On June 10, 2018, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. marched in the 61st Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The borough president used the parade as an opportunity to highlight the plight of the island of Puerto Rico in the wake of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Maria as well as continued inaction by the Trump administration and the federal government to help the island rebuild.
Focusing on the importance of bringing about change through voting, Borough President Diaz and his contingent wore black t-shirts highlighting the death of the more than 4,645 Puerto Ricans since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, as reported in a recent Harvard University study.
Borough President Diaz’s t-shirts urged parade goers to “Remember, Register, Resist,” and the borough president’s group handed out 1,000 voter registration cards to attendees along the parade route.
“The lack of support that the Trump Administration has shown to the people of Puerto Rico is either the worst case of incompetence by the Oval Office or intentional governmental malpractice. Either way, this is unacceptable,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The National Puerto Rican Day Parade is supposed to be a lively celebration of culture and heritage but we are still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, and we need to focus on what needs to be done so that island rebound. The Trump Administration has failed the island, forcing American citizens to live in third-world conditions.”
Borough President Diaz added, “We are not asking for special treatment for Puerto Rico. We are asking that the 3.5 million American citizens who call Puerto Rico home be treated with the same respect and dignity as residents in Texas and Florida received after dealing with a natural disaster.”