Tag Archive for Puerto Rico

Fighting Back: “We can never let what happened after Maria happen again.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez of New York.

(Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address in English and Spanish.)

“Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They serve in our military. They shed blood in our wars. They have died for our freedoms. And, yet, in Puerto Rico’s darkest hour, this Administration failed them.

“That is wrong and the Administration must be held accountable. So far, Congressional Republicans have failed to live up to their constitutional responsibility of exercising oversight regarding the failures of the disaster response.

“We need answers. That is why I have authored legislation creating a 9/11 style Commission to investigate the response to Maria. I have also introduced ‘The COUNT Act’, which will establish federal procedures for death tolls after disasters strike.

“A year after Maria, the American people deserve to know what happened to their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And, as the hard road of recovery begins for the communities devastated by Hurricane Florence, we can only pray this Administration has learned from their mistakes. We can never let what happened after Maria happen again.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that it is our duty to help our fellow Americans recover from natural disasters.”

 
 

The Democratic Leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, held a press conference on Thursday to discuss the preparations for Hurricane Florence and the Trump Administration’s incompetent response to hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands last year:

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was joined by Small Business Committee Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett for a Press Conference to discuss the new threats to communities from Hurricane Florence and the need for renewed action and accountability for the federal hurricane recovery response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nancy Pelosi: “We owe the communities facing Hurricane Florence a solemn pledge: in these critical months of recovery to come, the government will do everything it can to save lives and make them whole – the promises we owe every American facing disaster.

But sadly that promise was not kept for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[…]

The suffering endured by our fellow Americans over the past year has been a challenge to the conscience of our nation, yet Trump tweeted yesterday that the death toll of 3,000 people, 3,000 Americans, was made up to discredit his Presidency.

Think about that. Pray over that. Think of the people who are affected by that.

The attitude from the Administration and from the Republican Congress is unacceptable. We have a moral obligation to do better, not only to finish the job in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but to prevent the same type of inadequate response from ever happening again.”

(The video and transcript of the press conference is below the Weekly Democratic Party Address, which was delivered by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont)

VNV Tuesday – 147 Days Until Midterms; Time to Set Our Hope On Fire (A Call to Action) 6/12/18

Father Time Overcome by Love, Hope, and Beauty (1627, oil on canvas)

Today’s inspiration came from this song by Vienna Teng about a nascent activist, as well as Rebecca Solnit’s book Hope in the Darkness: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

So what is this “hope” of which I speak? Solnit says it best:

It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings. “Critical thinking without hope is cynicism, but hope without critical thinking is naivete,” the Bulgarian writer Maria Popova recently remarked. And Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of Black Lives Matter, early on described the movement’s mission as to “Provide hope and inspiration for collective action to build collective power to achieve collective transformation, rooted in grief and rage but pointed towards vision and dreams.” It’s a statement that acknowledges that grief and hope can coexist. Source: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, pp. xiii-xiv

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Call your senators, particularly if you have D senators, and encourage them to vote against cloture on all of 45*s judges; Senate comity has been abused (blue slips, anyone?) by the Republicans, and it’s long past time to fight back with all the tools we have.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Call your House member and senators, and let them know that this is a deal breaker; demand that they make a public statement, so that voters will know their position. Supporting a D candidate for the House or Senate? Contact them, and demand that they address this issue loudly and proudly.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
See that tweet above? Those are your beginning talking points. Now get on the phone, and let your righteous anger loose.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
“I’m also pressing for a simple one-sentence law that says it is the policy of the United States not to separate children from their parents,” Merkley said. (Southwest Key Programs regrets denying Sen. Merkley entry ) Your action item in one sentence.

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Need some help in crafting your talking points? Read this: Evidence That New Tariffs, Not Immigrants, Are Costing Jobs Or maybe this will help: Car bosses round on Trump over threat of tariffs

Grief and rage when I see this:

Visions and dreams lead me to support this:

Set your hope on fire/action item
Given the botched and frankly, inhumane, response to the crisis in Puerto Rico, a foreclosure moratorium should be the minimal response. #CanceltheDebt is another ask, as is a repeal of the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (the “Jones Act”) which place such a burden on Puerto Rico.

With the rampaging destruction being carried on by the Republicans, this diary could be never-ending. But while we’re all helping in some form or another to make the Blue Wave happen in November, I wanted to illustrate that hope isn’t a state of being; it’s a series of actions that we take today. Preparing for November is, sadly, not enough. We must be working the phones, educating our friends and neighbors, and committing to act now. While no one person can do all of the work, together we create the ripples which will lead to the wave.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: Puerto Rico Is Us 10/10/17

San Juan, 1901

Today’s post is prompted by this tweet and the accompanying article:


Too many of us were educated in a system that shies away from words like colonialism, imperialism, or racism when talking about our country. And yet, the evidence is readily available if one is willing to look. Today, we’re looking.

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: A PRimer 10/3/17

A useful point of reference.

I’ve never been to Puerto Rico. Up until recently, if you asked me to find it on a map, I would have been able to find the general locale (I’ve heard it’s in a big ocean) but would have meandered around a bit before picking it out. Unfortunately, my ignorance goes beyond geography, so today’s post answers some of the questions that I have had; although I assume just about everyone reading is more knowledgeable than I am, I hope I’ll add to the community knowledge in some small way.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Addressing Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the crippling economic crisis harming 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico. Today, the island is spending over a third of its tax revenue on debt payments – and on July 1, Puerto Rico is facing another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot make. The President said the only way for Puerto Rico to overcome this crisis is by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable path toward growth and opportunity for its people. But this requires help from Congress in order to give Puerto Rico the tools it needs to restructure its debt. The President commended the House of Representatives, which overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and called on the Senate to quickly follow suit.