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Puerto rico government

Letter to the Editor: Juneteenth is good, but other days are also worth watching | Notice

Now that the official gala is over, I will express my personal concerns. As most will attest, we tend to criticize things from our own world view.

It has been about 30 years since Yvonne Jones, then director of the historic Barnett Child Care Center, brought the Juneteenth celebration to Huntington and primarily the state of West Virginia. She developed it as an annual fundraiser to support the children’s programs offered by the center.

The early days included street parades with floats, period clothing, a grand marshal, amateur and professional entertainment, etc. People have come from as far as the Eastern Panhandle to join us. Local businesses and organizations provided sponsorships and the community support was enthusiastic. Most importantly, we have been made aware of the importance of June 19, 1865 to the state of Texas. Just recently, the day was sanctioned by our lawmakers as a federal holiday.

To be clear, I am not claiming to speak for anyone other than myself. And I think Juneteenth’s corporate celebration is appropriate. But I’m not as moved by Juneteenth’s legislative declaration as a federal holiday as most seem to be.

I am sure very few of my neighbors agree with me. But I find it troubling that our lawmakers cannot muster the courage to unilaterally protect the voting rights of their disenfranchised voters, but that they can unite to celebrate a “two-year delay” in announcing the vote. the liberation of the ancestors of these same citizens deprived of their rights. It is as if they are saying, “Take this symbolic expression, black people, and be happy.” “

In my opinion, the most appropriate holiday should be in recognition of the ratification of the Emancipation Proclamation. Aside from the valuable educational component and the importance of a healthy community gathering, September 22, 1862 and January 1, 1863 had more important national implications than the well-deserved celebration of state experience. After all, neither was absolute in bringing about the end of slavery.

Ocasio-Cortez should help his grandmother in Puerto Rico

Why isn’t Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez helping her grandmother? Ocasio-Cortez recently visited his grandmother in Puerto Rico. Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother has a hurricane-damaged roof and needs help. Ocasio-Cortez’s solution was to blame former President Trump for his grandmother’s problems.

Ocasio-Cortez is a young congresswoman who earns nearly $ 175,000 a year. She has two apartments and recently bought a Tesla vehicle. She has neither husband nor children. Still, she doesn’t seem to feel responsible for helping her grandmother. Matt Walsh, an artist, raised over $ 100,000 for Ocasio-Cortez’s grandmother and yet Ocasio-Cortez refused this help. Why is it?

Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist. Socialists believe the government should be held responsible for the well-being of citizens from birth to death. Socialist governments will tax the rich until their wealth is exhausted or they flee to another country where their wealth is protected from heavy taxation. Once the rich have no more wealth to tax, they start to heavily tax the middle class until there is no more middle class. These socialist countries soon find themselves with two classes of people: the rich class, which consists of politicians and their mad associates, and the poor class, which is the rest of the citizens, who have no hope of a better life. .

The United States, on the other hand, has a form of capitalist government that allows its citizens to keep most of their money. Millionaires can use their money to build industry and businesses that need workers. These workers can move from the poor class to the middle class.

Ocasio-Cortez, instead of waiting for the United States government or the corrupt Puerto Rican government to deal with his grandmother, should step in and help his grandmother.

County commission erred by not selling airport to Bailey

In a recent meeting, Cabell County Commissioners Jim Morgan and Nancy Cartmill did not give Carl Bailey the opportunity to purchase the Newlon Airpark. With the advent of the Marshall University aviation program, this is a major mistake. The possibility of landing on grassy terrain would be something that would benefit student pilots. I know that during my days as a student pilot, taking off and landing a Bellanca Decathalon from a grass field was the highlight of my months.

Without the aeropark, what is there to see going up Route 2? The Greenbrier Pool is only open in the summer and the baseball field is only used in the spring. There will always be youth soccer on the Greenbrier fields, but not much else. I myself will never vote for Morgan and Cartmill.


