40+ Organizations in Puerto Rico call on President Biden to eliminate the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 2, 2022

Media Contact:
Lauren Henson,
press@populardemocracy.org

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO —Today, over 40 organizations in Puerto Rico requested a meeting with President Biden in response to the debt restructuring plan and the austerity measures imposed by the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) established by the federal law PROMESA. These organizations have come together to call for the elimination of the FOMB and find other solutions for a just economic recovery in Puerto Rico. 

The letter states:

“Besides its role in the bankruptcy proceedings, the Board also has final say on fiscal plans and budgets–a power that has been used to impose austerity measures and invalidate laws passed by Puerto Rico’s elected representatives. For example, the Board has called for: 1) increasing rates for tolls, water, and electricity–even though customers in Puerto Rico pay almost twice as much as customers in the U.S.; 2) weakening labor protections for workers; 3) closing hundreds of schools; 4) slashing the budget of the University of Puerto Rico and hiking its tuition costs; 5) significantly cutting healthcare expenditures; 6) cutting funding for municipalities; and 7) narrowing eligibility for the food assistance program.

We want to believe that when Congress passed PROMESA and President Obama signed it into law while you were Vice President, all relevant actors had the intention of providing a pathway for Puerto Rico to exit its worst fiscal crisis in a manner that would help us reach a just recovery.  However, having lived through the implementation of PROMESA for the past five and a half years, we cannot in good faith believe it is creating the right path for us.  This is why we call on you to take steps to disband the Board and work with us to find solutions to ensure a just recovery for Puerto Rico.  We hope to meet with you soon to discuss these concerns and share our proposals.”

Full text of letter can be viewed here.

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ABOUT THE CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY

The Center for Popular Democracy is a national network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.

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