Advertisement
Global  

“The world's speediest news portal”
One News Page
> >

Mayors Helping Mayors Rebuild Puerto Rico

GlobeNewswire Saturday, 24 February 2018
New York, Feb. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It has been five months since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. More than half a million people are still without power. Tens of thousands lack drinking water, and tens of thousands more are fleeing, seeking food and shelter in Florida, New York and elsewhere. Health care services have been hit hard, and the suicide rate is spiking.

Congress included disaster relief funding in the budget deal approved earlier this month, and President Trump on Friday extended additional aid. But the amount falls far short of what the island’s leadership estimates is needed to recover and prepare for future storms.

Mayors are stepping in to help.

The Open Society Foundations today is announcing the Mayor Exchange, a new initiative to connect local leaders with experience in dealing with disaster recovery on the mainland with their counterparts in Puerto Rico working to rebuild. Through this unique partnership, mainland mayors will share ideas, expertise and lessons learned from their own recovery efforts, giving those officials on the front lines of the island’s crisis a direct line for aid and consultation on the myriad humanitarian, fiscal and rebuilding challenges ahead.

Mayors on the mainland in return will have an opportunity to host their Puerto Rican peers, showcase their own recovery work, and gain vital insights and deeper awareness of the island’s situation—building much-needed support for our neighbors and fellow citizens in their time of need.

New Orleans Mayor* Mitch Landrieu *is chairing the Mayor Exchange, along with Puerto Rico Mayors* Pedro García Figueroa *of Hormigueros and* Javier Jim**énez P**érez *of San Sebastián and Open Society Foundations President *Patrick Gaspard.*

“In New Orleans, we know what it’s like to suffer through a disaster,” says *Mayor Landrieu*. “When New Orleans has been in need after devastation, people from all over have helped lift us back up. This Mayor Exchange allows us and other cities around the country to return the favor. We are eager to do what we can to lean forward and help our neighbors stand back up. Sharing our path to recovery is an important step we can take to make every city more resilient in the face of disasters.”

Adds *Mayor Figueroa*: “Cities are the natural center of action for the people who inhabit them. They are where life takes place; everything starts from them. From within cities, the country is built. Strengthening the ties of cooperation and understanding between cities also contributes to the sharing of ideas that brings us closer together, to understand and help each other in the face of adversity—and, of course, to share successes.”

*Open Society President Gaspard* applauded the effort and urged leaders across the country to stand with Puerto Rico. “The federal government has let our neighbors languish in darkness, dislocation and despair. We are better than this. I am thrilled to see so many mayors eager to share their knowledge and experience with their counterparts on the island. This kind of collaboration reminds us what we are capable of, when we set politics aside, reach out our hands and help each other.”

Mayor* Landrieu* will lead the first delegation of participating mainland mayors to visit Puerto Rico on Feb. 25-26. Accompanying him will be Mayors *Stephen Hagerty* of Evanston, IL; *Christopher Cabaldon* of West Sacramento, CA; and *Jorge Elorza* of Providence, RI. Visiting mayors will meet with their local counterparts and fan out to the communities they represent.

On Monday morning, Mayor* Landrieu* will team up with *Mar**ía Mel**éndez*, mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico, located at the southern end of the island and surrounded by mountainous terrain where people have gone for months without electricity following the storm—and where companies are using drone technology to try to reconnect power lines.

Evanston Mayor *Hagerty *will join Mayor *Carlos Delgado Altieri* in touring Isabela, on the northwest coast, where aid organizations have been helping school children dealing with health challenges brought on by storm-related disruptions in the food supply.

Mayor *Elorza *of Providence will meet up with Mayor *Nelson Torres Yord**án *of Guayanilla, about 12 miles west of Ponce, an area whose agricultural production has been devastated by the storm.

And Mayor *Cabaldon *of West Sacramento will visit with Mayor *Jes**ús M**árquez Rodr**íguez* in Luquillo, a town on the northeast coast not far from Puerto Rico’s celebrated El Yunque rain forest. The eye of the hurricane passed through this area, leaving residents scrambling to find pumps for water and generators for power.

In the coming weeks, a number of other mainland mayors will also visit Puerto Rico. Among them: Mayors *Tom Tait *of Anaheim, CA; *Jim Brainard* of Carmel, IN; *Rahm Emanuel* of Chicago, IL; *Michael Hancock* of Denver, CO; *Sylvester Turner* of Houston, TX; *Toni Harp* of New Haven, CT; *Jim Kenney* of Philadelphia, PA; *Bob Buckhorn* of Tampa, FL; and *Francis Suarez* of Miami, FL.

The mainland mayors will also be hosting Puerto Rico mayors in their hometowns. In all, an estimated 40 mayors will participate.

The Mayor Exchange is funded by the *Open Society Foundations*, which has been working in Puerto Rico for years before the storm, supporting efforts to improve government transparency and accountability and encourage greater civic engagement. The exchange is being managed by *HR&A Advisors*, a New York-based consulting firm that has worked with U.S. mayors on urban development and governance issues for the past 40 years.


Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4a2f1114-1248-4467-b3aa-72e02ab664d1

CONTACT: Tom Watson, Senior Editorial Advisor
Open Society Foundations
(212)-548-0381
thomas.watson@opensocietyfoundations.org
0
shares
Share on
Facebook
Share on
Twitter
Post on 
Reddit
Share by
Email
 

You Might Like


Tweets about this


Other recent news in Press Releases

NSIC Celebrates INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY 2018Experience the Power of Decentralization and Crowdsourcing at the Heart of Innovation, Business, Individuals and Governments in WASHINGTON, D.C.
2018 State of CANADA’s Aerospace Industry Report: Aerospace remains national innovation leaderBREAKING: Leading Sales Tax Expert, Charles Maniace, Comments on South Dakota v. Wayfair SUPREME COURT Decision
Farooq Kathwari Honored With Yale CHIEF EXECUTIVE Leadership Institute's Lifetime of Leadership AwardAlation Recognized as a Leader in MACHINE LEARNING Data Catalogs report by Independent Research Firm

Recent related videos

Puerto Rican Gov Gave OK To Burn Bodies Of Potential Hurricane Victims
Puerto Rican Gov Gave OK To Burn Bodies Of Potential Hurricane Victims

BuzzFeed reports that the Puerto Rican Department of Health says at least 7,776 bodies were cremated in Puerto Rico from the day Hurricane Maria made landfall, from Sept. 20th to June 11th, 2018. Of..

Wochit -



Local musician using talent to help Puerto Rico
Local musician using talent to help Puerto Rico

Local musician using talent to help Puerto Rico

KJRH | Tulsa | Channel 2 -





99-Year-Old Woman And Her Church Group Make Dresses For Children In Puerto Rico
99-Year-Old Woman And Her Church Group Make Dresses For Children In Puerto Rico

The sheriff’s office in Palm Beach County, Florida recently delivered dresses to children in Puerto Rico. The garments were made by a 99-year-old Clearwater woman and her church group.

Geo Beats -



Puerto Rico Looks To Tourism To Help Economic Recovery
Puerto Rico Looks To Tourism To Help Economic Recovery

Puerto Rico has struggled to recover after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. MNN reports that work to bring back electricity and other basic services is still continuing in remote regions. At least..

Wochit -



Puerto Rican students apply for area colleges
Puerto Rican students apply for area colleges

After offering in-state tuition to students from Puerto Rico through the spring 2019 semester, the University of Central Florida received 343 applications for this summer and fall, four times the..

NYDN tronc -



Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2018 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal  |  Privacy & Data Protection Policy
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter   FIND us on Google+