Velazquez Appointed to Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico
Washington, DC - Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) released the following statement after being appointed Co-Chair to Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Relief & Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico:
"I commend Governor Cuomo for the actions he’s taking. On Friday we traveled to Puerto Rico together to assess firsthand the damage from Maria and deliver supplies, personnel and assistance. The launch of this latest effort is another important step that demonstrates New York’s commitment to helping our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters in their time of need.
“Puerto Rico was already struggling from financial and economic challenges before Maria made landfall. Now, the Island has been dealt a crushing blow and needs all the assistance it can get.
“New York and Puerto Rico are inextricably linked. For New Yorkers, Puerto Ricans are family – for some figuratively and, for many of us, literally. New Yorkers take care of their family and this newest effort will help channel additional help from our state to the Island.
“In the darkest of times, we need decisive leadership and the Governor’s efforts exemplify that spirit. This is a catastrophe of historic proportions that will require coordination at all levels of government. I will be advocating federally for additional steps, including swiftly repairing and rebuilding Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, helping small businesses recover and addressing the looming Medicaid cliff.
“Puerto Ricans are Americans. They have fought in nearly every major conflict, shedding blood and sacrificing their lives for the rest of us. We cannot and will not turn our backs on them.”