It’s hard to look at the benefits of statehood — more federal financial support, full participation in the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship, State sovereignty, a better tax deal — without seeing that statehood would be good for Puerto Rico. Territories which have become States in the past, including Alaska and Hawaii in the 20th century, have all become more prosperous as States than they were as territories. They’ve also become more prosperous than the territories which are still territories, and better off than those that became independent nations of Freely Associated States, too.

States have senators and congressional representative with the power to vote for laws. U.S. citizens living in States can vote for their Commander in Chief, which Puerto Rico’s soldiers cannot. This voice in U.S. government would give Puerto Rico equality with the other States in the U.S. government.

Then someone says that Puerto Rico shouldn’t become a state because we’re not as excited over U.S. Olympic gold medals as we were over Puerto Rico’s first gold medal. Or that we will lose our culture if we become a State.

Each State in the Union has its own character, its own characteristic foods, its own music, its own history and heritage. Each State is proud of its own sports teams, its beauty pageant participants, and its natural beauty. Texans are proud to be Texans. Californians love their California lifestyle. Puerto Ricans are proud, too, and won’t be less so when Puerto Rico becomes the 51st State.

At this writing, more Puerto Ricans live in the States than on the Island. Far from disappearing, Puerto Rican culture enriches the culture of the United States as a whole.

Giving up the colonial status of unincorporated territory will cost Puerto Rico nothing. Being a territory is not a source of pride. Sign the petition now and tell Congress that it is time for Puerto Rico to gain the full dignity of a State.



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