Daily Archives: Sep 2, 2018

Governor Will Lead Effort to Help the More Than 11,000 Displaced Puerto Ricans Are Living in New York

Governor Cuomo: “We’re going to work with Puerto Rican families and sue the President of the United States because New York is standing with Puerto Rico the way we said we would.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York will lead the effort for displaced Puerto Ricans in New York – with the latest count exceeding 11,000 people – to file a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and the federal government for failing to adequately respond and provide assistance following Hurricane Maria.

“President Trump never tried to help Puerto Rico. Florida got attention, Texas got attention, and Puerto Rico got the short end of the stick. That is not just wrong and unethical and despicable, it is also illegal,” Governor Cuomo said. “We’re going to work with Puerto Rican families and sue the President of the United States because New York is standing with Puerto Rico the way we said we would. We are going to fight back and we’re going to show this President that the law is the law.”

“The federal government turned its back on our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and failed to help them rebuild and recover,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “In New York we’re proud to provide resources and assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Maria, and we will continue to help displaced families. This lawsuit is the next step in holding President Trump and the federal government accountable for their inaction and making sure Puerto Ricans are able to fully recover.”

Last week a report indicated that the facts show more than 3,000 people died in aftermath of the hurricane, making this one of the deadliest disasters in U.S. history, and showing again the federal government’s inability to provide the assistance Puerto Rico needed in the wake of the disaster.

The Governor announced a commitment to lead the effort to file a lawsuit against the federal government due to the obvious discrepancies in federal response to and treatment of citizens impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which primarily hit Texas, and Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico and other areas. The disparities include:

·         A three week wait: It took at least three weeks for federal helicopters – critical for saving victims and delivering emergency supplies – to fly above Puerto Rico, contrasting with the 73 U.S. Northern Command helicopters that few over Houston within six days of Hurricane Harvey.

·         Lack of funding: Nine days after the hurricanes, FEMA had approved $141.8 million in individual assistance to Harvey victims, versus just $6.2 million for Maria victims.

·         Lack of food and water: During the first nine days after Harvey, FEMA provided 5.1 million meals, 4.5 million liters of water and over 20,000 tarps to Houston. In that same period, FEMA delivered just 1.6 million meals, 2.8 million liters of water and roughly 5,000 tarps to Puerto Rico.

·         Sparse resources: Nine days after Harvey, the federal government had 30,000 emergency and response personnel in the Houston region, compared with 10,000 at the same point after Maria. Additionally, it took just 10 days for FEMA to approve permanent disaster work for Texas, compared with 43 days for Puerto Rico.

·         Unacceptable relief: Seventy-eight days after each hurricane, FEMA had approved 39 percent of federal applications for relief from victims of Harvey, versus just 28 percent for Maria.

“We’re going to work with Puerto Rican families and sue the President of the United States because New York is standing with Puerto Rico the way we said we would.”

The announcement follows a number of efforts the Governor has spearheaded to show New York’s support of the island’s recovery, including the completion of the summer-long, New York Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative on August 25. More than 650 SUNY and CUNY students and volunteers returned after logging nearly 41,000 hours of work cleaning, restoring and rebuilding homes on the island. The Governor’s commitment to helping Puerto Ricans sue the federal government also builds on New York’s most recent investment to connect Puerto Rican families to employment, housing and health care services, including Health Home Care Managers and community-based services. This investment adds to the $11 million commitment the Governor made to support housing and workforce development for displaced Puerto Ricans.

New York State Assembly Member and Chair of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force Marcos A. Crespo said, “The disparities between Washington’s response to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria are shameful. ‎From day one, the people of Puerto Rico have been ignored, too many lives have been lost and not enough assistance has been delivered to the island. Action must be taken to hold the Trump administration responsible and there is no better champion than Governor Cuomo to fight for our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters for the recognition and assistance they have long deserved.”

Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. said, “Despite President Trump and our elected leaders in Washington turning their backs on Puerto Rico, Governor Cuomo has continuously filled the void and is once again standing up for the thousands of Puerto Ricans whose lives have been torn apart by Hurricane Maria. The island’s residents and the thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans in New York are owed the same amount of respect as the rest of our fellow American citizens, and today’s announcement marks an important step to ensure our brothers and sisters receive the assistance and respect they deserve. I want to thank the Governor for his tireless advocacy for the Puerto Rican community.”

New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera said, “The federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria has been nothing short of disgraceful. Puerto Ricans have been disregarded and treated as second class citizens, and 3.5 million Americans have been left to deal with the storm-ravaged island on their own. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s continued efforts to help Puerto Rico recover and for holding President Trump and the federal government responsible. The families here in New York deserve assistance and support as they work to rebuild their lives in the wake of this devastation and we as a state will support.”

