Topic

Hurricane Maria

30 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chuck Schumer

Tell President Trump to Stop Preventing Puerto Rico’s Recovery

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, there is much work left to be done. Congress must do its job to help the people of Puerto Rico by investigating inequitable response  and treatment by the federal government for disaster recovery and rebuilding! That includes holding accountable those in the federal government and Administration who have been accused of intentionally, and possibly illegally, prevented needed funds - appropriated by Congress - from getting to the island and intentionally creating barriers to accessing recovery dollars that have not been imposed on others. Investigations must also be held into charges of corruption, fraud, and mismanagement perpetrated by federal agencies and contractors. Congress must also get answers about why only 4% of the money allocated to help schools repair and reopen has been received by Puerto Rico and do more to help students displaced by closing hundreds of schools on the island. After FEMA and the Trump administration failed to provide adequate assistance to the island, and after the president has made clear he will arbitrarily withhold Congressionally approved funding for disaster relief in Puerto Rico, it has become evident that we, the people, need to demand that you, the U.S. Congress immediately investigate President Trump’s flouting of Congressional intent in the robust and urgent manner the situation requires. Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, yet two years later, for thousands of people the storm is still not over. As of the Summer of 2019, 30,000 homes in Puerto Rico still live under plastic blue tarps instead of roofs. Tens of thousands of traffic lights, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other basic infrastructure have still not been rebuilt. Yet Congress has approved billions in aid that the Trump Administration refuses to disburse to Puerto Rico.  In addition, the president continues to find more ways to block other types of federal funds for the island. For example, in September 2019, the Trump administration announced it would take $400 million from the Puerto Rico National Guard, and other state national guards, to fund a wall along the southern border. This comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development purposefully missing a September 4 deadline to send $8.3 billion in critical mitigation funds to Puerto Rico at the height of hurricane season. The President’s continuous false claims about the amount of federal aid sent to the island, combined with his relentless verbal assaults against the people of Puerto Rico, demand the type of response only the U.S. Congress can provide.  As such, we demand that Congress not only investigate these matters urgently and thoroughly, but also legislate to create an independent 9/11-style commission to get to the bottom of the disastrous federal response to what was the deadliest natural disaster in US history. It is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,500 U.S. citizens died as a result of Hurricane Maria and its aftermath and over 150,000 people were displaced, many of them permanently, by what has now been confirmed as the deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. We should honor their memory by getting to the bottom of what happened and learning what we can to make sure this type of inexcusable federal response never happens again. When people come together and demand change, you, the elected officials that represent us in Congress have to listen. It is time for the federal government to deploy the resources that should have been provided in the first place. It is time for our government to send a message that disaster relief should be provided to all U.S. communities without distinction. We the undersigned demand you immediately address these and other urgent problems facing our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.

Take Action For Puerto Rico!
704 supporters
Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security, President of the United States

Waive the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to Help Rebuild its Infrastructure and Economy

Everyone has seen the unprecedented devastation in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The entire island is without power and thousands of Americans may die.  Many have asked how they can help.  This petition focuses on cutting through bureaucracy that could cost lives and add to the suffering of millions of Americans in Puerto Rico.  The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act 1920, 46 U.S.C. § 883) prevents foreign ships from carrying cargo between the US mainland and noncontiguous parts of the US like Puerto Rico. Foreign ships can't stop in Puerto Rico to offload goods. Instead, goods are dropped off on the mainland and brought to the island on US flag ships. This makes everything more expensive, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, could actually cost lives. The Department of Homeland Security extended a waiver of the Jones Act to relieve PR, but the waiver expired on September 22, 2017.   I started this petition on Saturday, September 23rd.  By September 28th, this petition garnered nearly 500,000 supporters, and President Trump and DHS agreed to waive the Jones Act for 10 days.  While this is a good start, Puerto Rico will need additional time to rebuild its economy and infrastructure and should receive the benefit of foreign support.  For example, Germany has already begun assisting Puerto Rico with restoring its power grid.  By signing this petition, you are telling the Department of Homeland Security and the President of the United States to waive the Jones Act for 12 months to give Puerto Rico the relief it needs to recover and rebuild its infrastructure and economy.  

Jessica P
551,401 supporters
Update posted 1 year ago

Petition to Andrew D. Hamilton, Rich Baum, Lynne P. Brown, Ellen Schall, Tracey K. Gardner, Josh Taylor

NYU Took In Students After Hurricane Maria -- They're Not Ready To Go

NYU participated in the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program (HMAP) and has hosted 57 students for the Spring 2018 semester. At least 25 students have expressed a desire to stay. In a letter addressed to President Hamilton, students say: "We humbly request that you consider the reality under which HMAP was first conceptualized, compare it to the one we face today, and then consider our proposal to extend the program from its original one-semester plan to a two-semester plan." The students received an email response declining the request, and they have not felt heard, so they have now taken to the media, including this article in Buzzfeed.    These are the facts:  Puerto Rico continues to struggle 7 months after the hurricane.  There are communities in the dark, access to healthcare is limited, including mental health services, which are desperately needed as evidenced by the climbing rates of suicide and self-reported rates of depression and anxiety.  Cutting HMAP pushes students into a chaotic environment which will not allow them to thrive, much less focus on school work. This social injustice is a travesty and indicative of the 2nd class citizenship Puerto Ricans have traditionally experienced.  A power outage just last month left over 800,000 residents in the dark.  This alone is undeniable evidence of the precarious situation our citizens still face on the island, and many families fear for their safety. Our Demands We applaud NYU for activating HMAP in collaboration with universities in Puerto Rico. HMAP saves lives by addressing key social determinants of health, and this petition calls us to address the educational risk that will result from cutting HMAP short. The students are asking for a meeting with the President, so they can be heard. Like all U.S. Citizens, we ask that these students be treated with respect and that the NYU President and administration consider the moral responsibility they have to ensure the academic success of these bright, young students.  We ask NYU to join other higher-learning institutions to extend its HMAP program for an additional semester so that these students may be afforded the opportunity to fully recover and overcome the devastation they have experienced. Our request is simple: 1. President Hamilton opens his office to host a meeting with HMAP beneficiaries. 2. NYU extends HMAP benefit through December 2018 for students to enroll in the Fall semester. 3. NYU extends housing, healthcare and professional mental health services to HMAP beneficiaries.  More to watch and read here: Blackout in Puerto Rico (PBS Frontline, May 1 2018) Puerto Rico May Day March Turns Violent (Al Jazeera, May 2, 2018)   Who are we? Collective Action for Puerto Rico (CAPR) is a collection of faith-based organizations, community leaders and concerned citizens of the U.S. and of the Puerto Rican diaspora, based in New York City and includes support from the following organizations: Union Theological Seminary, Middle Collegiate Church, Fort Washington Collegiate Church, Intersections International, and the Bronx Coalition for Hurricane Maria Evacuees.    

Collective Action for Puerto Rico, in partnership with Middle Collegiate Church
99 supporters