City Council Speaker Viverito celebrates Puerto Rico’s strength

City council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito speaking at a celebration of Puerto Rican resiliency in the aftermatch of Hurricane Maria, at City Hall on Nov. 27.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill DeBlasio honored the strength of Puerto Rican people with a celebratory event at City Hall on Nov. 27.

Hundreds of people turned out for the “Celebration of Puerto Rican Resilience,” to recognize New Yorkers who contributed aid to the United States territory in the aftermath of the recent hurricane, and learn the action plan that city politicians have in motion for the island. For some guests, it was an opportune time to hear about the progress being made back home.

“It was great — it was very nice of them to inform us about what’s going on in Puerto Rico because not too many people have the opportunity to go and help,” said Nellie Gonzalez-Arce.

Nearly two months since Hurricane Maria left widespread destruction on the island, the speaker and several other elected officials applauded the resiliency of Puerto Ricans and those who assisted in their immediate recovery.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz was also at the event to present proclamations to the city’s Emergency Management team and their assistance to the island. Gonzalez, who has relatives in Puerto Rico was thrilled to see Mayor Cruz, and said her presence provided a sense of relief in easing her curiosity about the leadership and what is to come.

“I think it was a good idea for her to come to New York and be there with us because one way one or another, we have to work together. The connection between New York city and Puerto Rico is very good, and it’s going to become much better.”

She added that the commemorative event was a sign that the city’s relationship with the island will only grow stronger.

“In the future I see more connection and communication,” she said. “A lot of things happened in the past but now we can be connected.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]

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