One of the first big decisions made by the three Freshman Democrats representing Orange County could be to support a push by the new Governor of Puerto Rico to make the current commonwealth the 51st state of the United States. The Puerto Rican community is the fastest growing in the Orlando area and the state of Florida.
Community Leader and former Candidate for office, Peter Vivaldi wants Stephanie Murphy, Val Demings, and Darren Soto to be mindful on the effect their support could have on the community. Soto is the first Puerto Rican member of Congress to represent the region in the House of Representatives.
“This has the potential to boil over.” said Vivaldi referring to the current financial review board set by the Congress as part of the deal to manage the island’s massive debt “They were asking before and now they’re demanding that their rights not be violated anymore. We’re not part of the menu, we want a seat at the table”
The issue rose when Governor Ricardo Rosello said he would fly to Puerto Rico this week to back a bill that would admit Puerto Rico as a state and hold special elections that would vote in five House Representatives and two Senators that would represent the island on Capitol Hill, a tactic used by Tennessee to be admitted to become a state. The United States still has the ultimate say.
Murphy, Demings, and Soto will be sworn in on Tuesday. During their respective campaigns they all pledged to respect the will of the Puerto Rican people both during the process of managing their debt and their decision over what their future status could be. Whether it becomes a state, declares independence or remains a common wealth.
Vivaldi would like to see all three members of Congress unite with Rosello in favor of possible statehood.
“Be vocal about it.” continued Vivaldi “We want to see a strong Puerto Rico and we believe that’s through statehood. They represent such a large group of Puerto Ricans, I would like to see them call on Puerto Rico to be the 51st state.”
The 70 billion dollar debt in Puerto Rico has lead to a massive exodus from the island to here in Central Florida, where many families have come for a new start in the rapidly growing region.