North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. today joined with Mayor Baraka and other elected officials to announce the formation of a broad coalition in partnership with the American Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Maria.
"I am thrilled our elected officials and community leaders are coming together to provide immediate and impactful relief for the for the victims of Hurricane Maria," Ramos said. "Like so many others in Newark, I have family and friends in Puerto Rico who I have not been able to contact. However, it's clear that the people of Puerto Rico are suffering and now is the time to come together to raise financial resources and collect much-needed supplies. Our thoughts, prayers and collective action are with the people of Puerto Rico."
The massive Category 5 storm battered the island Wednesday, killing at least 13 people, knocking out power to all 3.5 million residents and leaving residents without basic needs, such as water, food and medical supplies.
Ramos has been working through the weekend with the mayor, Councilman-at-Large Luis Quintana, Councilman-at-Large Carlos Gonzalez, state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz and other community leaders to figure out the best ways to help storm victims in Puerto Rico.
Newark has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey, which is home to the third largest population of Puerto Ricans. The latest Census figures estimate a total of 434,092 New Jersey residents of Puerto Rican ancestry, nearly 10 percent of the nation’s Puerto Rican Citizenry, representing represent 5.24 percent of the entire state population.
Two fundraising concerts have already been scheduled:
The City of Newark is supporting the Hurricane Maria Relief Effort Benefit concert and donation drive taking place on Saturday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 870 Mount Prospect Avenue in Newark’s North Ward. Necessary supplies will be collected for donation at the event. The concert is free and open to the public. Donations will also be accepted at additional locations. For more information, contact Ramon Rodriguez, at (973) 991-4508.
On Sunday, October 8, a fundraiser will be held in partnership with the American Red Cross to raise money directed to victims of Hurricane Maria/Puerto Rico. The fundraiser will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Flamboyan Manor at 147 Verona Avenue in the city’s North Ward. The goal is to raise $100,000 to help with the relief efforts. Checks should be payable to American Red Cross/Hurricane Maria/Puerto Rico.
In addition, the Newark Public Schools are taking donated clothing at their schools.
The coalition includes Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Newark Public Schools Superintendent Christopher Cerf, and American Red Cross New Jersey Region Regional CEO Ana Montero, U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, U.S. Rep. Alberto Sires, the Newark Municipal Council, Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement Jacqueline Quiles, Deputy Mayor of International Relations and Diaspora Affairs Ugo Nwaokoro,
Also included in the coalition are United Airlines, Pastor Pablo Pizarro – Lighthouse Assembly of God; Pastor Carmelo Roman, Temple Rock of My Salvation, Rutgers-University Newark, PSE&G, RWJBarnabas Health, Catholic Charities, United Way of Essex and West Hudson, TEMPO Network, Aspira, The North Ward Center, Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce of Essex County, Hispanic Law Enforcement Society of Essex County, Hispanic Firefighters Association of Newark, and the Roberto Clemente Little League.