PopVox on Puerto Rico

 

PopVox is a nonpartisan website which follows all kinds of legislation. They have a mission “To connect people and government, empower effective participation, and create a transparent record that influences policy-making and fosters accountable, responsive governing.”

We share their goal of empowering effective participation, and we’re glad to see they’re following H.R. 727, The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act. This act will give Puerto Rico a clear path to statehood. On the PopVox page you can see the full text of the bill, the legislators who co-sponsored the bill, the progress the bill has made toward becoming a law, and a map showing where in the United States people support or oppose the bill.

You can also see the comments explaining why the people who “voted” for or against the bill at the PopVox page chose the positions they did.

If you look at the PopVox page right now, you’ll see that most of the people who voted did not support the bill. But this gives a false impression. Why? Because only 28 people have shared their views on H.R. 727 at PopVox.

“I support H.R. 727 The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act because… It is long past time to achieve some form of democratic justice and enfranchisement for the people of Puerto Rico (as well as the other territories).,” said one supporter.

“I support H.R. 727 The Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act because… the 3.5 million U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico voted for statehood in 2012, and deserve to be a state, not a colony,” says another.

Those who oppose the legislation have their own reasons, too. And all the comments are passed on to the legislators for the represented states. But 28 people does not make up a good sample of the population of the United States and its territories. Visitors to PopVox — and the legislators who receive the messages — may get the impression that the people do not support statehood for Puerto Rico. We don’t think that’s accurate.

What’s your opinion? Take a moment to visit PopVox and share your thoughts. Higher numbers of participants will give a more accurate picture.

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