Following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz has been a voice for the island territory. NBC News reports that the mayor has been pushing for more federal aid and help on the ground since Puerto Rico weathered the most powerful storm in 90 years.
The mayor has also been quick to call out U.S. politicians for their inefficiency and inappropriate comments. The president, in particular, was the source of such comments, posting a series of tweets criticizing her leadership ability.
“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” Trump wrote. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help.”
In a statement to NBC, Cruz did not falter in response to the president’s comments.
“[I will] compliment the people I need to compliment and call out the people I need to call out,” she said. “This isn’t about me. This is about lives that are being lost.”
NBC News reports that Cruz has been wading in the floodwaters and visiting with San Juan residents in the wake of the storm. While human tragedy comes in many forms, such as the 800 children who drown in the United States each year, this storm brought the tragedy of an entire island without power and over three million residents struggling for resources. The last official death toll was reported at 16.
This is why Cruz is pushing for more assistance.
Recently, about 10,000 federal workers were sent to Puerto Rico under the leadership of Lt. Gen. Jeffery Buchanan. Cruz said in a statement to MSNBC that the general claimed to not have adequate resources.
“Gen. Buchanan, a three-star general, has said that he doesn’t have enough troops and he doesn’t have enough equipment,” she said. “So who am I? I’m just a little mayor from the capital of San Juan. This is a three-star general saying he doesn’t have the appropriate amount of tools.”
And until the island receives proper relief, the mayor will not be backing down. She said in a statement to MSNBC that she will be focusing on the issue at hand and the citizens counting on their representatives to rebuild the territory.
“I am not going to be distracted by small comments, by politics, by petty issues,” she said. “Whomever is here to help, whomever says things that can help, will be praised. Whomever doesn’t, will not.”
If you are interested in helping the 3.4 million Americans who are struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, here are a few ways you can give back:
- Global Giving: All donations made to this organization exclusively support relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.
- UNICEF: Ninety percent of every dollar will go toward helping children affected by Hurricane Maria.
- United for Puerto Rico: This initiative was started by the first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rossello. One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards victims of natural disasters on the island.
- The American Red Cross: Proceeds go toward delivering relief supplies like water, food, insect repellant, trash bags, and satellite phones.