National Puerto Rican Agenda in Action

September 21, 2020

 

PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR/ NEVER FORGET

 

 

This weekend marked the third-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, one of the the most destructive natural disasters to strike Puerto Rico in the last 100 years.  Thousands of Puerto Ricans were displaced and impacted by Hurricane Maria. Their  situation was aggravated by the fiscal crisis, political upheaval and the ongoing earthquakes.   

The diaspora has grown in numbers, reaching nearly 6 million people. We must take this unique opportunity to engage and influence the political process in the United States in ways that benefit our communities and Puerto Rico. 

 

The NPRA encourages you to honor all the lives lost and impacted by registering to vote and to memorialize victims by giving voice to Puerto Rican causes.

 

Election Day: Tuesday, November 3rd

 

Election Day is less than 2 months away.  In the midst of COVID-19, many states offer alternative ways to register and to vote from the safe comfort of your home. 

Please check your voting registration deadlines (by state)  HERE!

Maker sure to have a Voting Plan in advance. 

Find information about registration, voting, and even volunteering as a poll worker at vote.org 

Make your VOTE and PUERTO RICO count in these elections!

 

National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

 

September 1, 2020

 

 

Happy National Poll Worker Recruitment Day!

America needs more poll workers in November. If you are healthy and able, please volunteer and ensure free, fair, and accessible elections for all.

#HelpAmericaVote  

Check Out Poll Working 101 Video

 

 

For information on how to work at the polls on Election Day go to: HelpAmericaVote.gov 

Twitter: @beapollworker

Facebook: @HelpAmericaVoteBeAPollworker

 

Thank you for stepping up.

 

 

 

National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

 

August 8, 2020

 

 

The National Puerto Rican Agenda (NPRA) invites you to join #BoriCuenta2020, a grassroots campaign to promote completion of the 2020 U.S. Census in Puerto Rico and in Puerto Rican communities across the nation. 

The Puerto Rico response rate is the lowest in the nation at 31.5%; the national response rate is 64.5%. A series of natural disasters and disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted census related activity on the island – from planning processes, to hiring staff, to the ability of census workers to knock on doors. These unforeseen circumstances threaten an accurate count for the entire island.

Puerto Rico is not alone in its concerns about an accurate count. Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau announced it would end one month early, on Sept. 30th. The abrupt shortening of the census deadline is expected to produce an undercount of people living in rural areas and in communities of color.

#BoriCuenta2020 will provide an easily accessible digital toolkit to help Puerto Ricans reach out to their social networks on the island and assist in completing the census. The toolkit can be found at www.BoriCuenta.com. Please check it out and invite your family and friends to use it. 

BoriCuenta 2020

For more information please contact: Victor Negrón at vmnegronjr@aol.com

 

National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

 

 

June 19, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

June 6, 2020

 

March 29, 2020

National Puerto Rican Agenda
 

 

Thank you for responding to the National Puerto Rican Agenda Call to Action this past week.  On Friday, President Trump signed the $2.2 trillion-dollar coronavirus economic stimulus bill. Here are the key takeaways, all of which include Puerto Rico.   

 

State and Local Relief Fund

- $150 billion to help stabilize the finances of state and local governments. Puerto Rico is expected to receive $2.241 billion.

One Time Stimulus Checks

-  Married Couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, plus $500 for each child under 17. Reduced checks, on a sliding scale, will go out to married couples earning up to $198,000 annually.

- Head of Household (typically single parents with children) earning up to $112,500 will receive a $1,200, plus $500 per child under 17. Reduced checks, on a sliding scale, will go out to heads of household earning up to $136,500 annually.

- Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,200. Reduced checks, on a sliding scale, will go out to individuals making up to $99,000 annually.

- Everyone who has a Social Security number should receive the check.  In the case of Puerto Rico, the local Treasury Department (Hacienda) must submit a plan detailing how it will distribute the money.

Calculate how much you will get from the coronavirus checks.  

Student Loans

- Moratorium on payments or interest accrual on federal student loans from April through September 30th, 2020.

- Even though payments are suspended during this time period, the suspension period will count toward payment of public service loan forgiveness or other forgiveness programs, as well as loan rehabilitation programs for borrowers working to pull their loans out of default. 

- Wage garnishment and tax refund seizures will stop during the forbearance period. 

Small Businesses and Nonprofits 

- Companies with 500 employees or less, including non-profits, will be able to apply for loans of up to $10 million.

- Loans may be forgiven if they were used between February 15 and June 30 to pay payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities and debt payment. Wage payment of $100,000 or more is not allowed. If a company had to lay off employees during the covered period, the forgivable amount of the loan will also be reduced proportionally. 

