You should know that I couldn’t be happier to read the article written by Sally Goldenberg titled “Puerto Ricans in New York overwhelmingly support statehood, new poll finds” that appeared in the May 22, 2019 edition of PoliticoPro.
Puerto Rico most certainly deserves to be the 51st Star on our nation’s flag, and it will be my greatest priority when I am elected to serve as a Member of the United State Congress in New York’s 15th Congressional District to vote in support of Statehood for Puerto Rico.
Anyone who has seen me in person during the past 25 years knows that the only other lapel pin that I wear on my suit, aside from the logo of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization, is a Star. This Star that I proudly wear on my lapel represents the Star of Puerto Rico as the 51st Star on the United States Flag.
This Star was given to me by the Honorable Pedro Juan Rosselló, who served as the seventh Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I treasure this gift!
Despite the fact that Puerto Rico is part of the United States, Puerto Ricans remain as second-class citizens. This was made most evident in the abandonment of care by the United States government in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
We all know that if Puerto Rico was a State, there would be no question about how to help fellow Americans in need.
However, in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans suffered as second-class citizens and Puerto Rican people died as second-class citizens. This disgrace continues to lie at the feet of our federal government – which includes the United States Congress.
It is important for you to know that even though Puerto Ricans are natural born US citizens and have US Passports, and Puerto Ricans pay into Social Security, and Puerto Ricans can vote in Presidential Primaries: Puerto Ricans cannot vote in Presidential Elections, and the representatives Puerto Ricans elect to serve the United States Congress cannot vote on legislation or effectively represent Puerto Ricans in the US Congress.
You should already know that in 2017, Puerto Rican citizens went to the polls and voted overwhelmingly in a referendum (97 percent!) to make Puerto Rico America’s 51st State. (For those who may try to distract the 2017 results by complaining about low voter turnout, no one denied Bill de Blasio his Mayoralty in 2017 when only 8.5 percent of New Yorkers voted for him.)
You should know that in order for Puerto Rico to become the 51st State, Congress would have to pass a statute to admit Puerto Rico as a State. When I am in Congress, I will make it an absolute priority to fight for this law to grant Puerto Rico statehood.
According to Sally Goldenberg’s article: “Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood governor, Ricardo Rosselló, is looking to move up the island’s presidential primary to March of 2020 and is calling on Democratic candidates to support statehood.”
Ladies and gentlemen, as a Democratic candidate for Congress who supports statehood for Puerto Rico, I will proudly stand by Governor Rosselló’s side and offer him any assistance I can.
I am Council Member Reverend Rubén Díaz, Sr. and this is what you should know.