Press Releases

September 21, 2017

IN LIGHT OF RECENT NATURAL DISASTERS, NHLA URGES MEMBERS & ALLIES TO DONATE TIME AND MONEY TO HELP SURVIVORS IN PUERTO RICO

WASHINGTON— Leaders of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of the nation’s 45 preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, offer the following statements of support and solidarity in light of the destruction by recent hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands, as well as Texas and Florida.  NHLA strongly encourages members and allies to consider donating funds or to volunteer time in order to aid the recovery process in the affected areas.  The Latino community has been and will continue to be drastically impacted by these recent hurricanes. Changes in climate and extreme weather are hitting our communities first and magnifying the existing vulnerabilities that Latinos already face, such as poverty, chronic and reproductive health conditions and inadequate infrastructure. Ensuring that the Latino community, undocumented community, immigrant community and communities of color receive the level of aid needed is essential.

These hurricanes come in a time when Puerto Rico was already facing a fiscal crisis. Now more than ever it is critical that we work with policymakers to ensure that Puerto Rico has the tools necessary to stabilize its economy and accord the people of Puerto Rico their equal treatment as U.S. citizens.

NHLA member Hispanic Federation, partnering organizations and elected officials launched “Unidos” (United), a hurricane relief fund to help those impacted by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Proceeds will help hurricane victims and the recovery efforts through fellow community and civic organizations in Puerto Rico. To donate via text, compose a new text message for number 41444.  Type UNIDOS (space) YOUR AMOUNT (space) and YOUR NAME. To donate via website, visit www.hispanicfederation.org/donate and select “Hurricane Relief Effort” from the drop down menu next to the line “I would like to designate this gift for.”

The Red Cross is providing continuing support to all those also affected by Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Maria, and the earthquakes in Mexico. Visit their website for information on donating money or volunteering your time.

“Our hearts and minds are in solidarity with all of those affected by recent natural disasters. We offer immediate condolences to those suffering losses and gratitude to the first responders and volunteers who have and are continuing to save lives. In this time of devastation it is critical that relief efforts are abundant and effective, and that such efforts are inclusive of the Latino community and those communities that are most vulnerable during a period of disaster. As such, we have provided various recommendations to which NHLA encourages members and allies to donate funding of any amount. If you feel your efforts are best used in a volunteer capacity, there are opportunities for this as well. We will be working with members of Congress to ensure that these disaster areas are receiving funding necessary to protect all communities that have been gravely impacted,” said Hector Sanchez Barba, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.  

"For decades, LULAC has stood with the people of Puerto Rico in their fight for full equality as U.S. citizens. Today, we stand with our resilient brothers and sisters as they survey the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Maria and look to rebuild their homes, businesses, and communities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the storm, and we will work toward engaging our membership in Puerto Rico to determine the best ways to help the community,” said Brent Wilkes, Treasurer of NHLA and CEO of LULAC.

"Our familias in Mexico and Puerto Rico have now been hit repeatedly by catastrophic earthquakes and hurricanes and they need our help,” said José Calderón, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Puerto Rico Working Group and President of Hispanic Federation. “It is impossible to imagine the terrible suffering our communities there are facing. What's clear is that we must act. Hispanic Federation has united with our allies to create a relief fund where 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards helping our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and Mexico recover.”

“Our hearts go to the people of Puerto Rico in this time of immense need.  Facing the wrath of hurricanes requires resilience which the Puerto Rican people have in abundance. But they need more. More from our federal government. More leadership from the White House. More appreciation of the dangerous effects of the austerity cuts that Washington has imposed upon the Island unnecessarily.  Those cuts forced reduced maintenance of its utility authority which must now rebound quickly. We ask that Congress and the President provide immediate recovery relief to the US citizens in Puerto Rico,” said Juan Cartagena, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Puerto Rico Working Group and President and General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

“The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. (NACOPRW) is diligently working through all their regional chapters, and with local communities and organizations to raise funds and supplies needed to help the people of Puerto Rico. We will disseminate this news to our communities during this time of devastation left by hurricanes Irma and Maria. Please contact our local chapters for the most updated information on relief efforts in their area . They can be reached on www.NACOPRW.org,” said Wanda Gordils, member of NHLA’s Puerto Rico Working Group and National President of NACOPRW.

"First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, the USVI, and Puerto Rico, as well as the earthquake victims in Mexico. Now is the time to unite as a nation to help our brothers and sisters in need. Vital relief assistance needs to reach the people most vulnerable and isolated. We ask everyone, including our corporate partners, to please contribute to relief efforts. The undocumented community, which has contributed so much to the vitality of this country, is in special need and we should make sure they receive our helping hand. We can all do our part by making small donations and helping to spread the word. If you are interested in helping Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María, please consider donating to the following two legitimate initiatives: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/ (public private partnership run by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rossello) and helpprdespacito.com (run by ConPRmetidos, a prominent NGO in the Island). Juntos no hay nada que no podamos vencer. Gracias," said Kenneth Romero-Cruz, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Task Force on Government Accountability and Executive Director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL).

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:  

| Michael Torra | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (202) 425-0582 |

| Brenda Arredondo | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (915) 373-1483 |

ABOUT THE NATIONAL HISPANIC LEADERSHIP AGENDA

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda is composed of 45 of the leading national and regional Latino civil rights and public policy organizations and other elected officials, and prominent Latinos Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community – Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Latino Americans. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Latino community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs. NHLA brings together Latino leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit: www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.

NHLA MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS

Alianza Americas | American G.I. Forum | ASPIRA Association | Avance Inc. | Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network | Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute | Farmworker Justice | GreenLatinos | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Inter-University Program for Latino Research | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | LatinoJustice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | Mi Familia Vota | National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Day Laborer Organizing Network | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Latino Independent Producers | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina/o Psychological Association | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | Presente.org | SER Jobs for Progress National | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | UnidosUS | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | United States Hispanic Leadership Institute | United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce | U.S.- Mexico Foundation | Voto Latino

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