U.S. English--Wrong on Puerto Rico, Wrong on Equality--AGAIN!!!
No Precedent in American History--Language Choice, Use is Established Right of States
(October 11, 2012)
Washington, D.C.--The organization ‘U.S. English’ is wrong on Puerto Rico. They ignore the facts. Puerto Ricans are not inferior citizens and less entitled to equal rights because they speak Spanish more than English. Puerto Rico is officially bilingual and has been since 1902. It was the first United States jurisdiction in the nation’s history to adopt English as an official language. Puerto Ricans speak English when they want to, and are not content to continue to live without their full rights as citizens. Puerto Rican elections and votes for the past 15 years show this. Puerto Rico deserves equality Read More...
Former San Juan Mayor Hernán Padilla Announces EQUALITY
Effort Dedicated to Puerto Rico Voter Education for November Referendum
(April 17, 2012)
San Juan, Puerto Rico – Former San Juan Mayor Hernán Padilla today announced the formation of a new organization dedicated to Puerto Rico voter education in advance of the November 6, 2012 referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status, and directed towards supporting the achievement of political and economic equality for the island’s 3.7 million American citizens.
Following a seminar on Statehood for Puerto Rico and the upcoming plebiscite attended by dozens of New Progressive Party candidates for elected office, the former President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors presided over a meeting of pro-statehood professionals during which the attendees agreed to form EQUALITY Read More...
Pro-Territory Party Issues Marching Orders For Election Day Referendum "Vote YES" to keep the territory, leave second question blank (February 1, 2012)
The Popular Democratic Party (PPD in Spanish) of Puerto Rico, which supports the unequal territorial status, has told its supporters to vote “yes” on the first question of the Election Day-plebiscite and to leave the second question blank. By voting “yes,” the PPD is advocating in favor of the territorial status and against equality for the nearly 4 million Americans on the island. Read More ...
Territorial Legislature Acts to Put Status Question to Puerto Ricans
Governor convenes all parties in search of consensus
(January 1, 2012)
The Puerto Rico Legislative Assembly and Governor Luis G. Fortuño have decided to move forward on a plan for locally sponsored plebiscite on Puerto Rico’s political status. Advocates of political sovereignty, either as a state of the union or independent republic, had sought a non-binding congressional authorization with defined constitutionally valid status options. The Puerto Rico Democracy Act (H.R. 2499) would have done so, but failed to advance in the U.S. Senate following overwhelming passage in the U.S. House of Representative. Read More ...
Obama Task Force Report on Puerto Rico Status Due in October, Delayed, Again
Equality Advocates Continue to Hope for Breakthrough
(January 12, 2011)
Washington, D.C.—Equality advocates continue to eagerly await the report of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status which the White House was expected to release in 2010. Originally anticipated for release in October, the report was first delayed until after the November mid-term congressional elections. With the elections over, the release of the report was considered imminent. However, the report was not released in December and indications are that the report should not be expected until later this month at the earliest. Read More ...
Senate Confirms Position that Puerto Rico’s Status is Territorial
Bill authorizing plebiscite fails to advance
(June 1, 2010)
Following passage of the Puerto Rico Democracy Act (H.R. 2499) in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing in the Capitol on the legislation on May 19, 2010. Testimony was heard from representatives and leadership of the principal political parties in Puerto Rico, the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (PNP in Spanish), the pro-territory Popular Democratic Party (PPD), and the Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP).Read More ...
Citizen Equality Initiative Introduced During Barbosa Celebration in NYC
The Council participated in a celebration of the life Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa in New York City, July 27 with the Center for Puerto Rico Equality and Advancement (CPREA) and the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association (PRSSA). The event, entitled “A Celebration of the Life, Work and Legacy of Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa” took place in Midtown New York City and was hosted by Mr. Jim Montes of Nixon Peabody LLP. Council Executive Director Justin O’Brien represented the Council at the event and was joined by Jorge Torruella (NYU) of PRSSA. CPREA President Rafael Rodriguez served as the master of ceremonies for the event. Read More...
