Statehood Will Provide Resources and Rights for Puerto Rico

Statehood for Puerto Rico is on the ballot for Election Day tomorrow.

Statehood will provide equal rights and full representation for Puerto Rico. With two senators and voting representation in the House of Representatives, Puerto Rico will have a strong voice in American democracy.

Rep. José Serrano said, in a message to his colleagues in Congress, “On Nov. 3, our fellow Americans residing in Puerto Rico will vote on whether to become a state. If they vote yes, we should admit them as a state to the union without delay. This position is supported by long-standing American principles of democracy and equality. We must recognize the right of Americans in Puerto Rico to choose their own future through plebiscites. We must also respect their request for equal representation in the U.S. Congress should they choose it.”

Rep. Donna Shalala focused on resources rather than on rights. “Statehood would make a difference. Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, access to all of the services and all the big funds that every other person in a state enjoys,” she said. “It’s important for…the citizens of Puerto Rico to be treated fairly, equitably. It’s up to you, on whether you want statehood or not. From my point of view all I can tell you is that Puerto Rico will get the resources it deserves as a state, it will have a lot more clout. And we want that star on the American flag. Good luck. It’s up to you, November 3rd.”

Congress is listening

The majority of Puerto Ricans want statehood. Like the other territories that have become states, we know that statehood brings rights and responsibilities — and resources –that will improve life.

Fortunately, there are members of Congress, both Democratic and Republican, who support statehood for Puerto Rico.

The most important thing you can do now, if you vote in Puerto Rico, is to make sure the result of the plebiscite is completely clear. A massive turnout and an indisputable majority will make it very difficult for Congress to ignore the demands of Puerto Rico.

Vote. Remind your friends and family who live in Puerto Rico to vote. Let’s make history!

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