Federal employees are working around the clock to help our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from the damaging effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. But for many residents, the pace of the recovery efforts has been glacial.
That’s why AFGE published an open letter, calling on President Trump and members of Congress to do more to help the 3.5 million American citizens who live there.
“Hurricane Maria made landfall two weeks ago, but most residents still lack even the most basic of essentials – running water, food, access to medicine, gasoline, and electricity,” stated in the letter issued Oct. 3, the same day President Trump visited Puerto Rico.
Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are being treated like second-class citizens.
There’s no excuse for it taking this long to get aid and relief to people who desperately need our help. While President Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico is a welcome show of support, residents need immediate action, not just rhetoric. Congress and the White House need to step up the recovery efforts at once.
More than 12,300 federal employees from 36 departments and agencies were on the ground in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as of Oct. 3, engaged in response and recovery operations, FEMA said.
AFGE represents more than 5,000 federal workers on the two islands. Many of our members were the first on the ground, saving the lives of their neighbors and stabilizing their own communities – all while dealing with their own personal tragedies and losses.
Thousands of federal workers who call these islands home are looking to their government for help, and the silence is deafening. They’re working under extraordinarily difficult circumstances to deliver care and assistance to our citizens in need. Help cannot come fast enough.
AFGE has partnered with the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA) to manage disaster relief efforts and assist government employees as they recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The fund is made up of donations by AFGE affiliates that are earmarked exclusively for AFGE members in need of disaster assistance.
Anyone interested in donating to the fund can click here to donate . Affected employees who need help paying for home repairs not covered by insurance, temporary lodging, or related expenses can click here to apply for relief .
AFGE’s YOUNG Committee collected $47,000 during the recent P.O.R.T. Leadership Academy in Galveston, Texas, in donations to the FEEA fund.