Tompkins County
New York


Resolution in Support of New York State Aid to Puerto Rico and Urging Our Federal Government to Provide Immediate Additional Support for Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands


Department:Tompkins County LegislatureSponsors:
Category:Legislation or Funding - State and Federal

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands are Territories of the United States and people born in the territories have been citizens of the United States since 1917, and


WHEREAS, damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma caused extremely widespread damage and devastation in which many residents lack adequate drinking water, food, healthcare, or passable roads to deliver supplies even weeks after the storms*, and


WHEREAS, the magnitude of the disaster in Puerto Rico is such that the functional areas of the island are not large enough to support the large geographic area in which services have been destroyed and, in addition, provision of aid in the coming months will continue to be impacted by shipping laws that restrict deliveries, and


WHEREAS, humanitarian assistance to citizens of the United States should be made available regardless of economic circumstance, and


WHEREAS, as in other natural disasters, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s office has offered its assistance through the New York State Sheriff’s Association, and


WHEREAS Governor Cuomo has launched the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico, bringing together civic, business and industry partners to provide needed services, goods, and funds to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild, and


WHEREAS, federal relief efforts have not been adequate to ensure the continued health, welfare, or safety of this portion of the United States, now therefore be it 


RESOLVED, That the Tompkins County Legislature applauds Governor Cuomo for instituting the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort, and be it further 


RESOLVED, That the Tompkins County Legislature urges the provision of additional federal humanitarian and recovery support to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands in proportion to the need,


RESOLVED, further, That the Legislature urges that federal regulations regarding shipped deliveries be suspended for the duration of the humanitarian crisis as they were recently for deliveries to Texas and Florida,


RESOLVED, further, That the Clerk of the Legislature send copies of this resolution to President Donald Trump; Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; to Congressman Tom Reed; State Senators Tom O’Mara, James Seward, and Pamela Helming; State Assemblymember Barbara Lifton; and Governor Andrew Cuomo.



* NOTE: As of 10/2/2017, over half the population of Puerto Rico lack clean drinking water, only one of its 69 hospitals is fully functional, 80% of the crops were destroyed, 91% of cellular communications sites and 1,360 of the 1,600 cell phone towers were toppled, 85% of telephone and internet cables were destroyed and only 5% of the island’s electricity is in service. While the U.S. Virgin Islands have potable water, food and services, many homes remain without roofs or temporary roof coverings. Plastic has been delivered but deployment to homes remains inadequate.


Meeting History

Oct 3, 2017 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Ms. Chock commented that have been many weather events with very bad consequences and this Legislature has not weighed in. Two weeks after the hurricanes citizens of our country are lacking the basics needed for survival as referenced in a news article she read from. Tompkins County has a proud history of sending support in times of disaster and New York State has stepped up and provided great assistance. She said this resolution requests the federal government to provide additional support as well.

Ms. Kelles said she would like this territory that is part of the United States to be treated like each other place in the United States that has experienced a natural disaster.

MOVER:Carol Chock, Member
SECONDER:Anna Kelles, Member
AYES:Will Burbank, Carol Chock, James Dennis, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Dooley Kiefer, Daniel Klein, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Martha Robertson, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Michael Sigler