García Padilla: Puerto Ricans Must Move Forward Together in Status Question

May 20, 2013
9:45 AM

Today, Puerto Rican governor Alejandro García Padilla (D), the leader of the island’s status quo commonwealth party, wrote a piece for The Hill in response to a statehood bill submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 15 by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, the leader of the island’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party.

Alejandro García Padilla

Alejandro García Padilla

Here is an excerpt of what he wrote:

In their zeal to attempt to demonstrate support for statehood, the New Progressive Party has worked tirelessly to mischaracterize the results of the plebiscite – so much so that both houses of the Puerto Rican legislature felt it necessary to pass a joint resolution on Wednesday to set the record straight.

The governor then closes with the following:

Every Puerto Rican agrees that any self-determination that is fair, transparent and democratic should give an equal opportunity to each and all of the viable options with respect to our relationship with the United States. I commend President Obama for his proposal to hold a new plebiscite in Puerto Rico, which is an act that acknowledges that any fair self-determination process must include all valid options: statehood, independence, free association and Commonwealth.

While Puerto Ricans may continue to have different views concerning our relationship with the United States, we should be united in our desire to improve the lives of our fellow Puerto Ricans. With unemployment still high and economic growth still not at our desired level, there is much work to be done to create the environment businesses and families need to thrive.

Since I took office in January, my administration has worked tirelessly to create and implement new economic development policies and crime-reducing strategies. For example, the Jobs Now Act, which provides incentives to new and existing companies based in Puerto Rico, will help create an additional 50,000 new jobs during the first 18 months of my administration. And the security efforts launched by my administration have brought about an across-the-board reduction in all crime indexes.

It is time to move beyond the election cycle and focus on the many challenges at hand. Puerto Ricans are yearning for its leaders to come together and work to create a better future for all.