- To expedite the loan process, personal guarantees have been waived. All that is required is a “good faith certification” that the business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the funds will be used according to the guidelines. 

Mid-Size Businesses and Nonprofits

Mid-size businesses with 500 to 10,000 employees, including non-profits, will be able to apply for loans with an interest rate of no higher than two percent and would not accrue interest or require repayments for the first six months.

Unemployment

- Unemployment benefits increased by $600 per week for up to four months.

- Unemployment eligibility expanded by additional 13 weeks for those who have exhausted state benefits.

-  Gig economy workers who are classified as independent contractors and self-employed individuals are eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

- These benefits are in addition to the new sick and family leave granted by law recently.

Hospitals and Health centers

- Puerto Rico will benefit from a total allocation of about $100 billion to assist health centers and to purchase medical supplies.

Housing

- Allows moratorium on the payment of federally backed mortgages for up to six months.

- Prohibits foreclosures or evictions from properties with federally backed mortgages for six months.

- Landlords cannot evict tenants who live in a multifamily building or single-family home that has a federally backed mortgage or charge any late fees, penalties or other charges for late rent payment.

Food Assistance

- Puerto Rico will receive most of the $200 million in the emergency nutritional assistance for the Island, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. $1.27B in emergency food aid had been requested by the Governor of Puerto Rico and advocacy organizations like the NPRA.

Missing from the Stimulus Bill

- House-passed supplemental (H.R. 5687) for Puerto Rico earthquake recovery.

 

While passage of this bill is encouraging, we know it is not enough for our communities in the mainland or for Puerto Rico.  We will aim to keep you informed so we can keep up the fight.

Thank you for your commitment and support.

Stay safe and be well,

The National Puerto Rican Agenda 



National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

 

March 24, 2020

National Puerto Rican Agenda

 

Congress is getting close to a deal on the massive coronavirus stimulus package. It is imperative that Puerto Rico not be left out.  WE NEED YOU TO EMAIL OR CALL TODAY to tell your representatives in Congress that Puerto Rico matters to you and that it needs to be taken care of. 

Please take ten minutes of your day to copy paste the following message in an email to your two Senators and Congressperson or if you prefer, pick up the phone and call.

Thank you for your commitment to Puerto Rico.

In solidarity,

National Puerto Rican Agenda

 

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS: 

Dear Senator, Congressman or Congresswoman X:

In the past four years Puerto Rico has faced a fiscal crisis, two hurricanes, and ongoing earthquakes. Federal assistance to the Island to date is less than half of the damage caused by these natural disasters and the local government is bankrupt. Now Puerto Rico is facing a world pandemic that could collapse its fragile medical system and weak economy.  

Puerto Rico needs your help and so I ask that the coronavirus stimulus package approved by Congress include the following:  

·      That Puerto Rico be included as an equal beneficiary of all the provisions on the coronavirus stimulus package made for the U.S. states.

·      That direct cash assistance take into account cost of living, is needs sensitive, is distributed through mechanism that reach the most vulnerable in the fastest way possible, including direct deposit, pre-paid cards or other means.

·      That Puerto Rico receive an additional $1.27B in emergency nutrition aid.  Puerto Rico is below the continental U.S. levels by a significant amount per household per month. This disparity and its effects are aggravated by the pandemic and major natural disasters.

·      That the House-passed earthquake supplemental (H.R. 5687) be approved in its entirety.

·      That waivers be granted for matching requirements in aid to local governments and nonprofits which are suffering ongoing economic hardship.

·      That $300 million in loans from FEMA’s Community Disaster Loans be forgiven to restore financial health of struggling municipalities facing steep costs related to disaster and healthcare needs.

·      That, considering the well-known supply challenges inherent in being an island, the Jones Act be waived for at least a year or permanently.

I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Name

Your town, state and zip code.

 


National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

January 14, 2020 

 

 

The National Puerto Rican Agenda Stands in Solidarity with the People of Puerto Rico During This Time of Renewed Crisis.

The people of Puerto Rico are foremost in our hearts and minds as they contend with the ongoing impact of back-to-back earthquakes registering 6.4 and 5.8 magnitude on Tuesday, January 7, 2020. The earthquakes and aftershocks, including at 6 magnitude earthquake on January 11, have struck Puerto Rico’s vulnerable communities while they are still contending with the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The loss and destruction caused by the earthquakes has destroyed homes, schools, businesses and public facilities.  We want our fellow Puerto Ricans to know that we are here for them and will remain vigilant in their time of need.