U.S. House Resolution Would Place Puerto Rico Statue In U.S. Capitol
By Ashley Hawken
The Administration Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a Resolution (H.R. 5493) authorizing the District of Columbia (DC) to install statues of two Washingtonians within the U.S. Capitol Building’s iconic Statuary Hall. If the measure becomes law, it would overturn the present requirement that only States of the Union may designate statues to represent them in the Hall. Read More...
Council Urges Senate Action on Puerto Rico Self-Determination
U.S. Council for Puerto Rico Statehood Chairman Major General Orlando Llenza, USAF (Ret.) called on the Senate to act on The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010 (H.R. 2499) and pass the legislation giving the 4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico the right to self-determination in the first-ever congressionally-sanctioned plebiscite on the issue. In the letter, dated June 29th, General Llenza stated the significance of the legislation, "as it would impartially ensure that Puerto Ricans understand the sense of Congress that Puerto Ricans should, of a right, voice their will and express their positions on self-determination."Read More...(Read the Council's Letter)
Senate Seeks President's Views on Puerto Rico Status Alternatives
The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Member Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) formally requested the White House to elaborate on the President's position regarding The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010 (H.R. 2499) and constitutionally-viable status alternatives in a letter dated May 27. The Senators requested the President's Task Force on Puerto Rico's Status clarify the White House position on the issue. Read More...
Puerto Rico Equality Leaders Celebrate July Fourth Holiday in San Juan
Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño joined Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini on July 4th in San Juan to commemorate the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The Statehood for Puerto Rico leaders used the occasion to deliver remarks on the issues of Puerto Rico's continued drive for political equality and the inalienable rights of Puerto Ricans to equal United States citizenship. Read More...
Status Bill Authorizes Island Plebicite on Status Alternatives
H.R. 2499 authorizes Puerto Rico to conduct an impartial two-part plebiscite providing an equal opportunity to maintain or terminate the current unequal territorial status of the island. Puerto Ricans would first vote on whether to maintain the current status quo and remain a U.S. Territory under Article IV of the U.S. Constitution or seek a sovereignty-granting alternative. Read More...
United Nations Recognizes Puerto Rico Right to Self-Determination
The United Nations Committee for Decolonization met Monday June 21, 2010 to discuss the decolonization of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898 and Puerto Ricans have been United States' citizens since 1917. Puerto Rico does not have voting representation in the U.S. Congress and Congress retains plenary authority over the island. The Committee unanimously adopted a resolution supportive of Puerto Rico self-determination. It was the tenth consecutive year that the Committee has approved a resolution in support of Puerto Rico self-determination. Read More...
Puerto Rico Resident Commisoner Invokes Dignity, Equality in Clarion Call for Puerto Rico Statehood
Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Hon. Pedro R. Pierluisi issued a clarion call for citizen equality and Statehood for Puerto Rico in the Puerto Rico daily newspaper El Vocero on Friday, May 28, 2010. The Resident Commissioner is Puerto Rico's non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read More...
After House Amendment, Passage, What Next for Puerto Rico's Self-Determination?
With 223 votes in its favor, the United States House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010 on April 29. The bill, cosponsored by 182 Representatives, will authorize a two-part plebiscite on the island and is heralded as a substantial step towards ending the 112 years of inequality for the people of Puerto Rico. Authored by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, the bill proposes the first congressionally-sanctioned plebiscite concerning the island's unequal territorial status. Read More...
