Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham has written to each of Florida’s two senators and twenty-seven congressional representatives asking them to support relief and recovery funding for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands to help the islands rebuild after being hit by massive hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Graham said with more than one million Puerto Ricans living in Florida, today, our state shares a special bond with the island. The letters detailed the number of Puerto Ricans living in each congressional district, from an estimated 11,238 in the First Congressional District represented by Congressman Matt Gaetz to 186,492 living in the Ninth Congressional District represented by Congressman Darren Soto.
“We have a responsibility to those Floridians to ensure their families and loved ones receive the help they desperately need,” Graham wrote.
Hundreds of cars pulled into the Centro Borinqueño this past week as they dropped off thousands of cases of water, canned food, batteries, diapers and other supplies. The efforts are led by Coordinadora de Apoyo Solidaridad y Ayuda, CASA, which has been operating out of Acacia – Centro Borinqueño in East Orange County for over two weeks since Hurricane Irma hit the Caribbean. The purpose of CASA is to get as many supplies and cash donations to Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria as soon as possible. Orange County Commissioner Emily Bonilla and staff have spent time volunteering and supporting CASA’s initiatives this past weekend.
Bonilla shared “As a fellow Puerto Rican and Commissioner in one of the counties with the fastest growing Puerto Rican communities, it behooves me to take action and support local community efforts. I look forward to supporting these efforts and any actions taken by Orange County administration during one of the most challenging times for the island in modern history.”