Statehood has clearly won in the last two status votes in Puerto Rico. But Puerto Rico is still not a state. Puerto Rico cannot make unilateral decisions about the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States.
The is one of the reasons to choose statehood over the current territorial status. As a territory, Puerto Rico is under the power of Congress. As a state, Puerto Rico will have the same rights and responsibilities as the other 50 states.
You may hear that the U.S. Congress is not listening to Puerto Rico. You may also hear that Congress will have to negotiate with Puerto Rico so Puerto Rico can have sovereignty. In fact, Puerto Rico will have sovereignty as a state of the Union. As a state, Puerto Rico will have a place in Congress.
“Puerto Ricans on the island have a great opportunity to improve your future on November 3rd. You can vote ‘YES’ to statehood,” said Rep. Darren Soto. “With full representation, two Senators and four Representatives in Washington, myself, and other members of Puerto Rican heritage, we will help the island. This moment can change the future of all Americans on the island. This November 3rd I hope that you will vote ‘YES’ for statehood.”
Soto is a congressperson from Florida. His family is from Puerto Rico, so it may be natural for him to support Puerto Rico.
However, his colleague Rep. Stephanie Murphy, another congressperson from Florida, is not of Puerto Rican heritage. Her family comes from Vietnam.
“I personally support statehood for Puerto Rico because I think you deserve equality, democracy and a better standard of living,” she recently said. “I think statehood is the best way for you to achieve all of those things. But I want to be clear, the choice is up to you, not me. What is most important is that you participate in this democratic process….This vote matters. Congress is paying close attention. If you, the people of Puerto Rico, confirm you want the territory to become a state, there are many members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, who will support legislation to add another star to the American flag. I will proudly be one of them.”
Murphy is a long-time supporter of statehood for Puerto Rico.
Soto and Murphy are both Democrats. Alongside their Republican colleagues who also support statehood for Puerto Rico, they show that statehood is a bipartisan issue.
Congress is listening. Representatives from Florida know that their constituents care about statehood for Puerto Rico, so they care about it, too. If you live in a state, please let your representatives know that you care. If you live in Puerto Rico, please vote YES on November 3rd. Let’s speak clearly to Congress, since they are listening.