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.
Petition to Members of the 115th United States Congress
Grant Immediate Emergency Aid to Puerto Rico & Eliminate Cost-Sharing for FEMA Aid
We the people of the Puerto Rican diaspora and other tax-paying citizens of the United States demand that members of Congress provide for the following measures: 1- Provide for a minimum 15 billion dollar package to Puerto Rico, akin to what was granted for Texas and Florida to support state infrastructure and citizens in rebuilding after the catastrophic impact of Harvey and Irma. Senators Nelson and Rubio, Congressman Soto (FL) agree and have also called for the "same level of determination in responding to Hurricane Maria’s impact as the federal government did to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.” 2-Eliminate cost-sharing for FEMA aid. The cost-sharing requirement will make it impossible for the economically bankrupt island to access all of the FEMA resources that will address the damages from Hurricane Maria. 3 - Absolve the debt. Any focus on repaying debt in the face of the immediate rebuilding needs will impede necessary growth and attention to humanitarian needs. In the aftermath of Maria, Puerto Rico's road to recovery has moved from long to never-ending unless debtors and insurers are compelled to absorb losses. 4-An immediate waiver of the Jones Act which requires all shipping between U.S. ports be done by American-built and American -crewed vessels. The Jones Act is logistically limiting the arrival of life saving medicines, food, and water during this crisis.
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, US Senate, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, President of the United States
Pass Bill S1894 to Permanently Exempt Puerto Rico From The Jones Act
Puerto Rico is facing a humanitarian crisis following the devastation of two category 4 hurricanes the second which literally destroyed what was left of its frail infrastructure, agriculture, and telecommunications structure. The people face hunger, loss of their homes, jobs, increased disease due to lack of clean water and disabled sewer systems. While the aid and assistance from the Department of Defense, FEMA, Federal, State, and local governments are increasing, the long term outlook for reconstruction looks grim. 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 hamper streamlined efforts to rebuild the Island and help boost its economy. Please support and pass Bill S1894 introduced by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and John McCain (R-Arizona) to PERMANENTLY EXEMPT PUERTO RICO from The Jones Act.
Petition to Elaine Duke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Nydia Velazquez, Luis Gutierrez, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jennifer González
Lift Jones Act for Hurricane Maria Relief
The Jones Act regulates maritime commerce in US waters. It requires that all goods transported by water between US ports be carried on US flagships. Which means that in order for Puerto Rico and nearby islands to receive goods from other countries, these goods have to be delivered to the US mainland - transferred to US ships - rather than going directly to Puerto Rico. We respectfully request that this Act is immediately lifted for at least a month to help Puerto Rico and other islands that have been devasted by Hurricane Maria to receive the goods they need.
Petition to United Nations, Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations), United Nations Environment Program, Nikki Haley
Statement to UN Delegation on Puerto Rico: Audit the Debt! Audit the Deaths!
Statement to the United Nations: Exercising Religious Liberty in Support of the First Amendment Right of Protest | Audit Deaths and Debt Puerto Ricans’ First Amendment Right to Protest As Rev. Dr. King said, protest is the cry of the unheard, and what we witnessed during the overwhelmingly peaceful “MayDay” protests in Puerto Rico was an militarized response that threatens the first amendment rights of Puerto Ricans. As faith leaders, we put to use our religious liberty to support Puerto Ricans’ first amendment right to protest against government austerity. We oppose the militarization of policing that we witnessed during the “MayDay” protests in Puerto Rico. We see the damage the militarization of police has had in America and we will not stand as idle witnesses when it emerges in Puerto Rico. Audit the Deaths and the Debt Since Congress has failed to secure the human rights of the Puerto Rican people, we make our request to the United Nations to conduct the following audits: A human rights audit in Puerto Rico to probe what led to this vast undercount of deaths after Hurricane Maria. Initially the NYTimes reported the Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 64, Actual Deaths may be 1,052). Now we have substantial evidence published initially in The Washington Post: Harvard Study estimates thousands died in Puerto Rico because of Hurricane Maria. A fiscal audit the $74+ billion Puerto Rican debt, including excessive, unethical and usurious fees that should be rescinded from the balance of the debt. A recent investigative journalism series published by NPR and the PBS Frontline conclude: Wall Street kept pushing the Puerto Rican government's loans even as the island teetered on default, with a zeal that bank insiders are now describing with words like "unethical" and "immoral." We request that the United Nations hosts a forum on human rights in Puerto Rico by the government of the United States.
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.
Petition to Appropriations Committee
Tell CT Legislators To Support Families Displaced By Hurricane Maria
Hurricane Maria caused staggering damage to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and they need our help! The devastation that the islands have suffered are so extensive that officials say it could take months for the weakened power grid to be up and running and could take decades for maximum island recovery. Experts say tens of thousands of storm victims have fled the island territory to rebuild their lives on the mainland. Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico 6 months ago, yet 120,000 people still like access to power. This is a travesty, and it's what environmental injustice looks like. Tell the Appropriations Committee to support H. B. 5323: AN ACT CONCERNING UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND NATURAL DISASTER FUNDING IN THE STATE
Petition to Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Stop FEMA From Ending Food & Water Aid for Puerto Rico
On Monday, January 29th, 2018, the National Public Radio announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will end food and water aid for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018. With an estimate of about one-half of the island still being in complete darkness and much of the island without running water, we are asking FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to continue providing federal aid for impoverished Puerto Rican citizens. Many Puerto Ricans are dependent on FEMA's food rations and, without food and clean water, lives will be endangered. Please sign to ensure that Puerto Rican citizens will get the resources they need. Photo Credit: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/unseen-aftermath-hurricane-maria-heart-puerto-rico-gallery-1.3594028