Ohio Green Party Issues a Call to Action in Response to the Crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Press Release 9-30-17
Ohio Green Party Issues a Call to Action in
Response to the Crisis in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio Green Party issues an URGENT CALL TO ACTION to our fellow Ohioans, and to our Governor John R. Kasich, to mobilize the resources of the State of Ohio, including the Ohio National Guard, to render direct emergency food, water and other aid to the People of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other Caribbean Islands affected by the two recent hurricanes that have devastated infrastructure essential to sustaining life in those island communities.
We are calling for aid that is delivered directly to the People of Puerto Rico and other affected areas by all available means, using available emergency response assets of the State of Ohio that can be committed to this effort. Timeliness of aid delivery must be the priority consideration and information collected should occur AFTER aid is rendered.
Greens also note that the severity of Hurricane Maria and other recent storms indicates that climate change is now a global emergency, with Puerto Rico and other islands and mainland areas in "Hurricane Alley" facing more catastrophes in the coming years. The Ohio Green Party stands in solidarity with our fellow Americans, the People of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, who in the wake of the devastation have yet to receive emergency aid from the U.S. government proportional to the scale of the crisis, and who continue to suffer from a lack of access to essential resources: fresh water, food, fuel and medical supplies.
We urge Governor Kasich and our fellow Ohioans to heed the call of the Mayor of San Juan, who on Friday, September 29th 2017 spoke directly to the American public and “all who would listen” to raise an “SOS” call on behalf of her people, declaring that Puerto Ricans “are dying” due to the ineffectiveness of FEMA. Her desperate appeal came 10 days after Category 5 Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s homes and critical infrastructure, and 23 days after the islands first suffered the impact of Hurricane Irma. The Mayor refuted false assurances made by President Trump and his administration, and stated that continued failure to deliver urgently needed food, water, and medical supplies to the 3.6 million residents of Puerto Rico could only result in “genocide”.
The role of FEMA is to serve as a coordinating agency that ensures timely and efficient aid during large scale disasters, with authority to bypass regular agency procedures that would make timely disaster response impossible. FEMA has utterly failed to fulfill that agency’s mission, instituting a bureaucratic bottleneck between available aid and the people on the ground who need it. FEMA has become an impediment preventing the timely delivery of life saving relief. As Americans we can do much better.
Puerto Ricans need food, water, medicine, fuel, power generators, supplies for temporary shelter, and repairs for dams and other damaged infrastructure. Many Puerto Ricans need evacuation, especially those with injuries, the elderly, and the very young. US Green Party leaders have said that long-term assistance requires canceling Puerto Rico's enormous and unpayable debt and lifting austerity policies.