Last summer, more than 70,000 of us wrote, called and spoke out to Demand Congress send emergency relief money to Puerto Rico despite the Trump Administration’s racist objections. More than 200 days later, and after Puerto Rico has been rocked by earthquakes left more than 8,000 people without a safe home to sleep in, Ben Carson is releasing less than half the money, and only on the conditions that Puerto Rico pay workers less than $15 an hour, and do nothing about the island’s electric grid.
The crisis is still unfolding, but one thing is clear: Trump and Ben Carson – his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – are using aid money Congress has already appropriated as leverage to enforce their racist, climate-denying policy agenda. Will you speak out now to stop them? Sign here to demand Trump and Carson stop illegally withholding ALL federal aid to Puerto Rico.
Sadly, this is only the latest example of how Trump combines climate denial and racism into a policy that hurts our neighbors and fellow citizens. Carson was legally required to disburse the money last September, but has been delaying the release of $18 billion that Congress appropriated for Puerto Rico. The money is supposed to upgrade infrastructure, including the islands old and fossil-fuel powered electric grid, and help mitigate and adapt to climate-fueled super storms like Maria.
Trump’s ongoing anti-Puerto Rico agenda– to deny 3.2 million Puerto Ricans funding—is based on racial and ethnic prejudice, petty politics, and a calculated agenda to beat down the island’s economy and people so banking and big real estate & development cronies can cash in. A slew of reports have shown that the island remains at great risk of natural and man-made disasters. The 2020 Global Climate Risk Index ranked Puerto Rico, along with Myanmar and Haiti, at the top of places most vulnerable to extreme weather events.
If the money had been spent on-time, it’s possible that houses, schools and the electric grid could also have been more resilient to the huge earthquakes that rocked the island in recent weeks.
Instead, HUD is releasing less than half the money – about $8 billion in emergency disaster aid funding. And that movement is only coming after intense coverage of the human suffering caused by the earthquakes, and after Congress threatened to defund all of HUD unless they answered questions.
We’re proud to fight alongside allies from the Power 4 Puerto Rico Coalition once more. Together, we demand that Carson and Trump release ALL the aid money, and stop adding ridiculous pre-conditions like how much to pay workers. Sign here if you agree and tell Trump and Carson to stop illegally blocking aid for Puerto Rico. Note – after you sign well redirect you to a page where you can chip in to support local PR groups working to rebuild after the earthquakes.