Last Wednesday, citizen advocates from a number of organizations marched in Washington, D.C., finishing up at the World War II Memorial, where there was a press conference with Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, Governor Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico state senator Keren Riquelme, former Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives of José Aponte; and other leaders from Puerto Rico.
“I’m very proud to stand with this group of leaders, veterans, and advocates, most of them my constituents from Puerto Rico, to support and call for passage of HR 8393, the Puerto Rico Status Act. I was proud to work alongside colleagues to draft a compromise bill that puts us on a clear and definitive path towards solving the Island’s political status dilemma. As Puerto Rico’s sole representative in Congress, I will continue fighting for the Island’s 3.2 million Americans and our quest to end over one hundred years of inequality and second class citizenship,” said González-Colón.
The bill currently has 45 cosponsors, both Democrats and Republicans. New cosponsors in the past week include Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Bill Posey of Florida, Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, and Andrew Garbarino of New York. This bipartisan group underscores the fact that the Puerto Rico statehood movement is a national cause that transcends political boundaries.
However, HR8393 is not a statehood bill. It offers the voters of Puerto Rico a choice. While we expect that Puerto Rico will once again choose statehood, the bill is a compromise among leaders with different ideas of the best outcome for Puerto Rico. One thing everyone can agree on: territorial status is not a good option. Territorial status prevents Puerto Rico from fulfilling its potential.
The bill needs to come to the floor of Congress for a vote, and the people of Puerto Rico need a chance to affirm the votes already taken supporting a non-colonial future for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s congressional representative cannot vote on this matter, so it is essential that the people living in the states reach out to their representatives and share their hopes for the 51st state.
Use our simple form to reach your representative, and ask your friends and family living in the states to do the same.