In the past days, I've spoken to our partners in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The suffering on the islands is unfathomable. Thanks to the actions you are taking, along with our partners on the islands, we have a small window to win debt relief for devastated Caribbean islands and new financial protections for vulnerable communities from Illinois to Zambia.
We have momentum and we need you to take two critical actions as we move Congress, the White House and the International Monetary Fund.
1) Please print this petition and ask your religious community members, friends and family to sign. This petition can be printed and signed at your religious services or gatherings over the next three weeks. We need you to get as many signatures over the next three weeks as you can and then send your petitions to us, so we can deliver them to the White House, Congress and the IMF.
2) Can your religious community sign-up and offer one prayer or petition for people suffering from hurricanes? We will be letting policy makers know that our religious communities across the United States are praying and acting for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Dominica and struggling islands across the Caribbean. When you sign your religious community up to say one prayer, you can pray any weekend or participate in national Jubilee Weekend on October 20-22. When you sign-up we will send you sample prayers and worship resources you can use.
As President Trump visited Puerto Rico on Tuesday, our religious partners in Puerto Rico issued a powerful statement. A statement we can amplify, if we pray and act in the coming weeks.
San Juan's Catholic Archbishop, Roberto González Nieves, St. Thomas and US Virgin Islands' Catholic Bishop Herbert A. Bevard and Puerto Rico Evangelical Bible Society Head Reverend Heriberto Martínez wrote:
- In addition to hurricane relief, we need resources to permanently reduce the child poverty epidemic.
- Aid must come in the form of grants, as opposed to loans that would further indebt our islands.
- Relief monies must be sufficient to rebuild structures to withstand more powerful and more frequent storms.
- US citizens living in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands must be able to have the same access to federal health care and child benefit monies that US citizens receive in US states.
- Our islands cannot pay debt until we've rebuilt and we see positive economic recovery.
- We need a debt payment moratorium; debts must be cancelled and reduced to sustainable payable levels.
With our partners we need you to take two actions.
1) Print the petition and ask your friends, family and religious community to sign at meetings and religious services.
2) Sign-up your religious community to make one prayer at a religious service in the next three weeks for our Caribbean partners.
With your help, we can win a new future for the victims affected by the hurricanes.