Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, spoke up for Puerto Rico statehood in a speech in Santa Fe, New Mexico earlier this month.
”The territorial status of Puerto Rico does not afford equal rights to its US citizens,” Perez was quoted as saying in a tweet by Charles A. Rodriguez.
Perez has said in the past that he believes statehood is the best route to equality for the three million plus U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico.
While the Republican Party platform has a stronger statement in favor of statehood for Puerto Rico, both major party platforms address the question in a positive way, and lawmakers from both parties support statehood. As a human rights issue, statehood for Puerto Rico is a bipartisan question.
Legislators and voters from red to blue recognize that Puerto Rico receives less federal support, leading to inequalities in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Puerto Rico’s economic position is worse than that of any state, largely thanks to federal decisions made while Puerto Rico has very limited representation: one Resident Commissioner who can only vote when her voice won’t make a difference in the outcome of the vote.
Both parties also recognize the irony of the United States, an international champion of democracy, owning a territory where more than three million U.S. citizens cannot vote in presidential elections. Some call it a colonial relationship, and the United States has no business owning a colony.
Does your representative support statehood for Puerto Rico? Ask them, and let us know. We want to thank every lawmaker who supports statehood, no matter what their party affiliation may be.