New York’s Efforts in Puerto Rico 

Since Hurricane Maria’s landfall in September 2017, Governor Cuomo has traveled to Puerto Rico five times, including the most recent trip in late July. The Governor announced new agricultural trade partnerships between New York and Puerto Rico to strengthen both the island’s economy and the ties between the two communities as Puerto Rico continues to recover and rebuild.

In the immediate aftermath, New York established the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, ultimately distributing at least 4,400 pallets of supplies collected from 13 donations sites across the state. New York also deployed more than 1,000 personnel, including hundreds of utility workers and power experts to help with power restoration and grid stabilization.

In December, Governor Cuomo and members of the New York Congressional Delegation released a Build Back Better Assessment Report that called for a $94.4 billion federal aid package to help Puerto Rico build back stronger. The plan identified specific sectors needing investments, including housing, power grid and resiliency, agriculture and others. Together with $487 million for public safety and first response and $9 billion for long-term recovery management, the total funding need is $94.4 billion.

A spectacular concert celebrating the life and extraordinary career of Aretha Franklin brought thousands of joyful fans to their feet in Detroit Thursday, honoring the “Queen of Soul” on the eve of her funeral.

More than 40 artists took to the stage at what was billed “A People’s Tribute to the Queen,” powering through some of her greatest hits two weeks after her death in her Michigan hometown.

The US music icon, beloved by millions around the world, died of cancer on August 16, closing the curtain on a glittering six-decade career that made her one of America’s most celebrated artists.

The concert spanned the R&B, Gospel, Jazz and Blues, even classical genres in which Franklin excelled. Her grandchildren spoke briefly, delivering heartfelt thanks on behalf of their family and grandmother.

She influenced generations of female singers from the late Whitney Houston to Beyonce, with unforgettable hits including “Respect” (1967), “Natural Woman” (1968) and “I Say a Little Prayer” (1968).

“The concert is wonderful. I mean for people that couldn’t be here you just don’t know what you’re missing,” said Tembley Reynolds, 60, a medical records clerk from Saginaw, Michigan. “Everyone was great!”

Free tickets were snapped up within minutes of being made available online at the 5,000-seat, waterfront outdoor Chene Park Amphitheatre, where Franklin herself had performed.

– ‘Fit for a queen’ –
Dancing, excitedly taking selfies and filming parts of the concert on their cellphones, the evening was a chance for Detroit to celebrate the life and legacy of a towering figure regarded as local royalty.

Performances included Franklin’s hits “Freeway of Love” — an anthem to the Motor City — and “Say A Little Prayer,” with an all-cast rendition of “Respect” scheduled to bring the house down in finale.

Her signature song, the feminist anthem became a rallying cry as African-Americans rose up nationwide in the 1960s to fight peacefully for racial equality.

Headliners included The Four Tops, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Angie Stone, while a gospel choir took everyone to church, rousing the crowd to their feet with an electric, upbeat performance of classics and a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace” by Tasha Page-Lockhart.

Tenor Rod Dixon even sang “Nessun Dorma” in a tribute to Franklin’s last-minute performance of the Puccini aria when Luciano Pavarotti called in sick at the last minute at the 1998 Grammy Awards.

The concert followed three days of public viewings of her open, golden casket that drew thousands — at her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church, and the Charles H. Wright Museum for African-American History.

On Thursday, she lay resplendent in the church dressed in a rose gold outfit and matching Christian Louboutin stilettos. On Tuesday, she wore a red dress with matching heels and on Wednesday she was in blue.

– ‘Truly missed’ –
“I wanted to come here in the jubilance, the joyousness, the celebration of Aretha and her legacy,” said Dorlena Orange, 68. “We’re like a party. It’s like a beautiful, wonderful thing.”

The New Bethel Baptist Church held a special place in Franklin’s heart. It was there that she hosted Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for parishioners and the needy, and also recorded an album.

On Friday, former president Bill Clinton and Smokey Robinson are among those due to address her six-hour, invitation-only funeral with musical tributes coming from Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande.

“I think it’s going to be a very upbeat service. I think it’s going to be a very jubilant service,” said Bishop Charles Ellis, pastor at the Greater Grace Temple where the funeral is being held.

Franklin won 18 Grammy awards and was feted for her civil rights work, raising money for the cause and uplifting activists with her anthems.

The daughter of a prominent Baptist preacher and civil rights activist, Franklin sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the inaugurations of presidents Clinton and Barack Obama.

She was awarded America’s highest civilian honor by George W. Bush in 2005. Letters from Bush and Obama are expected to be read at the funeral.

