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03/30/2018 | Organizing for Environmental Justice

Puerto Rican Families Demand Action on Six-Month Anniversary of Hurricane Maria

On March 20, on the six month anniversary of Hurricane Maria which devastated Puerto Rico, hundreds of Puerto Rican families traveled across the country to demand a just recovery for the island. The slow and neglectful response by the federal government had added to the immense devastation Hurricane Maria left in its path.

#6MonthsAfterMaria, hundreds of thousands of people like Mariangely Ortiz are still struggling to survive without power, a roof over their heads, or potable water. Read about Mariangely Ortiz in the New York Times. Thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans, like Daiza Aponte, are still stranded in temporary housing across the country, having to start from scratch in a new land. Read about Daiza’s story in the New York Times.

The day of action began with a rally in front of FEMA’s offices, with families carrying blue tarps that read “HELP” under heavy rain and snow. The families also visited and held sit-ins with Members of Congress, including Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Mitch McConnell, and Sen. Pat Toomey. The day ended in the Senate rotunda, where more than 20 people were arrested in powerful acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.

The rally was organized by Power 4 Puerto Rico, a coalition made up of CPD, the Hispanic Federation, the American Federation of Teachers, SEIU 32BJ, Hedge Clippers, Vamos 4 PR, and the civil disobedience organized by CPD with affiliates NYCC, CASA in Action, Organize FL, and Make the Road NY, NJ, and CT. The event was covered by Univision, Telemundo, ThinkProgress, La Opinión, EFE, Getty Images, El Nuevo Dia and many more, including interviews with Co-Executive Director Ana Maria Archila in NBC News and UPI.