Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cleveland City Council passes resolution urging Congress and the President to take stronger actions in their federal relief efforts to assist U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico

1210 17 ERes Hurrican Maria Puerto Rico by Brian Cummins on Scribd

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito joins pols from across the U.S. in writing Trump to push for more aid for Puerto Rico

DAILY NEWS, 10.03.2017

The following letter was spearheaded by New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's, a native of Puerto Rico, and signed by 65-elected officials from around the country.  We call on President Trump's Administration -

 "...that the Federal Government act immediately to deploy additional resources to the islands, lengthen the Jones Act suspension period, and expand the “local match” waiver for FEMA funds..."

"...do everything humanly possible to reach every corner of Puerto Rico and the USVI with food and supplies, as we also grapple with the desperately needed restoration of power to the island. The lives of 3.5 million U.S. citizens are hanging in the balance."

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also stated,

“There is this view that, somehow, we don’t merit that level of concern or attention or respect from this government,” said Melissa Mark-Viverito, the speaker of the New York City Council, comparing the response in Puerto Rico with areas struck by recent hurricanes in Florida and Texas. “Somehow, we’re a burden and we’re mooching. That’s the kind of language this president is throwing around.”

On Sunday October 8th the 10-day waiver of the Jones Act expired.


Speaker Mark-Viverito, Elected Officials Across the Nation Demand President Trump, Federal Government Deploy Additional Resources, Extend the Jones Suspension Period for the Humanitarian Crisis in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, NYC City Council, 10/4/2017.

Melissa Mark-Viverito joins pols from across the U.S. in writing Trump to push for more aid for Puerto Rico, DAILY NEWS, 10.03.2017

Trump Letter (Joint Letterhead) by Brian Cummins on Scribd


Lawmakers seek Puerto Rico exemption to law that slowed aid
The Washington Times/Associated Press 10.09.2017

Trump should continue to waive the Jones Act: Puerto Rican Governor, Fox Business, 10.09.2017.

Trump faces decision on new Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico
The Hill, 10.06.2017

DHS Will Allow Puerto Rico Jones Act Waiver to ExpireThe Maritime Executive, 10.06.2017

“We believe that extending the waiver is unnecessary to support the humanitarian relief efforts on the island. There is an ample supply of Jones Act-qualified vessels to ensure that cargo is able to reach Puerto Rico,” said DHS press secretary David Lapan. Lapan added that the Department of Defense has not asked for an extension – the formal mechanism required for a temporary waiver in the interest of national defense – and noted that no vessels have taken advantage of the waiver to date..."

DETAILED STUDIES regarding the Jones Act.  Please comment below if you have other sources of information that can be helpful in understanding the impacts of a repeal or modification of the act.

THE JONES ACT IN PERSPECTIVE: A survey of the costs and effects of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act

by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii | Apr 9, 2017 | Blog, Jones Act, Policy Briefs

PUERTO RICO Characteristics of the Island’s Maritime Trade and Potential Effects of Modifying the Jones Act
United States,  Government Accountability Office, 2013.

Monday, October 2, 2017

MedWish International to hold donation drive at its World Headquarters in Cleveland

See the MedWish press release and supply list for their Puerto Rico Relieve - donation drive occurring this Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, at their World Headquarters located on 1625 E. 31st Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.  A personal thank you to Leslie Estremera from Case Western Reserve University for reaching out and helping to share the news and get the word out.

NOTE:  For other information about relieve efforts in Cleveland, see:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

MONETARY DONATIONS NEEDED to support Puerto Rico relieve efforts by Greater Cleveland's Puerto Rican community

Esri CrowdRescue Puerto Rico Infrastructure Map

In the wake of the catastrophic hurricane that hit the Islands of Puerto Rico on September 20th, Greater Cleveland Puertorriqueños have come together and have collected and palletized 350 skids for relieve efforts for their families and our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico.

We are in immediate need of $30,000 to pay for transportation of those goods to Miami FL, for transport to Puerto Rico.  Individuals from Cleveland's Puerto Rican community are traveling to San Juan this week to do advance work on logistics on the Island in preparation for receipt and distribution once goods arrive.

DONATE $ TO:  The Cleveland, OH - Latinos Unidos Fund - A gofundme.com fund set-up in partnership with Cleveland's Club San Lorenzo, Club Alma Yaucana and Spanish American Committee.