Related video: Last public viewing for Aretha Franklin draws thousands (Provided by USA TODAY)


    A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Donald Trump remains an extraordinarily polarizing president, with a majority of the public “strongly” disapproving of him. According to the poll, 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump while 36 approve. But what is more striking is the measure of intensity, which show that those who dislike Trump do so with a passion. Fifty-three percent “strongly disapprove” of Trump while only 24 percent “strongly approve” of him.

    Aside from the topline approval/disapproval results, the poll also shows the public is behind the Mueller investigation and wary of the president’s attempts to shut it down.

    “But 63 percent of Americans support Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, with 52 percent saying they support it strongly; 29 percent oppose the probe,” The Washington Post reports.

    The president’s efforts to challenge the legitimacy of the investigation and build sympathy for his convicted former campaign chair Paul Manafort have made little head way. “Trump has complained that Manafort was treated unfairly by Mueller’s prosecutors, and after a jury convicted Manafort earlier this month the president tweeted that he felt ‘very badly’ for him,” the newspaper notes. “But 67 percent of Americans think Mueller’s case against Manafort was justified, while 17 percent say it was unjustified, according to the poll.”

    Trump is most unpopular with African-Americans, where he is at a minuscule 3 percent approval. He is most popular among white men with no college degree, but even with that group he has slipped from a career high of 70 percent to 55 percent.


      U.S. Latino Population Growth and Dispersion Has Slowed Since Onset of the Great Recession

      Between 2007 and 2014, Buffalo, Rochester, Dunkirk and Erie, PA. the latino population grew by 28.67 percent and is expected to grow by over 35 percent by the next scheduled US Census count. 

      The nation’s Latino population has long been characterized by its rapid growth and by its wide dispersion to parts of the country that traditionally have had few Latinos. But a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data finds that the growth and dispersion of the U.S. Latino population has slowed since 2007, when the Great Recession started, immigration from Latin America cooled and Latino fertility rates declined sharply.

      Between 2007 and 2014, the U.S. Hispanic population grew annually on average by 2.8% (its pace of growth has been an even slower 2.4% between 2010 and 2014). This was down from a 4.4% growth rate between 2000 and 2007 and down from 5.8% annually in the 1990s. As a result, the Hispanic population, once the nation’s fastest growing, has now slipped behind Asians (whose population grew at an average annual rate of 3.4% from 2007 to 2014) in its growth rate.

      This slowdown has been driven by two, large demographic trends affecting the Hispanic community. Immigration, which in the 1980s and 1990s was the principal driver of Hispanic population growth, began to slow in the mid-2000s. And, in the case of Mexico, immigration has now reversed back toward Mexico since 2009. As a result, the main driver of Hispanic population growth shifted to U.S. births. But here too, change is underway: Throughout much of the early 2000s birth rates of Hispanic women ages 15 to 44 were about 95 births per 1,000 women, reaching a peak of 98.3 in 2006. However, since the onset of the Great Recession, their birth rates have declined, steadily falling to 72.1 births per 1,000 Hispanic women ages 15 to 44 in 2014.

      General population growth and economic opportunities in places that traditionally had few Latinos led to the dispersal of the Latino population across the U.S. beginning in the 1990s, just as Latino population growth was accelerating. 1 In the 1990s, North Carolina led in Latino population growth as new immigrant arrivals and their families moved there to pursue job opportunities in agriculture and manufacturing. In the 2000s, counties in Georgia saw some of the fastest growth nationally in their Latino populations. By 2014, a record 1,579 counties (about half of all U.S. counties) had at least 1,000 Latinos, up from just 833 in 1990. Overall, these 1,579 counties in 2014 contained 99% of the U.S. Latino population.

      Yet the new analysis shows that Hispanic population dispersion, while continuing, has also slowed since 2007. For example, the share of U.S. counties with at least 1,000 Hispanics rose more rapidly before the onset of the Great Recession than after: Between 2000 and 2007, there was an 8-percentage-point gain in the share of U.S. counties with at least 1,000 Hispanics, rising to 46% from 38% in 2000. Yet while half of U.S. counties met this criterion in 2014, the share that did so was up only 4 percentage points since 2007, when 46% of all counties did. Other measures of dispersion show a similar slowing trend (see Chapter 1 for more details).

      The slowdown in Latino settlement to traditionally non-Latino areas reflects changes in the demographics of Latinos, but also that the counties with few Latinos today are generally smaller counties overall. The 1,562 counties with fewer than 1,000 Hispanics in 2014 are largely located in non-metropolitan areas of the country and have a median population of about 13,000 people. In the coming years, while some Latinos may move there, it is possible that the slowdown in dispersion will continue.

