The Center for American Progress has launched the “Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy Initiative,” a program that will focus on immediate-term hurricane response efforts for Puerto Rico, with an eye toward long-term planning, economic recovery, and solvency.
Through the initiative, CAP will aim to contribute bold, progressive ideas to the ongoing dialogue on Puerto Rico recovery efforts and direct existing policy, advocacy, and communications resources to myriad issues affecting Puerto Rico and its residents, the group stated.
To coordinate the work, CAP appointed Enrique Fernández-Toledo director of the Puerto Rico Relief and Economic Policy Initiative.
Fernández-Toledo is a Capitol Hill veteran who worked for Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) for 20 years as deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser, where he was the congressman’s lead staffer on Puerto Rico policy issues and worked for several month in the House Financial Services Committee.
Fernández-Toledo has also served as associate vice president for government relations at Kaplan, Inc. and in various media, organizing, and academic roles in Chicago. Fernández-Toledo is a native Puerto Rican with family currently residing in the island.
“We are thrilled to have Enrique join the Center for American Progress to lead this important work,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress. “CAP has invested in policy work surrounding Puerto Rico’s economic situation for several years, but the impacts of hurricanes Irma and María have created a humanitarian crisis beyond measure that must be immediately addressed.”
“CAP is uniquely positioned to add to and help guide the debate with policy expertise, communications resources, and strong stakeholder relationships in Washington, D.C. and beyond,” Tanden said.
“Enrique’s decades-long knowledge of Puerto Rico policy issues, the way in which federal programs and funding affect the island, and understanding of political considerations will be an asset to formulating CAP’s Puerto Rico agenda,” Tanden said.