Unity Movement for Just Rebuild 
for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Act of 2017

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On September 20th, 2017 Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico entering on the southeast coast and exiting through the northwest coast. The hurricane enveloped the entire island, causing major destruction on the island. All municipalities were declared disaster zones as they experienced loss of power, record levels of flooding, severe crop and natural life damage, complete deprivation of communication, as well as, extensive devastation to homes across the island. Two months later, approximately 50% of the island is still without stable power, potable water is scarce, supply distribution is a challenge, and families are evacuating Puerto Rico to escape the unlivable situations they’re facing.

On Sunday, November 19th Unity March for Puerto Rico stood as ONE people- with ONE voice - in solidarity for Puerto Rico and WE THE PEOPLE made history. Unity March for Puerto Rico is now a National Unity Movement that stands for Justice for All People. We The People are the movement. 

The power of We The People is the force of change. Once again, we must unite and stand in solidarity with the leadership that stands with us. Add your voice to the movement by signing our petition. Unity Movement is in support of the people's bill- Senator Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren "Just Rebuild Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Act of 2017". 

Summary for the Sanders Just Rebuild for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Act of 2017

Original Sponsors: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma.)

Purposes. The bill emphasizes local control and sustainable rebuilding.

TITLE I includes a sense of the Congress on the need to address Puerto Rico’s debt and to prevent the privatization of public institutions in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

TITLE II prioritizes the electric grids will be rebuilt to be more renewable and resilient, and provides grants for residential and commercial energy efficiency, renewable energy, and plugin electric and hybrid vehicles. It also provides grants for transportation, housing, communications, clean drinking and waste water infrastructure, and agricultural incentives.
TITLE III provides parity for Medicaid and Medicare for the territories.

TITLE IV provides grants for local agriculture and food production and parity for the territories’ participation in the SNAP program.

TITLE V appropriates necessary funds to the VA in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

TITLE VI appropriates necessary funds for services and facilities for public Head Start, elementary, secondary, and higher education.

TITLE VII provides grants for economic development and worker protections like minimum wage and overtime. It also requires FEMA to use of local workers in the recovery efforts.

TITLE VIII provides grants to the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense for environmental remediation.

TITLE IX requires FEMA to work with other agencies to create a long-term disaster relief response plan for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to ensure a better response in the future.

TITLE X waives cost share for FEMA Public Assistance grant programs and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. It also forgives debt from Community Disaster Loans.

TITLE XI extends the filing deadline for FEMA Individual Assistance and designates the appropriations in this bill as emergency spending. It also ensures the long term liquidity of both territories through an emergency credit facility.

A just recovery must be in the hands of the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, led by the people, and for the people of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

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