CALL ON U.S. ADMINISTRATION TO END THEIR STRANGLEHOLD ON PUERTO RICO
It took over a week after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico for the Trump Administration to waive the Jones Act - an Act which prohibits non-American ships from docking in the island, blocking the delivery of food and supplies and at prices that people can afford. This is the same Act that was waived immediately for Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, and yet, the Trump Administration refused until today and only temporarily. And as most residents in Puerto Rico have been without food, clean water or fuel, the delay in waiving the Act triggered a humanitarian crisis and laid bare the brutality of the U.S.'s colonial control of Puerto Rico.
As planners, this humanitarian crisis raises questions of where 'planning' resides in this, and why there continues to be a lack of accountability and disaster preparedness in island territories. It also requires that the stranglehold on the island’s economy by investors be broken so that Puerto Rico can rebuild in a just and sustainable way.
If you are based in the U.S., please contact your representatives to demand greater disaster preparedness for island territories. The lack of 'planning' in such context is complicity with injustice.