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Puerto rico government

Perspectives from U.S. Federal Labor – Week of June 14, 2021

This is a weekly article highlighting the labor topics that the US legislature and executive have focused on the week before. In this issue, we cover:

  • Ministry of Labor regulatory program for spring 2021
  • Leadership Updates from the Work of the Biden Administration
  • Senate HELPS Republican leaders lobby for hearing on President’s budget proposal
  • WIOA Hearing of the House Education and Labor Subcommittee
  • House Republicans challenge ethics waivers for union members
  • OSHA Grants Announced for Nonprofits
  • Department of Labor grants related to female workers
  • GAO Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Spring 2021 regulatory program of the Ministry of Labor. Last Friday, June 11, as part of the Biden administration’s spring 2021 regulatory program, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a series of advance regulatory measures it says will ensure the well-being of workers, employers and others. In a press release, the Ministry highlighted as priorities:

  • Raise the minimum wage for federal contractors: In response to Executive Order 14026, “Increased Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” the Department’s Wages and Hours Division is drafting a regulation that will increase the hourly minimum wage rate paid by contracting parties with the federal government to $ 15 for employees working on or in connection with a federal government covered contract.
  • Fairness for workers who rely on tips: The Wages and Hours Division is also engaged in the development of rules to ensure the economic security of tipping workers.
  • Modernization of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) regulation: The DBRA requires payment of locally applicable wages and social benefits to workers and mechanics as determined by the department. The Wages and Hours division is proposing to update and modernize regulations implementing the DBRA to ensure that workers receive the wages in effect on federal construction contracts.
  • Reviewing the Approach to Investments Addressing Climate Change: To implement Executive Order 13990, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis” and Executive Order 14030, “Climate-Related Financial Risks”, the Employee Benefits Security Administration is undertaking a review of regulations under of Title I of the Employees Retirement Income Security Act, including “Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments” and “Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights”.

The Ministry of Labor also noted:

Previous regulations are also proposed for withdrawal due to their deleterious effects on workers’ lives, including a rule on labor standards in apprenticeship.

The full biannual agenda of the Department is available here.

Leadership updates from the work of the Biden administration. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) presented the following nominations on June 16, sending them to the Senate for consideration:

  • Rajesh nayak serve as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy by a vote of 14 to 8;
  • Taryn williams serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy by a vote of 18 to 4; and
  • Doug parker to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health by 13 votes to 9.

Senate HELPS Republican leaders lobby for hearing on President’s budget proposal. Ranking members of the three Senate HELP subcommittees said they had sent letters to their respective subcommittee chairs requesting appropriate hearings on the president’s proposed budget of $ 6 trillion for the fiscal year. 2022. They underlined: “Most authorization committees hold budget hearings with their respective ministerial agencies so that members of the authorization committee can better understand the proposed budget request.” The letters were signed by Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), a senior member of the Subcommittee on Children and Families; Senator Mike Braun (R-Indiana), senior member of the employment and safety at work subcommittee; and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), a senior member of the Primary Health and Retirement Security Subcommittee.

Hearing of the WIOA House Education and Labor Subcommittee. On June 15, the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Investment held a hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. (WIOA): Examining Successful Employment Models for Those Involved in Justice. ”This is WIOA’s third hearing at this congress and it focused on inmates and the process of reintegration into communities after release and obtaining a career.

House Republicans are challenging ethics waivers for union members. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina) and James Comer (R-Kentucky) wrote Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Shalanda Young and Office of Personnel Management. (OPM) Kathleen McGettigan, Acting Director, regarding the Biden administration’s use of ethics waivers to respond to what she sees as an effort to bring union influence into the federal government. In particular, they challenge Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13989 of President Biden and the appointments of former American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) employee Celeste Drake as director of the Made in America office. at the OMB, and former Alethea Predeoux, an employee of the Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), will be director of the Office of Congressional, Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the OPM. The EO allows former union leaders, like Drake and Predeoux, to take administrative positions in which they will interact directly with their former employers and create a situation in which unions can directly benefit from the policies of the Biden administration.

