Things That Matter

As The Federal Government Argues With The NFL And Debates Healthcare, J.Lo And New York State Are Helping Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is still without power and supplies are running low after Hurricane Maria devastated the island territory last week. Things have gotten so bad on the island that the governor is pleading with the U.S. government to help Puerto Rico recover before there is a humanitarian crisis. Numerous groups have come forward to raise funds and gather supplies for those affected on the island and the latest announcement of relief comes from Jennifer Lopez and New York. Here’s what the singer and the city are doing to help Puerto Rico in their time of need.

Jennifer Lopez will be donating $1 million from her Las Vegas residency shows to Puerto Rico relief efforts.

Please donate TODAY to #unitedforpuertorico??

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

“Alex Rodriguez and I, who are both New Yorkers, are using all our resources and relationships in entertainment, sports and business to garner support for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean,” Lopez said at a press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

According to Billboard, the singer is also working with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Puerto Rican Mavs player J.J. Barea to send two planes worth of supplies and generators to Puerto Rico as they wait for government assistance.

New York City and New York state officials have also announced relief efforts to lift Puerto Rico out of their crisis.

NYC Sending Support to Puerto Rico

“This is an unprecedented event in Puerto Rico.”

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio announce that New York City will be sending aid and support to Puerto Rico.

Text UNIDOS to 41444 to help support the relief efforts or contact Hispanic Federation for more details.

Stay tuned for more details If you would like to volunteer to help the island and items that are needed at this time.

Posted by Melissa Mark-Viverito on Thursday, September 21, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo has established The Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico. Through the program, people can either donate money, find ways to volunteer in the relief effort and learn where they can drop off supplies they wish to be sent to Puerto Rico.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery, but New York is going to walk that road with you every step of the way,” Gov. Cuomo said at the press conference, according to The New York Times.

Gov. Cuomo was in Puerto Rico with Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló surveying the damage from Hurricane Maria.

Surveying the storm damage in Puerto Rico with Governor Rossello. We’re providing supplies and assistance to help them recover.

A post shared by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (@nygovcuomo) on

During his visit, Gov. Cuomo called on President Trump and Congress to focus on Puerto Rico rather on things that don’t do any good for the American people.

“To our colleagues in federal government, I humbly suggest that at this time, instead of arguing with football players, instead of obsessing how to take health care from the poor in this country, why don’t we put the politics aside and focus on helping Americans?” Gov. Cuomo told the press according to The New York Times.


READ: Puerto Rico Is Completely Flooded And Could Go Months Without Electricity. Here’s How People In The U.S. Are Uniting Beautifully To Help

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Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Entertainment

Legendary Astrologer Walter Mercado’s Home In Puerto Rico Is For Sale And At A Discount

Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

Prediction: You will want to check out Walter Mercado’s house in Puerto Rico, and maybe even buy it up and call it home. And what perfect timing, because the stars have aligned to bring you his Puerto Rico pad at an unbeatable price.

That’s right! Walter Mercado’s home in San Juan is up for sale!

Located in an “exclusive area” of San Juan, according to the property listing, the six-bedroom, five-bathroom estate is on sale for just $395,000.

Since you likely won’t fly to San Juan right now (thanks, COVID), you can check out the flamboyant cape aficionados sweet, two story tropical oasis on Realtor.com.

The listing photos show the home’s vibrant interior, which appears in the documentary, with yellow, red and green walls. The first floor boasts a large living room, kitchen and dining room. Tile-work leads up the stairs to the second level, where there’s yet another living room, dining room and a smaller kitchen — plus two balconies.

Outside, there’s a pool area with a gazebo and a patio, as well as a covered carport for at least four cars.

The home seems to be having trouble finding a buyer.

The estate originally hit the market for $495,000 in September 2020 but with no buyer in the cards, it then had its price slashed to $430,000 in December, according to Realtor.com. It’s now asking just $395,000.

Mercado already sold his Miami property in 2017 to cover financial difficulties.

While in Miami, Mercado maintained an apartment at The Grand in downtown for many years until 2017 when he decamped part time to New York.

Many in his family had hoped to turn his Puerto Rico home into a museum to the late icon, but due to zoning issues the family decided the best step forward was to list the home for sale. Regarding Mercado’s belongings that were contained within the home (so many of which we came to see in the Netflix documentary), one of his nieces told Pledge Times, that though family members have each kept some items, many were given to the Miami History Museum, and some items will go to Mexico. However, his cape with the Puerto Rican flag is being sent to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

Things That Matter

A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Handcuffed And Pepper-Sprayed By New York Police Officers

LumiNola / Getty

Police brutality is a civil rights violation that has long affected the Black community as well as other minority groups. While the issue has been highlighted extensively by these communities it seems that it’s only been very recently that the general public has developed concern over the issue. This is despite the fact that in so many ways police brutality has not only deeply harmed communities but also sparked major political and social movements such as the civil rights movement of the 1960s and anti-war demonstrations. So much so in fact, the United States has developed an ill-famed reputation for cases of police brutality. Particularly when it comes to the police’s mistreatments and murders of minors like Nolan Davis, Cameron Tillman, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Over the weekend, an incident in Rochester, New York brought attention to the issue once again after body camera showed officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl.

The incident which took place last Friday showed officers brutally restraining a little girl after responding to a call for “family trouble.”

The Rochester Police Department in New York released body camera footage Sunday showing officers handcuffing and pepper-spraying a 9-year-old girl while responding to a call for “family trouble.”

In two disturbing videos, the little girl can be screaming for her father as officers attempt to restrain her. “You’re acting like a child,” a male officer yells at her in the video. “I am a child,” she screams in reply.

“I’m gonna pepper-spray you, and I don’t want to,” a woman officer warns the girl while attempting to put her feet inside of the police car.

“This is your last chance. Otherwise pepper spray is going in your eyeballs,” the officer adds.

The girl begged the officers not to spray her before they did.

Once pepper-sprayed, she cried, “It went in my eyes, it went in my eyes.” The child and her family, nor any of the officers involved in the incident have yet to be identified.

“I’m not going to stand here and tell you that for a 9-year-old to have to be pepper-sprayed is OK,” Police Chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan of Rochester said at a press conference Sunday. “It’s not. I don’t see that is who we are as a department.”

This incident isn’t the first for the Rochester Police.

The police department’s top officials resigned last September after protests broke out over the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after Rochester officers put a hood over his head. Prude’s face had been pinned to the ground by police.

Speaking about the incident Rochester’s Mayor Lovely Warren said that the pepper spray incident was “not something any of us should want to justify.”

Warren said watching the video of the young girl reminded her of her own daughter. “I have a 10-year-old daughter. So she’s a child. She’s a baby,” Warren explained. “And I can tell you that this video, as a mother, is not anything that you want to see. I saw my baby’s face in her face.”

According to Warren, she has asked for the police chief to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation in relation to the incident. She also noted that she welcomed a review from the police accountability board.

The incident reportedly occurred after officers responding to a report of “family trouble” around 3:21 p.m last Friday. Police reported to the area and were alerted that the 9-year-old girl was “upset” and “suicidal” and had indicated that she “wanted to kill herself and that she wanted to kill her mom.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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