By Denise Padín Collazo, Chief of Staff

UNITED STATES – JUNE 6: Analee Dalmau, and her son Mathais, 16 months, along with other Puerto Ricans who were displaced by Hurricane Maria, arrive in buses from western Massachusetts on First St., NE, on June 6, 2018. They came to urge members of Congress to enact the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) because FEMA has not done so. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There’s a bird in the Caribbean known as the Gray Kingbird that’s nine inches tall and weighs in at just under two ounces.  The Kingbird regularly fights and wins battles against the Redtailed Hawk. But the Hawk is three times taller than the little Kingbird and is 40 times its weight.  

Why is it that the Kingbird fights against the Hawk and win?  Because she believes she can. She is not intimidated by the height and weight of the mighty Hawk.       

The same thing is happening today.

In Western Massachusetts, a group of Hurricane Maria survivors is taking on the United States Federal Government. These moms, dads, veterans, and grandparents have already lost their homes, cars, schools, and jobs.  Many have health conditions that require medical attention. Yet the Federal Government, namely the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), is throwing its weight around. Instead of doing its job and helping these  survivors get back on their feet, FEMA is counting on them to be weakened, disheartened and to “know their place.”

In disasters such as the Category 5 hurricane that hit Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, FEMA usually takes 2 steps.  Step 1: help survivors with transitional housing—often in hotels. Then there’s Step 2: longer term housing help so families can get back on their feet.  In the case of Hurricane Maria, FEMA has cut short Step 1 and refused to provide Step 2. They have the program that is made to offer Step 2. It’s called the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP), and is longer term help given to other disaster survivors includes things like help with first and last month’s rent and other tools that make it possible to press the restart button after one has lost everything in a disaster.

Now why is FEMA refusing to take Step 2?  

The victims of Hurricane Maria have been asking this question for months.  But they’re not leaving their futures in the hands of fate.

Instead of hiding and running, these disaster survivors have organized themselves.  When they arrived at the hotels in Massachusetts last fall, they started out as over 100 families.  Now, they are one family. They are organizing themselves and standing up to FEMA. And they’re connecting with others from Florida and around the country.

In June, they boarded buses to drive the 8 hours to Washington, DC to meet with 5 U.S. Senators and 7 U.S. Congresspeople to tell their story to convince FEMA to do its job.

And now, they’re going to the courts.

On Saturday night, the eve of the planned mass evictions, they worked with LatinoJustice, a national civil rights organization to ask a judge to make FEMA stop the evictions of hurricane survivors in 30 states across the country on the grounds that it would cause “irreparable harm.”  At 9:45 p.m. that night, the judge ruled in their favor and issued a Temporary Restraining Order which stopped the evictions for a few days while there is time for a hearing. FEMA complied.

Score one for the little Kingbird.  

Today, a judge will hear their case.  

Disaster survivors weighing in at a proverbial two ounces against the full weight of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Administration.  Let’s see what will happen next.

In Puerto Rico, where the survivors lived before Hurricane Maria there is a name for the Kingbird.  It’s called a pitirre.  And the Red Tailed Hawk is known as the guaraguao.  

So why does the pitirre go up against the guaraguao and sometimes win?

Because she believes she can.

3 Things To Look For in A Football Shirt
There are a lot of different shirts you can purchase cheap Jacksonville Jaguars Jerseys online or at a local brick and mortar store and most people just simply go with a graphic. While graphics are great, they are not always placed on shirts that can be France Football Kit great for playing sports, specifically football. In fact, if you Discount Arsenal Jersey try to play the game with a regular shirt, you’ll find that it will be a sweaty, heavy mess, and that’s no fun for anyone. In order to thwart that, and move forward with cheap Inter Milan Shirt relative ease, it’s important to look into Baltimore Ravens Signed Jersey a high quality football shirt, even if it costs a little more than you’d pay for a bargain cheap Baltimore Ravens jersey bin graphic tee. Consider the following 3 things to look for in regards to your next purchase.
The first thing that you want to look for portugal football shirts is the proper fit. Not all sizes are France football shirts going to be accurate, so it’s best to know that these types of shirts fit a bit snug. If you want it to be a little looser on the chest and arms, you’ll have to get the next size up than what you normally wear. If you do not go in that direction, you’ll end up with a size that is either too small, or loose in some areas but not others. It’s best to have an overall looseness so that you can move with relative ease opposed to an option that is too tight.
The second thing you want to look for cheap Chicago Bears jerseys is style. There are several Liverpool football shirts different styles of football shirt that you can purchase. You’ll have to decide if you want cheap Minnesota Vikings jerseys a collar on it, or whether you want a v-neck or regular flat neck. Not only that, will you be getting an authentic piece that is in part sponsored by a professional club? If so, you’ll have to stick to the styles that they have, whether it’s short sleeve cheap Carolina Panthers jerseys or long sleeve, and whether or not it has collars. You’ll also be stuck with a certain set of colors; depending on what Denver Broncos jerseys team you’re going to cheer for.
The last thing you want to look for is the price cheap Dallas Cowboys jerseys tag. The price of a high quality shirt doesn’t have to be expensive, although some higher costing options are sometimes the best buy in regards to whether or not you’re going to be keeping cheap Washington Redskins jerseys it for a long time. Durability doesn’t always mean a higher costing option either, so be careful when you’re shopping around. Price is important, as you don’t want to spend too much on something that you’ll tear up in a game.



Our national work is made possible through strong, local organizing. Get involved in your local federation to be a part of this movement.

Join Us


Take action nationally or in your community - sign a petition or send a letter to your representative.

Take Action