Dozens of people rallied with elected leaders in Buffalo on Saturday to show support for the citizens of Puerto Rico as the U.S. territory continues to recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria in September.
The rally drew Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, State Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy of Buffalo, Buffalo Councilman David A. Rivera and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, who suggested the federal government has not done enough to restore normalcy to the island.
"If this had happened somewhere else in the United States, would we still be talking about this four months later?" Poloncarz asked, drawing shouts of agreement from the crowd of some 100 people assembled in the Belle Center on Maryland Avenue. The Western New York Labor Federation helped organize the event.
Reuters News service reported days ago that about 450,000 of Puerto Rico’s 1.5 million electricity customers are without power, and those with service must endure frequent blackouts. Many residents are still struggling to find clean water, and medical care remains scarce as many hospitals are not fully operational, according to the The Los Angeles Times
The Buffalo rally was one of six held Saturday in major cities across New York State.