Paterson Senator Nellie Pou Issues Statement on Relief for Puerto Rico

Senator Nellie Pou Credits: New Jersey Legislature

TRENTON, NJ- While the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denies that it ever intended to end food and water assistance to Puerto Rico on January 31, despite the fact that parts of island are still without running waters and electricity more than four months after Hurricane Maria hit, Paterson’s Senator Nellie Pou is continuing to speak out on the need for additional support.

On Wednesday Pou issued the following statement:  
"It is concerning that the federal government is not taking seriously the current tragic situation in Puerto Rico. People on the island are still fighting to recover from the devastation that was left behind after Hurricane Maria. Reversing the decision to end food and water shipments to the island is only fair and humane. The federal government must continue to provide aid over the long term.
Sign Up for E-News

“The reality is that the people of Puerto Rico are still facing extremely dire circumstances and while FEMA believes the immediate humanitarian emergency has subsided, parts of the island still look as if a storm just struck. Last weekend I traveled to Puerto Rico with the American Red Cross, New Jersey Region, along with my colleague Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro to distribute water, food, batteries and other basic necessities to residents. What we saw was devastation and not the progress that FEMA claims they already made. 
“We traveled to Ciales, Humacao and Anton Ruiz, and in those areas people still lack electricity and running water. Transportation is still a challenge for many residents and the infrastructure remains fragile, with power lines down and erosion that risks the lives or our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. 
“Food, water, and fuel supplies are still scarce and for many, particularly those with health conditions that require medical attention, this is becoming an issue of life or death. Some schools are still closed and others only open half a day to teach children because of the lack of electricity.
“We have seen an outpouring of support from New Jerseyans, including from law enforcement in Paterson and Passaic and Bergen counties and State Police who traveled to Puerto Rico bringing aid. While our Federal government seems to want to leave behind the people of Puerto Rico, New Jersey won't. I will see to that.”

The statement comes at the same time as local school and community leaders are preparing to hold a fundraising event in support of efforts to rebuild a school in Puerto Rico that was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. The “Paterson Partners with Puerto Rico” fundraiser will be held on Saturday, February 17, at St. Gerard’s Hall, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the event are just $50.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Paterson Students Speak Out Against Gun Violence

March 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

I want to give a special thanks to Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer for giving endless support to our students during the student's protest to walk out their school against gun violence yesterday. Our schools participated and their voices were heard. The goal was to spend 17 minutes to honor each victim of the Parkland, Florida, tragic mass ...

Recently Passed County Budget Built on 'Fiscally Sound Policies'

March 15, 2018

PATERSON, NJ – Saying it reflects “fiscally sound policies, strong budgetary flexibility, proactive increases to manage volatile expense line items, including significant reserves for workers’ compensation, health benefits, and liability insurance, and an overall net debt of 1% of market value,” the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted the 2018 budget on ...

Fairytale Marriage Proposal Takes Center Stage at St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 16, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – A surprise engagement took center stage at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Somerville. In the midst of the March 11 festivities, Piscataway resident Steven Verardi boarded a float and popped the question to his girlfriend Elise Latona, marking the first known engagement to take place at the parade in 27 years.

Since opening The Beauty Bar ...

Pou on Budget Address, School Funding

March 17, 2018

TRENTON –Senator Pou (Bergen/Passaic) issued the following statement on Governor
Murphy’s budget address and school funding:

“One of the most important priorities that the Governor recognizes is the need to fully funding our public schools. This is especially critical for school districts in cities like Paterson.

“We will follow through during the budget process ...