Things That Matter

The Final Vote To Determine Puerto Rico’s Future Is Coming And Trump’s Administration Wants To Sabotage It

For the better part of the last 10 years, Puerto Rico has gone through one of the worst economic crises the island has ever seen. As a territory of the United States, Puerto Rico does not have the same financial protections as American states and cities, which means it is sinking into a debt hole for which there is no bottom. The island’s debt currently sits at about $72 billion.

Normally, a U.S. state, city or other municipality in the same financial situation could declare bankruptcy and begin the process of halting the debt and figure out how to get out of it. In 2013, the city of Detroit filed chapter 9 bankruptcy and was allowed to shed $7 billion of their debt and begin the process of bringing back services and spend 1.7 billion in order to do so. Another way to address the debt would be with a bailout, the way the U.S. did for the banking industry and then the auto industry back in the late 2000’s.

According to an article out by NPR, Monday was the last day for a deal to be made before creditors began filing lawsuits. No deal was made, and as of Tuesday May 2nd, the lawsuits began to pour in. On Wednesday, Governor Ricardo Rosselló, petitioned for relief under Title III of a new federal law, but it’s a law that has never been used and requires approval from a judge, which has yet to happen. Either way, it’s a sticky situation.

And it doesn’t seem like President Donald Trump’s administration plans to do anything about Puerto Rico.

During his presidential campaign in 2016, Donald Trump made it sound like he and his business friends saw Puerto Rico’s debt crisis as a great opportunity to be cashed in on.

Credit: CNN

“I’m the king of debt, I love debt.” It sounds like he had no plans then to help Puerto Rico directly, and it seems like he still has no plan now.

Recently Trump tweeted about what he thinks is going on in Puerto Rico.

Apparently to scare tax-payers into thinking they were on the hook.

Former mayor of Puerto Rico Hernán Padilla responded to Trump directly.

This has been a typical Trump tactic, using the fear that foreigners, outsiders or “others” are taking tax dollars from the American public. He’s counting on people who still don’t know that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. or that Puerto Ricans are born citizens, to rally sentiments against doing what is right, which would be to help the Island of Puerto Rico.

A proposed referendum that could have helped Puerto Rico was nixed when Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied the island the $2.5 million needed for it.

The referendum could have been a major turning point, as the U.S. currently has the Fiscal Control Board (or “la junta” as it’s known) in place overseeing all major financial decisions on the island.

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With the referendum to decide Puerto Rico’s independence de-funded, a financial board many feel doesn’t represent the people and a president who is inciting fears, students have taken to the streets.

According to The Nation, since taking over in January, the Fiscal Control Board has cut $512 million in funding from the University of Puerto Rico through 2025, which students feel puts the university in serious jeopardy. According to the article, a first year law student named María de Lourdes Vaello, said it best while protesting last week: “The purpose of the university is to provide a high-quality education to the middle and lower classes, but now we’re facing cuts that threaten the very existence of the institution.”

A change is still possible though.

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Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help The Black Lives Matter Protesters Around The Country

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Social media has been filled with images of protests from across the country. Peaceful protesters have been beaten, shot with rubber bullets, choked with tear gas, and arrested by police officers. With hundreds of people arrested for protesting the murder of unarmed Black people by police officers, here’s how you can help.

How To Help Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the epicenter of the recent civil unrest in the U.S. following the death of George Floyd by police. Floyd was accused of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Minneapolis police officers responded and fired police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck until he died. There were three officers on Floyd and he was cuffed as Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund – Floyd’s family has started the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund to establish financial help for his family. The fund has raised more than $7 million. According to the text on the GoFundMe page, a portion of the money collected will go to caring for Floyd’s children and setting up educational funds for them. The family has a second fund started by his sister.

Minnesota Freedom Fund – The Minnesota Freedom Fund is using donations to pay bail for people arrested for protesting in Minneapolis. The fund was established to fight back against the cash bail system in the U.S. that disenfranchises people who can’t afford to pay to avoid being incarcerated before their trial.

How To Help New York

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Brooklyn Community Bail Fund – The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund is using its current fundraising to help those arrested in New York while protesting. New York City was one of several American cities that saw widespread protests demanding justice for the killing of George Floyd.

How To Help Atlanta

The Action Network – Atlanta has seen sustained peaceful protests since George Floyd was killed. The Action Network is raising the funds now to help those in Atlanta pay for their bail if they are arrested while protesting in the state’s capital.

How To Help Chicago

Black Lives Matter, Chicago Chapter – The Black Lives Matter chapter of Chicago is asking for donations to maintain the organizing happening in the streets. The chapter has joined other chapters around the country in orchestrating major protests demanding police reform. Donations to the organization help to sustain them during this time.

How To Help Los Angeles

Peoples City Council Freedom Fund – Due to COVID-19, Los Angeles has set all bails to $0 to limit the spread of the virus in confined places, like jails. However, community leaders are monitoring to make sure that policy is still used for protesters. The Peoples City Council Freedom Fund is helping protesters by providing them legal support, medical bills, transportation, supplies, and protective gear to protesters.

How To Help Nationally

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Unicorn Riot – Unicorn Riot is an independent, nonprofit media organization offering on the ground reporting. According to the website, Unicorn Riot is free of corporate and government funding so they can cover stories as they see fit.

The Bail Project – The Bail Project is a bail fundraiser that is giving the same help nationally that many organizations offer locally. A donation to The Bail Project goes to helping people who are being arrested pay their bail anywhere int he country.

READ: Cardi B Has An Important Message About The Deaths Of George Floyd And Breonna Taylor

A European Sneaker Shops Is Selling The Iconic Puerto Rican Nike’s

Culture

A European Sneaker Shops Is Selling The Iconic Puerto Rican Nike’s

43einhalb / Instagram

A sneaker shop in Germany is selling some of the most iconic Nike sneakers created, the Air Force 1 “Puerto Rico.” The sneakers will be sold at a shop in Germany and fans cannot wait to get their hands on these sneakers.

German sneaker fans have a chance to get their hands on a pair of Nike Air Force 1 “Puerto Rico.”

Credit: 43einhalb / Instagram

On June 2, the shoes will be available at the shop, and fans can’t wait. The shoe is one way for every Puerto Rican to show their pride in where they come from. The shoes were originally released in 2005 and this release is something exciting.

However, U.S. sneakerheads will be left out.

Credit: 43einhalb / Instagram

The store, which is located in central Germany in the city of Fulda won’t be able to shop these to other countries. That being said, only Germans will likely get their hands on these shoes because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel is restricted so it seems likely that you will be able to hop on a plane to get these shoes.

Those lucky enough to get their hands on these shoes can expect to spend 130€ ($142) on them.

Credit: 43 einhalb / Instagram

These shoes are not the only way for Puerto Rican fans of Nike shoes to show their cultural pride. The shoe company has other options for the Caribbean people to wear their pride on some sneakers.

The man difference in these shoes from the original is the work on the upper shoe. The upper shoe is a tonal midfoot Swoosh and a navy sockliner. The Puerto Rican flag is embroidered on the tongue and heel fo the shoe to really drive home the Caribbean pride.

Nike has released multiple Puerto Rican-influenced sneakers and they sell quickly.

The sold out Air Max 1 Puerto Rico sold for $140. These were created to celebrate New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. The sneakers have the words “Pa’lante Mi Gente” on the inside of the tongue giving a special message to all Puerto Ricans. The sneakers are meant to celebrate not just the culture but the strength of the Puerto Rican people to keep moving forward.

READ: After Revealing He Played In Sneakers With Holes As A Kid, Neymar Racks Up An $18,000 Bill On ‘Sneaker Shopping’