Issue #52: Housing aid for evacuees is running out, a proposed land-use zoning map has incited new protests and more...
“If anything, Puerto Rico should [receive] a special urgency," Representative David Price (D-N.C.) said. “The delay is not acceptable, and it's certainly not acceptable to single-out Puerto Rico. The president's rhetoric on this raises a lot of questions about what's going on here and where this directive is coming from.” (Ramsey Touchberry / Newsweek)
“We would be hungry right now, we see people that are homeless without this money ... we would be in the same circumstances, we would be walking in their shoes. We can say we can get up early and go to work.” – Housing aid recipient Brenda Viera (Chris Ehrmann / Associated Press)
Puerto Rico’s state planning board has unveiled a proposed zoning map that could accelerated the development of important sites like Vieques’ bioluminscent bay, the popular surfing town Rincón and the historic districts of Ponce and Viejo San Juan. Residents are protesting once again in front of the governor’s mansion and, to date, nearly 17,000 people have signed a petition opposing the changes.
$3.7 billion has been diverted from construction projects to instead be used for Trump’s border wall. That includes $400 million that was set aside to be used in Puerto Rico. (MSNBC)
→ ACLU Asks Supreme Court to Overrule Precedent that Established ‘Second-Class’ Status for Puerto Rico
A series of Supreme Court cases, decided in the early 20th century, determined that U.S. citizens living in unincorporated territories were not entitled to the same protections granted to Americans under the Constitution. Today, the majority of people living in an unincorporated territory live in Puerto Rico. The ACLU is arguing that those decisions are “no less offensive” than the 1896 “separate but equal” decision that was overturned in 1954. (Tucker Higgins / CNBC)
During the Verano Boricua, about local popular assemblies have popped up across the island, offering a venue for residents to discuss national and local politics.
“It’s very tiresome, but is a task that someone has to do,” Jennifer Mota Castillo, an assembly spokesperson, said. “From here, within the next years or the next decade, is going to emerge the Puerto Rico that we want and are going to design together, from the people, from below.” (Juan C. Dávila / The Indypendent)
A dozen arts groups will receive arts funding from the Flamboyan Foundation and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who raised nearly $15 million from ticket sales during a 17-day run of Hamilton in Puerto Rico. (Melisa Bivian and Jessica Flores / NBC News)
More than 7 percent of children in Puerto Rico were reported to be suffering from PTSD after Hurricane Maria.
“We are still working with the communities that need help, and it’s never ending," he said. "There are a lot of schools that need help." Dr. Daniel Martínez Ortíz, a clinical psychologists who teaches music therapy workshops (Marcela Valdivia / NBC News)