief funding, b) critical infrastructure, housing and energy investments, c) federal health care funding parity, & d) economic tools to quicken the recovery and make Puerto Rico self-reliant over time.
The 3.4 million US Citizens of Puerto Rico are suffering a calamity never before seen in modern history. Will you publicly commit to supporting immediate emergency supplemental funding for disaster relief and recovery in Puerto Rico?
As your constituents, we are counting on your support.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue.