Local March 14, 2016 | 9:09 am

City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito endorses Adriano Espaillat at Rally for Puerto Rico

East Harlem, New York- At a rally in EastHarlem to call for action on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, City Council SpeakerMelissa Mark-Viverito and local leaders announced their support for AdrianoEspaillat in the race for Congress in District 13.

"Senator Adriano Espaillat has always taken on thebiggest challenges impacting our communities, and Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis isno exception. Adriano has vigorously advocated for action sincethis crisis began, and we need him in Congress to end the relentlessgridlock," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito."No one will fight harder for the people of Puerto Rico, El Barrio, andthis City than Senator Espaillat, and I am proud to endorse him forCongress."

Adriano Espaillat organized the rally to demand an end towhat he calls "unconscionable gridlock" on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis.Laying out a path forward which includes:

· Allowing Puerto Rico to restructure its debt;

· Providing humanitarian aid to prevent cuts toessential services;

· Restoring cuts to Puerto Rico’s healthcareprograms;

· Creating a path to fair Medicare and Medicaidfunding;

· And, engaging in a real long-term plan to rebuildthe island’s economy, a process Espaillat pledged to help lead whenelected to Congress.

"Not a day goes by when I don’t talk to someone whotells me how their family is being impacted by Puerto Rico’s debt crisis,"said Senator Adriano Espaillat. "Many of these people feel like PuertoRico is being abandoned, and that’s simply unacceptable. Congress must act nowto prevent default and build a better future for the 3.5 million Americancitizens living in Puerto Rico. No one has been a more outspoken advocateon this issue than City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and I am gratefulto have her support."

The rally, which was held at the "Lucky Corner"of 116th Street and Lexington Avenue, also feature Democratic District LeadersJohn Ruiz and Johnny Rivera, as well as members of the Democratic Club ofEl Barrio and residents from across upper Manhattan. Adriano Espaillat hasgained the support of several elected officials from every corner of thedistrict in recent weeks.

The 13th congressional district stretches from Harlem toInwood in upper Manhattan and covers a section of the Bronx.Espaillat has represented parts of the congressional district for nearly20 years.

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