E X E C U T I V E O R D E R
ESTABLISHING THE HURRICANE MARIA MEMORIAL COMMISSION
WHEREAS, on September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico, causing nearly complete devastation, including the catastrophic failure of Puerto Rico’s power grid, water and wastewater infrastructure, and communications networks;
WHEREAS, the unprecedented devastation left communities stranded and unable to obtain life-saving aid, food, water, and medicine, resulting in the evacuation of at least 11,000 Puerto Ricans to New York State;
WHEREAS, nearly 3,000 lives were lost in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria, causing unspeakable trauma and human suffering;
WHEREAS, New York is home to the largest Puerto Rican diaspora, with a population of over 1 million Puerto Ricans who are part of the fabric of this great State;
WHEREAS, New York State has always stood and will always stand with Puerto Rico; and
WHEREAS, New York State can and must properly memorialize the human toll and physical damage caused by Hurricane Maria, as well as the incredible courage and resilience of the Puerto Rican people.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of New York, do order as follows:
1. There is hereby established the Hurricane Maria Memorial Commission (the “Commission”). The Commission shall provide recommendations to the Governor pertaining to the site, design, and installation of a memorial in the vicinity of the City of New York to honor the victims of Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017, and to stand as an international symbol of the resilience of the Puerto Rican people.
2. The Governor shall appoint ten voting members to the Commission, which shall include individuals with a range of perspectives, interests, and specific knowledge concerning the Puerto Rican community. All members of the Commission shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
3. A majority of the total members of the Commission who have been appointed shall constitute a quorum, and all recommendations of the Commission shall require approval of a majority of its total members.
4. Every agency, department, office, division or public authority of this State shall provide to the Commission such information, assistance and cooperation, including use of State facilities, which is reasonably necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Order. Staff support necessary for the conduct of the Commission’s work may be furnished by State agencies and authorities (subject, as necessary, to the approval of the board of directors of such authorities).
5. The Commission may draw upon the human resources, expertise, and funding of private institutions, as consistent with all laws and regulations regarding such assistance. Such assistance shall be provided without financial remuneration and shall not be provided under any circumstances that would create an actual conflict of interest, or the appearance of such a conflict.
6. The Commission shall commence its work immediately. On or before September 30, 2019, or such other time as may be specified by the Governor, the Commission shall complete its duties and activities described herein and provide its recommendations to the Governor, at which time the Commission shall terminate its work and be relieved of all responsibilities and duties hereunder.
G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this twentieth day of September in the year two thousand eighteen.
BY THE GOVERNOR
Secretary to the Governor