United States Plus One - The Prospect of Puerto Rico as the 51st State
When HR.2499, the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010 passed the House 223 - 169, it barely gathered a whimper of press. The prospect of America gaining a new state would normally be newsworthy, yet H.R.2499 missed out. Meanwhile, decade old perceptions of Democratic gerrymandering, and opinions based on the 93 and 98 failed plebiscites re-surfaced. This 78 Minute Audio Documentary speaks with the participants themselves, and uncovers the story of what could become the most debated plebiscite in American history. Click here to hear the documentary
H.R. 2499 Committee Passage
By a vote of 30-8, the Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, overwhelmingly passed legislation (H.R. 2499 - The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009) to give congressional sanction to an island plebiscite on Puerto Rico's status for the first time in American history. Read More (July 22, 2009)
Council Urges Bi-partisan Support, Quick Confirmation for Sotomayor. Please click here for full Statement. (July 16, 2009)
Puerto Rico Self Determination Legislation Introduced
Puerto Rico's non-voting delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, Pedro Pierluisi, introduced the Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2009 (H.R. 2499) on Tuesday May 20, 2009. read more (May 27, 2009)
The United States Mint introduced its new quarter dollar coin commemorating the U.S territory to the public and the world at a ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday April 2, 2009. Puerto Rico has been an unrepresented territory of the United States since 1898. read more (April 2, 2009)
Puerto Rico House of Representatives Celebrates U.S. Citizenship - Speaker Laments Unequal Treatment in U.S. Congress
The Puerto Rico House of Representatives celebrated the 92nd anniversary of the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 at the Capitol building in Old San Juan On Monday March 2, 2009, the. Better known as the Jones Act, it was this legislation that gave statutory United States’ citizenship on Puerto Ricans that year. read more (March 11, 2009)
Llenza: Civil Rights, Service to Country Demand Congress Support Puerto Rico Statehood Vote
In remarks to the Puerto Rico Bar Association of Florida in Fort Lauderdale on October 25th, retired two-star General Orlando Llenza (US Air Force) proclaimed that Congress’ support for a vote in Puerto Rico to choose between becoming a fully represented state or an independent republic is a civil rights issue. Describing the exceptional Puerto Rican history of military excellence, General Llenza described more than 100 years of extraordinary heroism and blood sacrifice for the United States while Congress has denied Puerto Rico full representation in Congress and the right to vote for President. The United States took possession of Puerto Rico following the Spanish-American War of 1898 but the U.S. Congress has never supported a vote in Puerto Rico on whether the island should become a State of the Union or an independent republic. Puerto Rico is now the longest held territory of the United States having surpassed Oklahoma which was a U.S. territory for 104 years. The last 2 territories admitted as states of the union were Alaska and Hawaii in 1958 and 1959 respectively. General Llenza’s full remarks can be viewed here.
Statehood for Puerto Rico - The Party Platforms Leading into the 2008 Conventions
The 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions are around the corner. Although these conventions may be physically distant from Puerto Rico, their pertinence is clear. The National Conventions are where the Democratic and Republican parties formally announce their presidential candidates, and perhaps more importantly, their platforms for the coming four years. These platforms announce the parties’ stances on topics ranging from the war in Iraq to Puerto Rico’s status. Read more...
New Poll: Statehood Favored by Large Majority in Puerto Rico
A recent poll shows that now more than ever, a large island majority wants Statehood for Puerto Rico. The poll, conducted in late May by Kaagan Research Associates of New York and later published in El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest daily newspaper shows 57% of Puerto Ricans want Statehood as the island’s permanent political status, dismissing the current unrepresentative commonwealth status outright by an overwhelming 23 percentage points. This 23-point spread is the largest recorded in any political status poll in Puerto Rico’s history. Read more... (July 14, 2008)
UN Special Committee Underscores Why Puerto Rico Self-Determination Process is Needed
The United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization met Monday June 9 to discuss a draft resolution urging the United States to expedite the process of self-determination for the people of Puerto Rico. Read more... (June 23, 2008)
Statehood Issue Central to Outcome of PR Democratic Primary
Puerto Rican supporters of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split distinctly on an issue not dealt with by mainland voters in the Puerto Rican primary Sunday, June 1st - Statehood for Puerto Rico. Senator Clinton's supporters in Puerto Rico heavily backed Statehood for Puerto Rico while Obama's did not, according to CNN's exclusive exit polls. Clinton handily defeated Obama by a margin of more than 2:1 with 68 percent to Obama's 32 percent in the island's party primary, the first since 1980. Among Clinton supporters, 72 percent said they want to see full U.S. Statehood for Puerto Rico, compared to 34 percent of Obama supporters. Read more...
