A recent comment from Marta Echevarria-Wild at PR51st included this point:
I think that I am the prototype of the majority of Puerto Ricans that reside in the mainland, and I have voted for both Republican and Democratic presidents for the last 32 years. Besides the political and financial stability, I have very selfish reasons to want Puerto Rico to become a state. I have made a life in the mainland but maintain very close ties with the island. I want my children and grandchildren to continue that close relationship and becoming a state will facilitate that while independence will be an obstacle. I should be able to vote in the upcoming referendum this year. The outcome might put me in the position of having to choose between a “constitutional” USA citizenship vs. a Puerto Rican one , so I should have a say on it.
Marta is not the only one who thinks that Puerto Ricans living in the states should have a say. There are now more people of Puerto Rican heritage living in the States than on the Island. People in Puerto Rico and in the States will be affected by any change in Puerto Rico’s status.
Only voters in Puerto Rico were able to vote in the 2020 referendum. That doesn’t mean that people living in the States will have no say.
As we have seen before, a plebiscite does not lead to a change in status unless Congress takes action. With no voting members, Puerto Rico has less influence over Congress than any of the 50 States.
If you live in a State, you have influence over Congress. Marta, you have influence over Congress. Research has shown that as few as 30 tweets to a congressperson can change that person’s mind about which issues are important.
Votes are important, of course. They are the way we make decisions in a democracy. But people can speak out and make a difference in other ways. Don’t miss your chance!