In response to the earthquakes, President Trump approved federal emergency funding for Puerto Rico last week authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide equipment and resources to the victims of the earthquakes. The President’s authorization will allow FEMA to provide direct federal assistance up to 75 percent of costs, and the island's Financial Oversight and Management Board authorized up to $260 million for an emergency fund to cover the local share and other expenses. 

Yet, the Trump administration is withholding available disaster aid to Puerto Rico already approved by Congress, including $9.7 billion in aid to Puerto Rico from Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Given this week’s earthquakes, the NPRA believe that the Trump administration is in violation of the law by withholding the congressionally approved money and demand the release of all disaster funding as they were approved by Congress.

As state-side Puerto Ricans, we have a responsibility to help island residents recover by assisting relief organizations on the ground as well as facilitating action that promotes an appropriate policy response to this crisis by our Federal Government.

Below is a partial list of relief organizations that are currently on the ground providing aid to all citizens impacted. We encourage you to support these efforts in any way you can.

Puerto Rican organizations with "boots on the ground”:

  1. Techos Pa Mi Gente (Preparation and distribution of supplies, Service for Yauco and Guanadilla) Contact: Amarilis Gonzales 787-619-2039, techospamigente@gmail.com.
  2. Helping Hands for Puerto Rico (Preparation and distribution of supplies; Shelter in Añasco, seving for Peñuelas, Yauco, Guanica y Guanadilla) Contact: Raymond Collazo 347-907-3912 info@helpinghandsforpuertorico.org.
  3. Fundación Comunitaria de Puerto Rico's the Puerto Rico Community Recovery Fund: https://www.fcpr.org/donations/donate-now/

United States based solidarity groups with a direct-support approach to organizations with “boots on the ground”:

  1. ESTOY CON PUERTO RICO RELIEF EFFORT (Donations to go directly to non-profit organizations in Puerto Rico).
  2. Comité Noviembre: “Estoy con Puerto Rico” Relief Effort – Donations to https://catholiccharitiesny.org/news/earthquake-aid-catholic-charities-responds-call-help-puerto-rico or by check.

Pease make sure to earmark donation to ESTOY CON PUERTO RICO and indicate in memo. Please send check or money order payable to: Comité Noviembre, Managing Office, C/O: TAS Communications, LLC, 45 East Hartsdale Avenue, Suite 3L, Hartsdale, NY 10530.

3. Cáritas de Puerto: Caritas.net

4. Fundación Bucarabón: https://www.facebook.com/proyectobucarabon

5. The Puerto Rican Agenda of Chicago:https://www.puertoricanchicago.org/

6. PRXPR - https://www.prxpr.org/.

Other local efforts: https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/guiaparaayudaralasvictimasdelosterremotosenpuertorico-2539895/

Thank you for your support and continued commitment to Puerto Rico.
National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

 

 

 

July 19, 2019

Resolution on the Political Crisis in Puerto Rico

WHEREAS, the disclosure of private chat messages between governor Ricardo Rosello and senior officials in his administration reveals the use of misogynistic language to talk about women, homophobic and derogatory language to talk about journalists and other public figures, making jokes about violence against political opponents and the victims of Hurricane Maria, and other expressions of indifference and insensitivity towards the people of Puerto Rico and the consequences of the ongoing economic and fiscal crisis;

 

WHEREAS, Puerto Rico is afflicted by a wave of corruption that have resulted in arrests of former high-ranking officers of Governor Rosello’s administration leading the Department of Education and the Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration and consultants and contractors that the Governor and his Cabinet seemingly gave powers beyond those allowed by law;

 

WHEREAS, the news about high level corruption in Governor Rosello’s administration came only months after Noel Zamot, the former Revitalization Coordinator under Title V of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management & Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), resigned and denounced the Puerto Rican government and the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board for undermining of efforts and irregularities in the procurement process of revitalization projects;

 

WHEREAS, Congress has expressed concerns over the management of federal funds in Puerto Rico, especially after a $300 million contract was extended to Whitefish, a small firm with only two employees at the time, and subsequently canceled after a public outcry and the subject of an active investigation, adversely impacting Congress’s understanding of the situation in Puerto Rico and affecting its policy decision process.