OSHA Grants Announced for Nonprofit Organizations. On June 17, the Department of Labor announced funding opportunities for more than $ 21 million in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training grants for nonprofit organizations. The grants are divided into two funding streams: (1) $ 10 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for occupational safety and health training in infectious diseases, including grants for coronaviruses; and (2) $ 11.8 million under the Susan Harwood Training Grants Program, which includes training on topics, development of training and education materials, as well as new grants for capacity building. capabilities. Eligibility for these grants can be found here. Those interested in grants under the American Rescue Plan Act should submit their applications no later than 11:59 p.m. EDT July 19, 2021. If interested in grants under the Susan Harwood program, applications should be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 17, 2021.

Subsidies from the Department of Labor related to female workers. On June 15, the Department of Labor announced a $ 1.5 million funding opportunity available to 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to develop partnerships with community organizations and other non-profit organizations to raise awareness among women workers. to help them understand and exercise their rights and benefits in the workplace. This initiative will support up to six grants. Potential applicants are encouraged to notify the Ministry of their intention to apply for the Advancing Access, Rights and Equity (FARE) initiative by sending an email. [email protected] no later than June 30, 2021. Interested parties must provide one or more of the following services:

  • Provide outreach services to vulnerable, low-income and marginalized workers.
  • Disseminate educational material through various platforms including social media, in-person or virtual events, brochures and flyers, one-on-one consultations and other outreach activities.
  • Help workers navigate and calculate benefits and direct and direct workers to additional services, benefits and / or legal assistance.
  • Raise awareness of women’s rights to benefits and assistance in their own communities.

GAO Report on Racial and Ethnic Disparities and Unemployment Insurance Benefits. On June 17, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Massachusetts) and Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis (D-Illinois) released a statement in response to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report titled “Management Report: Preliminary Information on Potential Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Receiving Unemployment Insurance Benefits During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” They said:

Today’s GAO report clearly shows that white workers who apply for unemployment insurance benefits are more likely to receive them than black workers, which is totally unacceptable. We already knew that people of color were disproportionately more likely to get sick from COVID-19 and more likely to lose their jobs, and now we’re finding out that on top of all that, they’ve also been excluded from this program. vital. . . . . It is clear that aggressive monitoring of state unemployment insurance systems must be carried out to understand the root cause of these disparities and to ensure that eligible workers receive their legitimate and deserved benefits. . . . More needs to be done, which is why Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee are working on legislation to give the DOL all the authority it needs to exercise proper oversight, uphold the highest standards by states and eliminate discrimination. The Committee’s Racial Equity Initiative was created to lead our work to end such disparities, and we stand firm in our commitment to achieving racial and economic justice.


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Puerto rico government

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, one inch network repair

The federal government will take another step on Monday toward unlocking nearly $ 2 billion to fix Puerto Rico’s ailing power grid, which is part of a pool of money held back on the island for years even then. that she was struggling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development will issue a federal registry notice for $ 1.93 billion in electricity grid funding, outlining the rules and regulations governing its use.

The money is intended to help make electricity more resilient to storms and climate change, as well as emitting less carbon dioxide. It also requires the island government to explain how it will ensure that the money reaches marginalized and underserved populations.

“We think this will really kick-start some of the conversations that are already taking place on the island around the future of the power system and ensure that it is not only resilient to the next storm, but contributes less to climate change than it does. ‘before,’ said a HUD official.

HUD funds deposited in the federal registry on Monday will also be distributed to improve energy systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. John and St. Thomas had a blackout a few days ago.

The release of the funds is the latest move by President Joe Biden’s administration to release long-stranded relief money, initially allocated by Congress under the Trump administration.

The HUD said 90% of funds allocated through the HUD have now been committed, a development that comes as the agency – along with other federal entities – prepares to relax Trump-era rules that, According to Puerto Rican officials, are slowing the recovery and delivery of funds.

“This is, in many ways, one of the last steps in putting Puerto Rico on a level playing field,” said a HUD official.

In February, HUD approved the release of $ 1.3 billion of a program designed to mitigate future disaster and climate risks, and relaxed oversight and requirements for additional funding of nearly $ 5 billion. of dollars.

Much of the federal government’s money to repair Puerto Rico’s energy grid comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which allocated $ 9.6 billion for this purpose in September 2020 – among the biggest rewards of FEMA history.

Puerto Rico’s power grid, owned by the bankrupt island’s utility, is vulnerable and obsolete. Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed thousands of people, destroyed the system.

