"Since last December, Puerto Rico has been hit by powerful earthquakes that have further weakened the island’s fragile infrastructure as Puerto Ricans continue to navigate a complicated road to recovery post-Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Just last Tuesday, a 6.9 earthquake, the strongest to hit Puerto Rico in a century, and a powerful 6.0 aftershock, damaged hundreds of homes, leaving two-thirds of the island without power and a quarter without running water.
This is yet another test for my fellow Puerto Ricans who have already endured so much heartache. They are not only trying to recover from the devastation left by Hurricanes Maria and Irma and the subsequent atrocious disaster relief response by the federal government, but they also have had to withstand recent political turmoil and a fiscal crisis that has suffocated the island for many years. Despite the profound suffering, I continue to be in awe by the admirable resilience of my people who are now facing even more complex challenges. That’s why we in the diaspora and New Yorkers across the State must step up once again and lend them a helping hand as they face these trying times.
During my several visits to the island, I have witnessed the back-breaking, visionary work of hundreds of local organizations that are looking to build a stronger Puerto Rico for themselves and future generations. A recommended community-based organization doing such work is Brigada Solidaria del Oeste. They have performed critical, frontline work during and after the hurricanes and continue to work with communities in dire need. I would like to ask you to consider donating to this organization via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My heart aches for my island. However, this is the time to once again regroup and recommit ourselves to fighting fiercely so that Puerto Rico is rebuilt for Puerto Ricans by Puerto Ricans."