While you may sometimes hear people saying that Puerto Rico’s financial crisis has to be resolved before Puerto Rico’s status can be resolved, the evidence is clear: Puerto Rico’s status is one of the main causes of the financial crisis.
In a recent survey, Puerto Rican voters in the crucial Central Florida districts said that they want a final referendum on statehood.
- 76% said they regularly follow news from Puerto Rico.
- 74% of survey participants support conducting a status referendum with options to be approved by the Department of Justice.
- 65% of those surveyed were not aware that Congress has already provided funding to conduct such a referendum.
Some might think that Puerto Ricans living on the mainland would be satisfied with the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens living in a State. People might also think that they no longer care about the status of Puerto Rico. That’s not the case.
More than three quarters of those surveyed said they continue to follow the news from Puerto Rico. Just under three quarters support a new status referendum that includes only the status options approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Interestingly enough, 65% didn’t know that such a referendum has already been funded by Congress.
Candidates for the upcoming election should be bringing these voters the good news: the referendum they want to see has already been funded.
That doesn’t mean that the referendum will happen without action from the government of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Congress. Work needs to be done. The options for the ballot must be agreed upon, something the current ruling party in Puerto Rico has not yet been able to accomplish. Some of the funding is to be used for voter education so that the next referendum can’t be ignored on the basis of claims that voters didn’t understand the choices. And the vote must be organized.
The vote will take place in Puerto Rico, and the residents of Puerto Rico will be the voters. But the Puerto Rican people living in Florida provide evidence that people on the mainland care about the status of Puerto Rico… and the fate of Puerto Rico.
Have you told your legislators that you care? Tell them now.