Washington, D.C. — A national coalition of leaders from civil rights, faith-based, labor and advocacy organizations will come together across the United States under the Power 4 Puerto Rico banner to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria through a National Week of Action, entitled “Boricuas Remember.” The events will honor and remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost as a result of Hurricane Maria and also serve as a declaration of unity with the Puerto Rican people calling for a just and transparent recovery and rebuilding process. Community leaders, artists and advocates will be leading mass vigils and rallies across the country from September 18th through the 22nd.
“Our national coalition has worked for almost a year demanding that the Trump Administration take responsibility for its failure to prepare for and adequately respond to Hurricane Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico,” stated Melissa Mark-Viverito, campaign director for Power 4 Puerto Rico and Vice President for Strategic Engagement for Latino Victory Project. “By FEMA’s own admission, terrible errors were made in the rescue and recovery process. Errors that help set the stage for the loss of thousands upon thousands of lives as estimated by both George Washington University and Harvard. The Puerto Rican people demand that the White House own its failures and support the Puerto Rican people in rebuilding, instead of offering denials and rebuttals that serve no one but the President. On the Anniversary of Hurricane Maria, our community will come together to mourn. And this coming November, our mourning turns to voting.
The flagship events of #BoricuasRemember will be in New York, NY (St. Bart’s Church, followed by march to Trump Tower), Washington, D.C. (Capitol Hill & White House) and West Palm Beach, FL (Mar-a-Lago), among other major cities. Speakers at the events will include national and local elected officials, civil rights and community advocates, and celebrities including Latin Grammy winner Frankie Negron. Participants will address the federal government’s disregard for Puerto Rican suffering, outline what Members of Congress can do to better meet the needs of Hurricane Maria survivors and their families, and urge Puerto Ricans to vote their conscience at the polls in November.
“From the day Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, President Trump has shown a level of of indifference and callousness towards the people of Puerto Rico that is nothing short of reprehensible," said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. "It is why today we continue our work with the Power 4 Puerto Coalition to unite diverse organizations across our country to demand justice for this egregious atrocity. It is time for our elected officials to feel the brunt of our outrage and let it be known that we will remember in November whether they stood with us or not.”
“From Jacksonville to Tallahassee and down to Miami, Puerto Ricans and our supporters in Florida are mobilizing for caravans, rallies and vigils to send a clear message: Puerto Rico will not be forgotten.” said Marcos Vilar, president of Alianza for Progress. “Our island is still struggling to rebuild. There are still homes and businesses without electricity. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to the mainland to rebuild their lives here. This is a moment to make our voices heard, so that all Puerto Ricans, whether here or there, can live their lives with justice, power and opportunity.”
For more details on the events being planned, visit www.BoricuasRemember.com.
Power 4 Puerto Rico is a nationwide coalition of organizations, leaders, and advocates from across the nation calling on Congress and the Administration to adopt an ambitious, new agenda that will put Puerto Rico’s economy on the road to future growth and prosperity. Powered by the Latino Victory Project, the coalition includes 32BJ SEIU, Alianza for Progress, American Federation of Teachers, BoricuActívate, Center for Popular Democracy, Hedge Clippers, Hispanic Federation, Hispanic National Bar Association, LCLAA, Make the Road (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York), Unidos US, Vamos 4 Puerto Rico, and many more.