 

WHEREAS, after 17 months after Hurricane María devastated the island, Puerto Rico still has not recovered from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and the lack of confidence in the Puerto Rico government and partisan politics in Congress and the Presidency have created in effect a moratorium on federal funding for Puerto Rico, whereby only slightly over $14 billion have been received of the $42.5 billion that Congress has allocated for disaster relief for Puerto Rico, and are likely to not be disbursed with the urgency required until Congress and the President are comfortable that effective anti-corruption measures are implemented in Puerto Rico;

 

WHEREAS, recent events have led to massive protests in the island and among the diaspora have clearly shown Puerto Ricans’ lack of confidence in the government of Puerto Rico;

 

WHEREAS, these local and stateside expressions of mistrust and demands for the resignation of Governor Rossello are likely to adversely affect federal funding for Puerto Rico in general, and pending and urgent legislation to avert the looming Medicaid funding cliff that will prevent close to 1 million Puerto Ricans from losing health care coverage;

 

WHEREAS, unless urgent action is taken by federal and local authorities to restore confidence in the Puerto Rico government and to release funding to assist Puerto Rico’s recovery at a time

 

of fiscal and economic crisis, the expectations are the political crises will escalate further with dire consequences for the Puerto Rican people;

 

RESOLVED, The National Puerto Rican Agenda, a national coalition and voice of the Puerto Rican diaspora, calls for the immediate resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló;

 

RESOLVED, that Congress holds hearings with Puerto Rican civil society and private sector leaders to determine new oversight mechanisms that ensure that federal funds for reconstruction money go to the people and not to government and ill-intentioned and unqualified political allies;

 

RESOLVED, that the Comptroller General of the United States designates an Officer with the responsibility for the oversight of the disbursement of all federal funds in Puerto Rico and to report with recommendations and guidelines ways to improve accountability and transparency in federal expenditures in Puerto Rico; And, following an evaluation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a report must be issued on the bidding evaluation and contract award processes, including those that are not competitive or need a Request for Proposals (RFP) process; In addition, this Officer should be authorized to make referrals to the U.S. Attorney when it has probable cause to believe that there has been a violation of federal criminal law.

 

RESOLVED, the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Puerto Rico should be expanded to coordinate with the Officer designated by the Comptroller General of the United States to oversee the disbursement of all federal funds in Puerto Rico to vigorously prosecute public corruption cases.

 

RESOLVED, the House Committee on Natural Resources should hold hearings on continued federal funding for the people of Puerto Rico and consider measures to expedite coordination of federal agencies in Puerto Rico, the island’s government, the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board, and others such as FEMA and HUD, and to promote participation of non-profit organizations and Puerto Rican civil society members for the prompt disbursement of federal funding already approved by Congress and the approval and implementation of economic reconstruction projects. 

 

RESOLVED, a call to action to members of the National Puerto Rican Agenda and other affine organizations and community leaders among the diaspora and its allies to continue to advocate for the prompt release of funds approved already by Congress and pending Medicaid legislation to support health services for one million Puerto Ricans.


National Puerto Rican Agenda
http://www.puertoricanagenda.org/

June 21, 2019

 

March 29, 2019

 

July 4, 2018

NPRA holds board meeting in New York City, May 12, 2018

NPRA participates in Diaspora Summit III at Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College/CUNY, May 11-12, 2018

Puerto Rico May Day Distress Call, May 5, 2018

 

 

 

December 2017 Call to Action for Puerto Rico 

During the month of December 2017 Congress considered tax, disaster relief, and health legislation impacting Puerto Rico.

In response, the National Puerto Rican Agenda launched a campaign to encourage its membership and allies to contact Congress and educate its members about the needs of Puerto Rico.

With this objective in mind the National Puerto Rican Agenda issued easy-to-use materials to facilitate visiting, calling and writing to members of Congress. Over 22,500 letters were sent to Congress and the President demanding action for Puerto Rico.

 

Unity March for Puerto Rico, Washington DC, November 19, 2017 

 

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Washington DC Puerto Rican Diaspora Summit, November 18, 2017

 

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March for Just Recovery, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC, October 18, 2017 

 

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Unite for Puerto Rico Rally, U.S. Capitol, Washington DC, October 11, 2017 

 

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Hurricane Maria National Letter Drive - October 9, 2017 - Generated 18,699 Letters

 

Sample letter:

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Statement about the National Puerto Rican Day Parade and Oscar López Rivera

 

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Puerto Ricans Puerto Rico Diaspora Summit II May 12 - 13, 2016 

 

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Letters to Republican and Democratic congressional leadership requesting $900 million in Medicaid bridge funding for Puerto Rico - April 28, 2017 

 

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NPRA letter to President Obama requesting the pardon of Oscar López Rivera - December 15, 2016

 

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United for Puerto Rico Rally flyers July 25, 2016 

 

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Puerto Rico Puerto Ricans Diaspora Summit April 22 - 23, 2016

 

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Rally Congress  letter drive requesting President Obama to mention the Puerto Rico fiscal and humanitarian crisis in the State of the Union address - December 15, 2016

 

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