Florida Democratic Party Chair, Stephen Bittel, DNC Chair Tom Perez, House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz, House Democratic Leader-designate Kionne McGhee, and other Democratic state legislators traveled to Puerto Rico to deliver supplies to the U.S. territory
Fort Lauderdale, FL – Just days ago, Senate and House Democrats asked Governor Rick Scott to establish relief centers
for Puerto Rican evacuees.
On Monday, FDP Chair Stephen Bittel, DNC Chair Tom Perez and Democratic state legislators flew to Puerto Rico to deliver supplies to our neighbors in Puerto Rico.
The group of Florida lawmakers joined together to provide relief and learn firsthand what the needs are of our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.
FDP Chair Stephen Bittel and the other members of the trip boarded two planes carrying supplies to the town of Ponce and surrounding areas.
A delegation of aid workers and elected officials greeted Chair Bittel, Chair Perez and the lawmakers upon their arrival.
Both chartered planes returned in the evening.
“It is a race against the clock to save lives in Puerto Rico. We all need to help however we can, and I’m hopeful this trip by our lawmakers will bring important perspective and urgency to our state legislature when it considers what actions our state should take to support our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico. Saving lives must be the priority–let’s get the job done.” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel.
“Our number one priority should be helping the people of Puerto Rico recover from one of the worst natural disasters in history. That’s why Democrats joined together to travel to Ponce and deliver critical supplies. We must do everything we can to stand united as a country and help our fellow Americans. They’re counting on us.” said Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.
DNC Chair Tom Perez and FDP Chair Stephen Bittel were joined by: State Senator Victor Torres, State Senator Annette Taddeo, House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz, House Democratic Leader-designate Kionne McGhee, State Representative Amy Mercado, State Representative John Cortes, State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, State Representative Daisy Baez, and Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores.
“The situation in Puerto Rico is desperate. Our fellow Americans are in dire need of aid and additional support immediately. The United States must deploy every resource possible to save lives and Florida must do its part. Returning from this trip, I am hopeful that we will be able to impart the gravity and urgency of the situation in Puerto Rico. We can’t waste time, we need to act now–how we respond to this situation will be life or death for many on the island.” said State Senator Victor Torres.
“We must do everything possible to help the 3.5 million American citizens in Puerto Rico. From sending aid to championing initiatives that will help Puerto Rican families seeking refuge in our state, I will join my colleagues in the legislature to do everything possible to help our fellow Americans on the island and the Puerto Rican families in our state.” said State Senator Annette Taddeo.
“A few short days ago, the mayor of San Juan was begging on national television for aid and support. As Americans and Floridians, it’s imperative that we unite and immediately act to save lives in Puerto Rico. Florida is home to over one million Puerto Ricans and it is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power to support Puerto Rico’s recovery and reinforce our commitment to assist our fellow Americans. Let me be crystal clear: Florida welcomes Puerto Rican evacuees with open arms. Our home is your home and your struggle is our struggle. We will overcome disaster and rebuild together.” said House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz.
“Americans are at their best when we face the worst. We are determined to do everything we can support the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Delivering supplies and visiting the island is only the first step. We will continue to take every action we can as state legislators to ensure Florida stands ready to provide relief and refuge to the people of Puerto Rico.” said House Democratic Leader-designate Kionne McGhee.
“We have a responsibility to help the millions of Americans devastated by two back-to-back hurricanes. We are working around the clock to collect and deliver aid to those in need in Puerto Rico and to help connect families in Florida to their loved ones on the island. I will continue working with our communities in Central Florida to ensure that we are sending all resources available to the island and welcoming Puerto Ricans arriving to our state with open arms.” said State Representative Amy Mercado.
“Many of our friends and neighbors have family on the island. These are our fellow Americans who are suffering in Puerto Rico. We can spare no resources as we work to save lives. I am hopeful that the great state of Florida will do everything in its power to welcome Puerto Rican evacuees and to provide support to the over three million Americans who are anxious for running water, power and basic necessities.” said State Representative John Cortes.
“There are over one million Puerto Ricans who live in Florida and many of them live in our East Orlando district. It is our human responsibility to do everything we can to help save lives and support recovery efforts on the island. Many Puerto Ricans will be evacuating to our state. To those Boricuas leaving everything behind in search of safety and security, please know that Orlando will welcome you with open arms.” said State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith.
“Our fellow Americans need help–it is as simple as that. People are suffering in Puerto Rico. We need to ensure that Florida is prepared to do its part for the long haul. Puerto Rico needs us, let’s make sure we are doing everything we can for our brothers and sisters on the island. That means delivering supplies and ensuring that Florida has prepared relief centers to accommodate Puerto Rican evacuees.” said State Representative Daisy Baez.
“I am so proud to represent the people of Greenacres. Our residents and businesses really came though and donated the bulk of the supplies being delivered–water, food, clothing, generators and pet food. Many of my constituents have relatives in Puerto Rico and we want to show them that we care. Over 300 volunteers have participated the past ten days and eight trailer trucks full of goods have left Greenacres for a total of over 500,000 pounds of supplies to be delivered to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.” said Greenacres Mayor Joel Flores.