Relieve Efforts in Cleveland

Since Thursday, 9/21/2017 Club San Lorenzo and Club Alma Yaucana have collaborated to receive material donation at Club San Lorenzo.  Volunteers and Club Members have worked tirelessly these past 10-days.

Contributions will continue to be received on Saturdays from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm at Club San Lorenzo, 3121 W 33rd St, Cleveland, OH 44109.  Volunteers are needed during these times.  Please call Club San Lorenzo at 216-651-0535 to sign-up to help with deliveries as well as other volunteer opportunities as they develop.  Volunteers are also needed from 7:00 am - 3:30 pm at the IX-Center, where the goods are being palletized and warehoused.  No donations are being accepted for drop-off at the IX-Center.

The City of Cleveland is working with our local foundations and corporate leaders and we hope to have announcements soon on joint efforts to provide support to relieve efforts.  Those efforts are anticipated to include:
  • Coordination and transport of donations to Puerto Rico.
  • Coordination of monetary contributions for relieve efforts in Puerto Rico.
  • Humanitarian and medical aid for victims of the hurricane.
  • Support for families in Greater Cleveland for crisis intervention and other social services.
  • Support for families from Puerto Rico anticipated to arrive in Cleveland escaping the devastating conditions of the Islands.

Call for Greater Federal Assistance

Speakers at a Prayer Vigil and Rally for Puerto Rico Relief on Saturday held on Public Square called for greater Federal Government Assistance.  That included an end to the 1920's era Jones Act that requires shipments between U.S. Ports to be made by U.S. owned and operated carriers. 

Call for repeal of the Jones Act

Coordination of Federal, State and Local Assistance 
Call for the use of the Ohio National Guard, Ohio State Troopers...

Above and beyond our city's efforts, both public and private, there are calls for coordination of federal, state and local efforts.  One such potential example would be the authorization by President trump and concurrent authorization of Ohio Governor John R. Kasich to deploy the Ohio National Guard to assist in transporting humanitarian aid from Ohio to Puerto Rico.  This would require  authorization of a U.S. Code, Title 32/Title 10 or single Title 10 act.  Ohio has significant military assets that should be deployed, including the Air National Guard 179th Airlift Wing

See: The Role of the National Guard in National Defense and Homeland Security
By Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Lowenberg, National Guard Association of the United States 

"The question is when, not if, the next domestic disaster will occur. The question is also when, not if, federal military forces will be deployed domestically in response to a humanitarian disaster or emergency."

U. S. States deploying National Guard Troops

A quick survey online confirms deployment from the following eight Governors and States:
  • New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. More than 600 New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were on State Active Duty or federal orders as of September 29, supporting response and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  Efforts in the Caribbean were matched by efforts back in New York to collect and ship donations to assist Puerto Rico.  Collection sites at four National Guard armories September 24. Mobilized some 100 personnel, including a transportation platoon and members of the New York Guard State Defense Force. These troops will augment state resources to prepare donations for shipment to Puerto Rico. The first shipment of relief supplies managed by the National Guard departs October 2.
  • New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie. Sending 1,100 emergency responders to Puerto Rico for six-weeks to aid in recovery efforts. Two National Guard armories will open Monday as donation centers.
  • North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper. Authorized 200 NC Guard engineers to go to PR. Troops left Fort Bragg Friday with supplies. Engineers and troops prepared to be there until the end of October.
  • FloridaGovernor Rick Scott. 
  • MarylandGovernor Larry Hogan.
  • Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf.
  • Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker. 
  • Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds.

Cleveland - Local impact, responses and resources

Club San Lorenzo, (216) 651-0535, W 33rd St, Cleveland, OH 44109

Club Alma Yaucana, (216) 241-764,  W 25th St Cleveland, Ohio 44113

The Spanish American CommitteeMulti-servives, provides five core programs that help clients with family support and childcare services, financial literacy education and training, housing education and guidance, employment training and services, and adult education opportunities such as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and the only Spanish-language GED program in Ohio.
Red Cross Safe and Well.

The Red Cross Safe and Well website - Allows people to list their own status and allows friends and family to search for messages from their loved ones.

English - www.redcross.org/safeandwell
Spanish - https://safeandwell-es.communityos.org/zf/safe/add

CONDOLENCES to the Cleveland relatives of:
  • Harold Cancel Rosa.
  • Father of Clevelander and Executive Director of Esperanza Inc., Victor Ruiz.

