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March 13th 2019 Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) and Puerto Rican members in Las Vegas came together to voice the concerns they have about the six billion dollar debt attributed to Puerto Rico. On September 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria, the deadliest natural disaster to hit US soil. The hurricane amounted in a death toll between 3,000 and 4,600 according to some sources, in addition to severe damages to the Puerto Rican infrastructure that continues to plague Puerto Ricans to this day. As a result, many Puerto Ricans were left displaced and were forced to relocate. Puerto Ricans have had to struggle to receive disaster relief aid from the US government as they have not been as cooperative as the situation demands. Since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has struggled for any true relief, constantly being met with obstacles.

Most recently, Puerto Ricans were given a 6 billion dollar loan by Morgan Stanley, which resulted in illegally acquired debt.  The Puerto Rican constitution states that “appropriations” for any fiscal year “shall not exceed total revenues, including available surplus, estimated for said fiscal year, unless the imposition of taxes sufficient to cover said appropriations is provided by law.” Bonds were used to balanced the budget, which means that debt was acquired illegally. According to an article from The Hill “Appropriation bonds should not have been issued in the first place as their manifest purpose was to evade the constitutional balanced budget requirement and debt limit while burdening taxpayers”

 

MRNV held an action with some of the local Puerto Rican community, some migrated to Las Vegas  after the hurricane. The action started outside of the Morgan Stanley office as they were paid not only for underwriting fees but exit penalties on toxic swaps out of the proceeds of two of the bonds, $24 million in the case of the 2014 bond, and an undisclosed amount in the case of the April 2012 bond. Margarita Rebollal, Puerto Rican leader gave a letter to the manager expressing what this debt has caused to people back in the island.

Our goal was to urge Judge Laura Taylor Swain to declare the debt  illegal and reversed any profit acquired from the issuance of the debt. If the loan is kept, Puerto Rico’s economy will suffer for approximately 40 years.As long as this debt exists, Puerto Rican families will be burdened with repaying the debt on top of dealing with the life changes caused by the hurricane.

The families deserve relief so that they may truly recover. As a community, we need to  support our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters through these hardships. Canceling the debt and supporting local bills like S.B. 396, which makes it easier for Puerto Ricans and people from other US territories obtain their driver’s license in Nevada when they already have one from the territories.

Please join us at our weekly community meetings, Wednesdays at 6pm, to stay informed on issues dealing with Puerto Rican aid and support.

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For Immediate Release:
March 1, 2019

2020 Presidential Candidate Julian Castro Holds a Roundtable with Members of Make the Road Nevada

LAS VEGAS, NV Make the Road Nevada (MRNV) welcomed Julian Castro, presidential candidate for 2020, former mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro spoke about his priorities if elected as President of the United States.

“I believe we need leadership that says, everybody counts in the United States… I am going to work so everyone has paid sick leave because I believe that it is important for our families, in the end our businesses are going to be stronger if your employees are able to take paid sick leave, so they can take care of themselves and be healthy when they are in the job”- Julian Castro

These remarks were made to members from Make the Road Nevada at the roundtable. Members also asked Castro key questions regarding the controversial program 287(g), education, earned paid sick days and resources for the Puerto Ricans that arrived in Nevada after Hurricane Maria.

Download the PDF here

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NowThisPolitics invited, Obama’s ex-housing secretary and first Latinx presidential candidate to announce their running for 2020, Julián Castro to have an intimate conversation with local community members of Make the Road NV (MRNV). The discussion was aired live on March 1, 2019 on social media. Members had the opportunity to discuss with Castro some of the issues MRNV is currently working on including affordable housing, earned paid sick days, the 287g program, and education, among other topics.

During the discussion, Jose Macias, MRNV Organizer, shared his family’s story and the reasons he personally fights for Earned Paid Sick Days and living wages.

“…if my mother had a living wage and earn paid sick days she would’ve still be alive today. My family had to live through the deepest pains we ever lived through when we lost her and by sharing my story I wanted to make sure that this conversations where happening because I don’t want others families to go through what we went through with my mom. Mothers should be able to have routine check ups or stay home if they feel sick and not worry about rent money” -Jose Macias

 

Julian Castro showed his support for Earned Paid Sick Days and living wages,

“I believe we need leadership that says, everybody counts in the United States… I am going to work so everyone has paid sick leave because I believe that it is important for our families, in the end our businesses are going to be stronger if your employees are able to take paid sick leave, so they can take care of themselves and be healthy when they are in the job” – Julian Castro

We would like to thank Presidential Candidate Julian Castro and NowThisPolitics for taking the time to give MRNV members a platform where they can be heard, and also to Now This for making this possible. You can watch the full conversation below or here.

If you would like to get involved or would like more information, please contact us: info@maketheroadnv.org

 

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