DOWNLOAD: PRSSA Letter to Congress
November 19, 2008
Members of Congress
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear U.S. Representative,
Congratulations on your ascendancy to the 111th Congress. We represent the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association, a student activist organization dedicated to achieving statehood for Puerto Rico. On November 18, 2008, Aníbal Acevedo Vila, the outgoing Governor of Puerto Rico, sent you a letter regarding his defeat in the 2008 general elections and the status of Puerto Rico. The Governor claims that the immense margin by which the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (NPP) won the last elections was not a mandate for statehood. We and the people of Puerto Rico believe otherwise.
Since 1967 the people of Puerto Rico have struggled to define themselves as a colony or to become the 51st state of the Union. In our local elections, we do not decide whether the government should be Democrat or Republican. Our political parties are defined by the status preference they champion. The Governor himself campaigned on a status-defining platform that called for Puerto Rican national sovereignty.
The people rejected this platform and hailed the option for statehood in a landslide. The pro-statehood party, the New Progressive Party, won the Governorship, the Resident Commissioner’s seat, a majority of mayor’s offices, all district senatorial seats and over 70% of representative districts. The NPP won the absolute majority in both state houses to such a degree that the Governor’s party’s recourse to representation was through the application of the Law of Minority Representation that demanded they be given seats. Furthermore, our main newspaper, El Nuevo Día, released a poll in May 2008 which showed that 57% of voters would choose statehood over 34% for the status quo and 5% for independence. This sends a clear signal that the people of Puerto Rico want a change for statehood.
We urge you to take these facts into consideration in this coming Congressional cycle, especially in approving a federally-mandated self-determination referendum. The 4 million proud U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico are looking to you to settle this issue. We in the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association look forward to working with you to fulfill this democratic mandate.
The National Board
Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association