The following statement can be attributed to Kyle Bragg, President of 32BJ SEIU:
As President of a majority Black, brown, and immigrant union, my heart goes out to the people of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and all parts of the Caribbean that are being pummeled by Hurricane Fiona. Up and down the east coast, many of the 175,000 members I represent come from this part of the world, which has yet to fully recover from other climate events, including the economic and humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico stemming from Hurricane Maria five years ago.
As super storms and other climate-related disasters become more frequent, we need to invest in big, bold solutions, better infrastructure, and strong jobs for the vulnerable communities that are shouldering the disproportionate burden of our climate crisis. It is unacceptable that more than 80 percent of Puerto Rico remains remain without power, and that more than 1 million people are without running water in the Dominican Republic. It is unacceptable that so many homes in Puerto Rico were yet rebuilt following Hurricane Maria.
I applaud President Biden for freeing up federal funds for relief efforts ahead of the storm hitting land over the weekend. We need to ensure that all communities impacted by Hurricane Fiona can adequately rebuild, recovery, and prepare for future storms.
With more than 175,000 members in 12 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers’ union in the country.