It took 11 months to restore power to the entire main island of the Puerto Rican archipelago. Tout Vieques, an offshore town of 9,000 people, was still running on generators more than a year after the devastating storm.

Powerful earthquakes in early 2020 also damaged production capacity and left the island in a near total blackout.

Since June 1, LUMA Energy, a group based in San Juan and made up of the North American companies Atco and Quanta Services, has been operating the distribution and transmission lines of the island’s electricity grid. The private operator, winner of a 15-year contract worth several billion dollars, is committed to modernizing the public service and reducing costs.

But not everyone agrees with LUMA’s entry into the energy sector.

Critics have concerns that range from opposition to the privatization of government services to criticism that the service contract is too expensive. Some want the deal canceled.

Recent power outages across the island, including one that left nearly a million customers in the dark on June 10, have left many frustrated with the new operator. Governor Pedro Pierluisi, who hopes LUMA will improve the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s services and infrastructure, asked island residents to give the company time to settle into office.


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The Nation: #OurMothersToo: Consider the forced sterilization of my Abuela

#OurMothersToo: count with the forced sterilization of my Abuela

This article introduces our client Dawn Wooten and was originally published here.

For as far back as I can remember my grandmother, Obdulia Perez, had paper thin skin with satiny wrinkles etched deep into it. She enjoyed bingo, cooking for her family and neighbors, writing poems by hand and reading the Bible. Despite a formal education that ended in the second year, she encouraged many of her descendants, including me, to continue their education.

She was also one of more than 200,000 Puerto Rican women to be forcibly sterilized.

When Abuela boarded a public car (taxi), went to Arecibo health clinic in Puerto Rico, and was sterilized without her informed consent when she was 40 years old. At that age, she already had four growing children – a robust family worthy of her – which makes the government-backed operation only moderately devastating to her personal dreams. But the average age for sterilization in Puerto Rico at the time was 26, and many women – with fewer children, if any – came to regret the irreversible procedure.

Indeed, although Abuela was unique in my heart, she was one of many when it came to sterilization. In 1954, the year of its operation, the population control program run by the state of Puerto Rico was gaining momentum. By 1974, tubal ligation became so ubiquitous on the island that more than a third of its wives had received the operation– giving Puerto Rico the highest sterilization rate in the world.

What does forced sterilization look like? In Abuela’s case, it was like accepting cash vouchers from clinicians (“They always throw a candy to catch you,” Abuela will later say) for giving their consent to a doctor. transient form of family planning. I guess the silence Abuela clung to for decades around this incident was, in part, due to guilt. She had, after all, consented to most of it-just not the permanent part. Accepting money may have made that guilt worse, although such inducements are now part of what defines coercion. So, in a way, maybe Abuela felt complicit in her own dupe and embarrassed by it. I also wonder if his silence was based on survival and well-being, so as not to stir up the lingering grief or trauma of the forced process.

Whatever the reason, we’ve heard from her surgery only by chance, more than two decades after this happened. While giving her a therapeutic scoliosis massage, my mother saw a small scratch on Abuela’s abdomen. “What’s that scar?” Mom asked, and Abuela was reluctant to answer: the operation. Without this chance, Abuela might have taken her secret to the grave.

Despite extensive documentation, few people know the prolific history of mass sterilization in the United States. In 1907, Indiana led the charge, enacting the world’s first mass sterilization law. Thirty other states have followed suit. More than 20,000 California residents were sterilized between 1909 and 1963. In Mississippi, the procedure was common enough to deserve a nickname: Mississippi appendectomy. While many surgeries were carried out through deceptive tactics like those used on Abuela, forced surgeries were also widespread. A woman may go to the hospital for unrelated surgery and find years later that her uterus has also been removed. A mother who had just given birth could be denied contact with her newborn baby until she consented to tubal ligation. A child institutionalized for depression or poverty can be anesthetized and operated on without any explanation.

Why were states so eager to penetrate women’s bodies like this? The colonial government of Puerto Rico has blamed an impending population explosion, despite data showing a healthy population. The North Carolina Eugenics Council said sterilization offered “humane and practical protection against threatened racial degeneration.” Meanwhile, California forms allowed operations due to “weak-mindedness.”

