Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will bring San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz as her guest to Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the New York Democrat announced in a tweet Monday.
“Throughout the crisis in Puerto Rico, Mayor Cruz has shown extraordinary leadership and fearless advocacy for her city,” Gillibrand wrote. “I hope Mayor Cruz’s presence at #SOTU will remind the president and my colleagues in Congress of our urgent responsibility to help Puerto Rico fully recover and rebuild. Our fellow citizens must not be forgotten or left behind.”
Yulín Cruz replied to Gillibrand’s tweet that it was “an honor to represent thousands in San Juan and more in Puerto Rico who still have no electricity and fight everyday for a better today.”
“Thank you for helping others to remember their moral imperative to the people of Puerto Rico,” she wrote.
Yulín Cruz rose to national prominence as a frequent and outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and his administration’s response to the hurricane that devastated the US island last year. The two leaders traded barbs on social media on numerous occasions. In a series of tweets in September, the President accused Yulín Cruz of “poor leadership” in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The mayor slammed Trump as “a hater-in-chief” for a separate series of tweets in mid-October.
Puerto Rico continues to recover from the damage inflicted by the hurricane. As of late December, electricity had been restored to only 55% of the island, according to the governor’s office, and a new CNN investigation found that tens of thousands are living without roofs.
This story has been updated with additional developments.