The seven members of the Puerto Rico Statehood Commission, along with Governor Ricardo Rossello and Resident Commisssioner Jenniffer Gonzalez, formally requested admission of Puerto Rico as the 51st state.
The bipartisan commission ran down the reasons that Puerto Rico wants and needs statehood.
“There are only two permanent options: we can become a state or we can become independent,” said Former Senate President Charlie Rodríguez Colón, one of the commissioners. “The people of Puerto Rico do not want independence.”
“We are proud Puerto Ricans,” he continued, “and we are also proud U.S. citizens.”
Rodríguez Colón mentioned that he has heard people say that Puerto Rico should recover from the hurricane before moving on toward statehood. “Deal with that first,” he quoted such people as saying. “People who say that are wrong. Dead wrong. The only way that we are going to recover fully is if we put Puerto Rico on the path to statehood.”
The response to the hurricanes, Governor Rossello said, showed Americans in general that Puerto Rico is not treated equally by the federal government. It also helped Americans in general to understand that Puerto Rico belongs to the United States and that the residents of Puerto Rico are citizens. This awareness, the governor suggested, is one of the reasons that it is now time for Puerto Rico to become the 51st state.
The people of the United States do not have to ratify Puerto Rico’s admission as a state. Congress can make Puerto Rico a state by a simple majority vote.
But Congress will not take action unless their constituents demand it. Governor Rossello asked “brethren” all across the nation to support Puerto Rico equality through statehood.
“This is the civil rights issue of the time,” he said. “It is a great day for Puerto Rico. It is a great day for the United States. It is a great day for Civil Rights.”
Ask your representatives if they support Puerto Rico in the Tennessee Plan. If they do, please support them. If not, consider following through on Governor Rossello’s promise not to support those who “turn their backs on Puerto Rico.”