Congressional Listening Session Draws Hundreds in San Juan

Congressman Raul Grijalva headed a group of members of Congress in a Congressional Listening Session in San Juan last week. He was accompanied by Representatives Rob Bishop, Nydia Velazquez, Darren Soto, and Jenniffer Gonzalez.

Hundreds of people came from across the Island to speak to the congressional representatives. Statehood supporters were in the majority, according to the Star Tribune. Each speaker was allowed three minutes.

Many spoke about the PROMESA Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB). Concerns were expressed about the consequences of the austerity measures that have been taken.  The Government Accountability Office had just issued a report describing “financial hardships” experienced by municipalities which have not yet received reimbursement for emergency measures taken after Hurricane Maria.

In some cases, emergency efforts were not completed, or municipal services were cut back. Nine municipalities have not yet received the funds they were allocated.

Grijalva said he intends to make changes in the PROMESA law. “We want to create a law that is more humane, more equal and less oppressive,” he said. “We have to prioritize the interests, the future of the people of Puerto Rico…There is some urgency, no question.”

The delegation remained to speak with the governor and with the FOMB.

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