The “license” was a rationale oftentimes given, reminding us of the real roots and harsh results of slut shame. It does not matter if the girl (many who had underage operations) became pregnant with sexual violence.

Whatever the reasons given, the reality of the sterilized person had some points in common. They were disproportionate black women. In California, Latin American and Asian residents have been targeted. Indian health services performed thousands of forced and forced sterilizations in the 1970s on tribal members across the country. It is difficult to come across the data without feeling that these campaigns were elimination efforts.

So far I have used past tense verbs, but unfortunately the present tense also applies. As recently as 2014, the number of women forcibly sterilized in California Women’s Prison numbered in the thousands. A pending class action lawsuit filed by 80 Saskatchewan women in Canada lists forced sterilizations as recent as last year.

For bringing these stories to light, we have to thank whistleblowers like Helen Rodriguez Trías, the Puerto Rican doctor who received a Presidential Citizens Medal for her work in public health. Or Connie Pinkerton-Uri, a Choctaw and Cherokee physician whose 1974 study found that one in four Native American women had been sterilized without her consent. Most recently, Dawn Wooten, a nurse at an ICE detention center, witnessed unnecessary reproductive organ harvesting from detainees and made public what she witnessed at the hands of a single surgeon: “My God, he takes everybody’s stuff out. It is his specialty, he is the uterus collector.

For some victims, speaking out has brought some healing, while stoking the hidden loss and unseen grief that accompanies them throughout their lives. We must honor the courage of people like Elaine Riddick, Consuelo Hermosillo and Willis Lynch who never applied for this position. While the data can be alternately sickening and numbing, their personal testimony reminds us of individual losses: it’s lineages ending, ancestral wisdom disappearing, and oral histories falling silent.

As an adult woman, I came to understand the difference between birth control and population control. Birth control, my individual right, means having information, choices and full power over my reproductive life and family planning. Population control is a social policy claiming moral authority to decide who deserves to populate this planet.

To be a writer is to believe in the power to bear witness. We can fight back and seek redress, at least in part, by spreading the word. Let us educate ourselves, confront this dark history and understand its continued closeness to our matriarchs and our communities. Let’s step into the light and say #OurMothersToo.


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Puerto rico government

Sports betting could generate more than $ 40 million in Puerto Rico

Pedro Pierlusi, Governor of Puerto Rico, has announced the creation of an advisory group on the sports betting, electronic games and fantasy sports industries. According to official estimates, these sectors could contribute more than $ 40 million to local funds.

This group “will advise the Gambling Commission and the Governor of Puerto Rico on this new industry, and will collaborate in the development and implementation of initiatives aimed at fostering and promoting its growth,” according to the decree shared by local media Metro. .

In addition, he points out that 50% of the income from betting and DFS activities would be used to contribute to the retirement funds of public employees.

“As part of our commitment to ensuring a dignified retirement for our employees, it is extremely important to ensure that cash has access to these funds,” the order details.

Orlando rivera, director of the Gambling Commission of Puerto Rico, will be part of the advisory group along with five other members, who will be responsible for publishing reports every three months and sending them to Pierlusi, the secretary of the Department of Economic Development (DDEC) and the Commission.

Rivera, when taking office, had said Puerto Rico hoped to launch its sports betting market before the latest start. Major League Baseball (MLB) season in April.

The manager also said that if the leagues agreed to be included in the sports betting offers, they would have their own deals in place with the bookies and receive money from them, although it is still unclear. if it would be a percentage of the bets made.

This is possible thanks to the old Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced who enacted Senate Bill 1534 on his last day in office, paving the way for the activation of sports betting and esports in the country. Puerto Rico is looking for “new industries and businesses to create jobs” and “new sources of income to support government programs and essential services”.

Otherwise, Rep. José Rivera Madera said: “The fact that our projections indicate that the profits from these activities represent an estimated turnover of 87 million dollars over the next five years for the government, is without doubt a paradigm of the economic situation in which the island is facing. ”


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