      These two trends – rapid population growth and geographic dispersion – have led to a number of Latino-driven demographic changes nationwide since 1990. As of 2012, 17 states had kindergarten student populations that were at least 20% Latino, up from just eight states in 2000. And the growing and dispersing Latino population has led to rising electoral influence of Latino voters in recent elections as the number eligible to vote has grown in many battleground states such as Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina, even though Latino voters are largely concentrated in non-battleground states like California and Texas. Yet the slowdown in Latino population growth and dispersion may slow these trends as well in the coming years.

      However, since the start of the Great Recession counties in North Dakota have topped the list. Williams County, Stark County and Ward County have all seen their Hispanic populations more than double from 2007 to 2014 (though from a small base). In fact, North Dakota’s statewide Hispanic population nearly doubled to 18,000 in this same time period, making it the state with the highest Hispanic growth rate (though it ranks 49th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia by Hispanic population). 3 Other counties outside the South that are among the 10 fastest-growing include Luzerne County in Pennsylvania, Beadle County in South Dakota, Duchesne County in Utah and Burleigh County in North Dakota. Overall, just three of the top 10 fastest growing counties by Hispanic population since 2007 were in the South.

      More generally, the median growth rate of Latino populations in counties across the nation from 2007 to 2014 was about 27%. Counties that exceeded this average – fast-growing Latino counties – were largely metropolitan, were located in the South and had relatively small Latino populations. Because of the relatively small size of the Latino population in these counties, they account for just 37% of the nation’s Latino population growth.

      Accompanying this report are interactive county maps documenting the Hispanic population in the nation’s counties in 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2014; an interactive state map and demographic and economic profiles of the Hispanic population in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia (see Chapter 4 for an overview of the Hispanic population in the states); and an interactive map and demographic and economic profiles of the 60 metropolitan areas with the largest Hispanic populations (see Chapter 5 for an overview of the Hispanic population in metropolitan areas). The metropolitan area interactive also has a table showing the largest population and shares for the 11 largest Hispanic origin groups: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Hondurans, Spaniards, Ecuadorans and Peruvians.

      Other key findings from the report include:

      National population growth

      • Despite slowing population growth, Latinos still accounted for more than half (54%) of the nation’s population growth between 2000 and 2014.

      Latinos in the counties

      • Latinos account for more than half of the population growth in 41% of U.S. counties with at least 1,000 Latinos in 2014. About a third of these counties were located along the Southwest border and about half are in non-metropolitan areas.
      • The nation’s Hispanic population is not growing everywhere. Between 2007 and 2014, the Hispanic population declined in 38 counties with at least 1,000 Hispanics in 2014, most of which were located in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
      • Among the nation’s counties with at least 1,000 Latinos in 2014, 23 counties are majority foreign born among Latinos.


      • The five states with the largest Hispanic populations are California (15 million), Texas (10.4 million), Florida (4.8 million), New York (3.7 million) and Illinois (2.2 million). Together, these states hold 65% of all Hispanics.
      • But New Mexico leads the states for the share of the state population that is Hispanic (48%), followed by California and Texas (39% each). Arizona and Nevada round out the top five states for the share of the population that is Hispanic with 31% and 28%, respectively.
      • In most states, U.S.-born Hispanics outnumber foreign-born Hispanics. However, there are two exceptions: In the District of Columbia 53% of Hispanics were foreign born in 2014, and in Maryland half of Hispanics were foreign born. Most of the top 10 states ranked by the foreign-born share among Hispanics are located in the South.

      Metropolitan areas

      • In 2014, more than half of U.S. Hispanics resided in the 15 largest metropolitan areas by Hispanic population. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA topped the list with 6 million Hispanics – more than the Hispanic population in all but two states, California and Texas.
      • Behind the Los Angeles metropolitan area are New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (4.8 million), Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL (2.6 million), Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX (2.3 million), Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (2.2 million) and Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (2.1 million).
      • Among the 15 largest metropolitan areas by Hispanic population, only two are majority foreign born. In Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL, 61% of the area’s 2.6 million Hispanics are immigrants. Following that is the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metropolitan area, where 53% of Hispanics are immigrants.
      • The geographic settlement of Hispanics is closely linked with Hispanic origin. Hispanics of Mexican origin are the largest Hispanic origin group in many Southwest border metropolitan areas, but along the East Coast there is more diversity. Cubans are the largest Hispanic origin group in the Miami metropolitan area, while Puerto Ricans are the largest origin group in the New York, Orlando, Philadelphia and Hartford, CT metro areas. Meanwhile, Salvadorans are the largest origin group in the Washington, D.C., area.








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