Prayer vigils, rallies and events:
Several fundraising events, prayer vigils and rallies have been organized at Club Alma Yaucana, La Sagrada Familia Church, Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center,  Mt Zion Baptist Church in Oakwood Village in affiliation with United Pastors in Mission.  A large fund raising event is currently being planned by a collaboration of organizations - call Club San Lorenzo, (216) 651-0535 for more information and to volunteer.

Public Education - Cleveland's Hispanic and our majority-minority Puerto Rican community.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Councilman Cummins Receives New Endorsements going into November 7th General Election

Pick’s up Mayor Jackson, Christian Omar Medina, C.A.M.E.O., and Stonewall Democrats

CONTACT: Brian Cummins, 216-333-5453, citizensforcummins@gmail.com

CLEVELAND, 9/20/2017:  Today, Councilman Brian Cummins announced several new endorsements of his campaign for a 4th term and re-election to Cleveland City Council’s Ward 14.

New endorsements have been received from Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Ward 14 Primary Candidate Christian Omar Medina, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats and the Cleveland American Middle East Organization.  The full endorsement list includes:

·       Cleveland Teachers Union
·       Cleveland Building & Construction Trades Council
·       The Plain Dealer, Cleveland.com
·       Mayor Frank G. Jackson
·       Christian Omar Medina, 2017 Primary Election Candidate, Ward 14 Council
·       Cleveland American Middle East Organization (C.A.M.E.O.)
·       Cleveland Stonewall Democrats

Upon receiving the endorsement Cummins stated,

“I appreciate the endorsements from these individuals and organizations. I will continue to work hard to serve our mutual interests for the benefit of our community and the City of Cleveland.”

In endorsing Cummins, Mayor Jackson stated,

"I support Councilman Brian Cummins for re-election because of his leadership and advocacy, which has led us to target the Clark-Fulton neighborhood for special bond funding over the next few years... one of only four projects to be selected for focused neighborhood investment. Councilman Cummins' experience and dedication serve the neighborhoods of Ward 14 well."

The Administration announced in July that it will target $4 Million to support the W. 25th Street Corridor and related La Villa Initiatives. The initiatives began in 2010 when Cummins was elected to the new Ward 14.

Cummins’ work has been instrumental in initiating these projects.  He has worked closely with neighborhood organizations and leaders in the Latino Community in developing La Villa Hispana a commercial and residential district that celebrates the Latino cultures of its residents and business owners. The district is centered at W. 25th Street and Clark Avenue.

Cleveland City Council together with Mayor Jackson established a $25 Million bond fund for investment in neighborhoods in 2015.  The Mayor’s announcement in July followed meetings and lobbying by Councilman Cummins and partners and organizations including Councilman Joe Cimperman, the Hispanic Business Center, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, Metro West Community Development Organzation, Hispanic Alliance and MetroHealth Systems.

Regarding the Mayor’s support Cummins stated,

“I want to acknowledge Mayor Jackson’s leadership and accomplishments. He has always valued using public funds to attract private funding and investment to projects of merit.”

Christian Omar Medina was one of three Latino candidates that ran in the Ward 14 Primary Election.  In making his endorsement Medina said,

"I endorse Brian Cummins because he is the most qualified candidate to do the job... In this election ethnicity is not a factor. Ethics, experience and integrity are. Councilman Cummins will continue bringing resources into our community. And he will build on established relationships to move forward important projects like La Villa Hispana and others... continuing progress for everyone in all of our neighborhoods."

Councilman Cummins was first elected to Council in 2005 to serve Ward 15, which was comprised of portions of the neighborhoods of Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre.  In 2009 he won his second term to council to serve a re-districted Ward 14, which was made up of portions of Brooklyn Centre, Tremont, Clark-Fulton and Stockyard.  In 2013 Cummins won a third term and picked up portions of the West Boulevard neighborhood. Beginning in 2014 Ward 14 was extended westward from W. 17th to W. 47th to
W. 97TH Street.  This year’s re-election marks the first time Councilman Cummins is running to serve the same geographical Ward boundries he has served in a previous term.

Councilman Cummins is a graduate of Cleveland State University. His varied career includes 6-years with National City Bank’s Trust Division, 10-years affiliated with the Peace Corps, as a Volunteer with his wife Gayle, and then time served as a technical trainer and Administrative Director. Upon his return to the United States in 2009, Cummins served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Community Shelter Board in Columbus, Ohio, before retuning to Cleveland in 2001 to serve as the Director of the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation. Councilman Cummins lives in the Historic Brooklyn Centre neighborhood with his Wife Gayle and daughters Adalyne and Tatum.

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