More than a million homes and businesses across Puerto Rico still lacked power, two days after Hurricane Fiona slammed into the island of 3.3 million people https://t.co/jbKNV4sX9b pic.twitter.com/wqPkVJgxh3
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 21, 2022
Today, I spoke with @GovPierluisi to address the immediate needs of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.
We discussed federal personnel working to assist the island's recovery, and I assured the Governor that we'll increase support substantially in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/Qc9goBEZxm
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 19, 2022
Praise Goddess we have an actual President in office now, but does anyone have suggestions for trustworthy relief / self-help organizations that could put individual donations to best use immediately?
I’m so proud of WCK teams around the world.. In Puerto Rico yesterday 5,000 meals & today doubled serving 10,000 people! We’ll keep adding restaurants to meet the need. And we’re following the path of Hurricane Fiona getting ready to help wherever it hits next.. #ChefsForTheWorld pic.twitter.com/90UXEsrWHx
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) September 20, 2022
At FEMA office in NYC, @POTUS says federal government will reimburse Puerto Rico 100% of the cost for debris removal, power and water restoration and shelter and food for the next month following Hurricane Fiona.
“We are with you. We are not going to walk away.” pic.twitter.com/QUqfhCtFc0
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) September 22, 2022
(Mild) readership capture:
Lin-Manuel Miranda and his father, Luis A. Miranda Jr., write in Opinions, “We call on all our partners in philanthropy, business and the arts to join our family and make direct investments in Puerto Rico.”https://t.co/OwpLyT8bSE
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) September 20, 2022
I swear to my fellow Olds, this headline from the Washington Post makes sense in context — “Bad Bunny wants you to stop ignoring Puerto Rico”:
… On Friday, less than 48 hours before Fiona, another catastrophic hurricane, made landfall in Puerto Rico — knocking out power across the island — Bad Bunny released a stunning 22-minute documentary/music video for “El Apagón” (“The Blackout”), a pointed track from his latest album, “Un Verano Sin Ti” (“A Summer Without You”), which has been atop the Billboard 200 chart for 11 weeks. Over the song’s jubilant, club-ready beat, Bad Bunny raps about his love for the island, ticking off a list of hometown treasures, including J.J. Barea, one of only a handful of Puerto Ricans to play for the NBA (“a champion before LeBron,” BB boasts), and reggaeton pioneer Tego Calderón. “Maldita sea, otro apagón,” Bad Bunny says, briefly interrupting his joyful ode: “Damn, another blackout.”
In the video, verses of “El Apagón” are interspersed with reporting by Bianca Graulau, an independent journalist who has been documenting inequities in the U.S. territory, whose residents lack representation in Congress and are unable to vote on a federal level. Five years after Maria, persistent blackouts continue to plague the more than 3 million U.S. citizens who call the island home. As Graulau explains in the video, the documentary portion of which is titled “Aquí Vive Gente” (“People Live Here”), Puerto Rico’s billion-dollar effort to privatize the electrical grid — through a controversial contract with Luma Energy — has done little to quell the problem. Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, whose administration hired Luma, publicly criticized the energy consortium for the first time last month after a report by Puerto Rico’s Energy Bureau showed that outages have actually increased in duration this year…
“El Apagón” references displacement in a bridge sung by Bad Bunny’s girlfriend, Gabriela Berlingeri. “I don’t want to leave here / I don’t want to leave here,” she sings in Spanish, while urging that the developers and crypto bros do. “This is my beach, this is my sun. This is my land, this is me.”
For Graulau, the impact of Bad Bunny’s song is both professional and personal. “It’s a music video that turns into a news documentary,” the reporter told her followers on TikTok, where she regularly posts videos breaking down issues in Puerto Rico that have historically gone unnoticed on the mainland. “I am so honored that you guys think of me when you think of these issues. I’m honored Bad Bunny thought of me and that he had the crazy idea to give us this platform.”