When a disaster strikes in Puerto Rico, New York elected officials show up.
Mayor Eric Adams led a delegation there last weekend to survey the damage left by Hurricane Fiona, which knocked out the electrical grid and sent flood waters raging across parts of the island.
“We don’t say it lightly that Puerto Rico is the sixth borough of New York City - we mean it,” said Adams, “and we’re going to continue to be committed to this.”
On Sunday’s episode of The People’s Guide to Power, a live election series on WNYC, we explore the close ties between New York, Puerto Rico and the broader Latino community and how that translates in terms of votes and resources.
Our guests include Bronx state Senator Gustavo Rivera, who fended off a fierce primary challenge in August.
“The development of a broader Latino agenda and certainly a broader Puerto Rican agenda hasn’t necessarily occurred,” Rivera said in an interview ahead of the show. “You’ve certainly had Puerto Rican electeds that have been in office over the years, but they just established fiefdoms for themselves.”
Former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the first Latina elected to that post, will offer her perspective and analysis on the obstacles and opportunities for Latinas seeking seeking elected office in the city, and how that can change the policy conversations when they are at the table.
We will also hear from WNYC’s People and Power editor David Cruz and Debralee Santos of The Manhattan Times and The Bronx Free Press.
The phones will be open starting at noon on Sunday, October 2 for your calls about what the power of the sixth borough means to you?
Like the hard-hit residents of Florida and South Carolina now facing the devastation from Ian, Puerto Ricans are Americans facing the challenges of natural disaster and bureaucracies, most recently from Hurricane Fiona and its aftermath.
If you have friends or family in Puerto Rico, how are they recovering from this latest storm and does their experience on the island inform how you evaluate candidates running for office in our region? What does it mean to you when officials from New York and New Jersey show up on the island in times of crisis? Does it translate into resources, or does it feel like photo op? What do you think your power is as a New Yorker to help Puerto Rico recover and thrive? We want to hear from you at 212-433-WNYC, that’s 212-433-9692 or tweet @ WNYC.