Legislative Update: Status Legislation Has Strong Bi-Partisan Support, Needs More
The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007 (H.R. 900) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives at the beginning of the 110th Congress in February, 2007 by Representative José Serrano (D-New York) and has enjoyed very significant bi-partisan support but additional opportunity for more House members to support the legislation remains. Corresponding legislation in the U.S. Senate (S.1936) introduced by Senator Ken Salazar (D-Colorado) is in a similar position. The House bill passed out of committee in October of last year but a full vote by the House of Representatives has yet to be scheduled. Senate Supporters of Puerto Rico Democracy Act by State | Read more... (May 27, 2008)
Council Founder Padilla Speaks Out on Federal Authority: Prosecution of Corruption Exposes Myth of Commonwealth Status Autonomy
Statehood for Puerto Rico Gets Additional Boost with Fortuno as Island's Pro-Statehood Candidate for Governor - Fortuno tops island Statehood Primary - Pierluisi Statehood Democrat Candidate for Resident Commissioner
Young Democrats of America Call for Representative Democracy for Puerto Rico
2007 Dallas Convention Enshrines 2006 Non-Territorial Position in Young Democrats platform, Statehooder Domenech elected YDA National Committeeman. Read more... (July 27, 2007)
Mainland, PR Statehood Groups Join with ACU for Roundtable Discussion
Representatives from Puerto Rico Statehood organizations and pro-statehood officials from Puerto Rico and the mainland United States, met with Mr. David A. Keene and Mr. William Lauderback, Chair and Vice Chair respectively, of the American Conservative Union (ACU) in Washington DC Friday May 3rd for a roundtable discussion of issues relating to Puerto Rico Statehood. Chairman Antonio Monroig represented the U.S. Council for Puerto Rico Statehood. Other participants included Rafael Rodriguez, founder of the July 4th, 1899 Foundation; Dr. Carlos Chardon, Secretary of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico; Rocio Velez, President of Americans for Puerto Rico Statehood, Puerto Rico State Senator Roberto Arango (San Juan - PR) and Luis Baco - Office of Rep Luis Fortuno, US House of Representatives. The ACU is the country's oldest and largest grassroots conservative lobbying organization. Mr Keene has chaired the group since 1984. Read more... (Washington DC, May 22, 2007)
110th Congress Status Legislation Update: Feb 16, 2007
Momentum Builds With More Co-Sponsors for Puerto Rico Status Legislation in the New Congress
As of February 16th, 2007, twelve more members of the House have signed on as co-sponsors of the Puerto Rico status legislation, H.R. 900, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007. The legislation was first introduced last year during the 109th Congress. It was re-introduced in the 110th on February 7th, 2007 by New York congressman Jose Serrano and the non-voting Puerto Rico delegate to the U.S. Congress, Luis Fortuno. These additional co-sponsors bring the number of supporters to 95; comprising 46 Republicans and 49 Democrats, indicating strong bi-partisan support. more...
110th Congress Status Legislation Update: Feb 9, 2007
Bipartisan Puerto Rico Status Legislation Re-Introduced in House of Representatives
With the support of more than 60 Democrat and Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, non-voting delegate of the Puerto Rican people to the U.S. Congress, Luis Fortuno and Democrat Jose Serrano (New York) re-introduced the Puerto Rico Democracy Act to the 110th Congress on February 7th. Serrano has been a vigorous defender of the right of Puerto Ricans to self-determination in the U.S. Congress. Serrano is the highest-ranking Puerto Rican in the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. more...
A recent public opinion survey commissioned by the Puerto Rico Herald shows that U.S. citizens strongly support Puerto Rico’s efforts towards political self-determination. Even more impressive was the positive response received concerning Puerto Rico statehood. The poll of 900 U.S. mainland registered voters was conducted in June of this year by Opinion Dynamics of Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...more
Puerto Rico Elections Decided—Split Decision With a Statehood Tilt
In Puerto Rico, the November elections produced mixed results, with PNP Statehood Party gains in all venues—except the race for governor. In that race, the pro-Commonwealth PNP candidate, Anibal Acevedo Vila, won by the slimmest of margins of approximately 3,500 votes from the nearly 2 million (1,977,541) cast, after a recount and court cases at both Puerto Rico and federal levels that played out until late December. ...more