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News & Media

For Immediate Release: August 1, 2019

Contact: Contact: Heather Cabral, heather@westendstrategy.com, 202-550-6880

Erin Williams, ewilliams@faithinaction.org, 202-748-0699 

On Friday, August 2, Ricardo Rosello will officially resign as the governor of Puerto Rico, after days of protests, and the beginning of impeachment proceedings. Leaders from Faith in Action, the largest grassroots organizing network in the United States, have delivered the following statements in the aftermath of his removal: 

“Since Hurricane Maria, the people’s resolve and resiliency has been tested on a daily basis.  The multilayered citizen national rallies and strikes that have emerged have schooled the world in the power of everyday people to make change,” said Denise Padín Collazo, senior advisor of Faith in Action, who recently returned to her home town in Puerto Rico to support local leaders.  I saw a protest sign held by a young person which read, ‘Cojiste de p—- a la generación equivocada.’ Mildly translated this means, ‘You tried to fool the wrong generation.’ There are thousands of everyday people of faith in states across the country who stand ready to support the young people and leaders in Puerto Rico who are changing the path of history for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Gracias! Keep it up because we have your back.”        

“The resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosello, was the effect rendered by the people of Puerto Rico speaking loud and clear. The people of Puerto Rico are demanding transparency and accountability after arrests and leaked private chats that taint the current administration at every level,” said Maria Revelles, deputy director of Faith in Florida.

“At the same time, under no circumstance should corruption by a circle of public officials and private individuals be used as an excuse to block or slow the flow of Congressionally-approved resources for Puerto Rican citizens still struggling after Hurricane Maria and the long-term needs of vulnerable communities on the island.  We welcome accountability and investigations into possible acts of corruption. All accused are entitled to the presumption of innocence and due process, and those found guilty of corruption should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

“Faith and democracy are intertwined,” said Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action. Democracy is the recognition of the inherent dignity of every person that is endowed to them by the divine. Every day since hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico, our dear brothers and sisters have endured countless indignities. They have endured the longest blackout in U.S. history. And they suffered while an unaccountable oversight board chose to make exorbitant debt payments to Wall Street by cutting Grandma’s pension. The breaking point came when they lost faith in their own democratically elected leaders. They amassed their shared creativity and hope in the streets, the sky, the ocean, even on horseback. In this moment, faith and democracy have come together as people are saying yes to a new day in Puerto Rico.”     

“We celebrate the great victory of the people’s movement in Puerto Rico. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s comments, which were racist, homophobic and derogatory of Puerto Ricans, are representative of the ongoing corruption in that government,” said Rev. Gregory Holston, executive director of POWER, an interfaith movement in Pennsylvania. “The great number of Puerto Ricans that have risen up in protest illustrates that he does not have the support of a majority, and it is right that he resigns. It is now time for grassroots leaders to take charge and create a true participatory democracy. The Commonwealth needs a government that represents the rights and needs of all Puerto Ricans.”

“Lo sucedido en Puerto Rico habla del poder de la unión social,” dijo Pastor Peter Rivera de Jr. Holy Movement Church en Orlando. “Cuando la iglesia se une a los movimientos sociales se revela la voz profética de la justicia, el orden y la paz. La iglesia no puede permanecer en silencio durante los momentos tan críticos que estamos viviendo, tiene que elevar su voz y será escuchada.” 

“What happened in Puerto Rico speaks of the power of social unity,” said Pastor Peter Rivera of Jr. Holy Movement Church in Orlando. “When the church joins the social movements, the prophetic voice of justice, order and peace is revealed. The church cannot shut up in the critical moments we are living, it has to raise its voice and it will be heard.”

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Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.

Faith in Action is a 501c(3).  Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.

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