FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carolina González, email@example.com, (929) 287-4263
VAMOS4PR STATEMENT ON RELIEF EFFORTS FOR HURRICANE MARIA
The following statement can be attributed to Héctor Figueroa, President of SEIU 32BJ, and Julie Kushner, UAW Director Region 9A, both steering committee members of VAMOS4PR:
“A complete account of the devastation created in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria is still being assessed, but damage caused by Hurricane Irma just days before had already shown the fragile state of the island's infrastructure, especially its power grid, water system and telecommunications. One of the biggest contributing factors to these vulnerabilities is an economy weakened by decades of disinvestment, recession and laws that have hobbled Puerto Ricans' ability to secure their present and determine their own future.
“Most immediately, as a network of Puerto Ricans in the states and their allies, VAMOS4PR calls for our labor, faith, community allies and elected officials to demand federal assistance at levels commensurate with the calamitous levels of damage to the entire island.
“As Puerto Rico's economy must be focused on rebuilding in the months to come, we reiterate the need for an end to the cuts to vital public services imposed as a result of the public debt crisis, which had already caused major damage to the lives of working families long before the storms. As well, the island needs to be relieved of having to pay back public debt acquired illegally, or else any recovery will be temporary at best.
“Rebuilding Puerto Rico will likely take more than post-disaster aid -- it will likely require something closer to a Marshall Plan that incorporates a plan for sustainable development that will finally allow the Puerto Rican economy to sustain its people.”
VAMOS4PR is a network of labor, community, cultural and human rights organizations and individuals who live and work in the US mainland and fight for a fair economy for all Puerto Ricans. For more information, go to vamos4pr.org.