Archive | November, 2012

NEWYORICANGIRL Launches Petition to Urge U.S. Congress to Grant Equal Voting Rights for American Citizens living in Puerto Rico…

25 Nov

As our great nation remains the world’s best example of a Democracy striving to offer equal rights and justice for all, the time has come for the U.S. Congress to uplift American citizens living on the island of Puerto Rico who are currently banned from voting for their own President of the United States.

Separate and apart from the issue of statehood for Puerto Rico, fair minded U.S. citizens agree that it is time to enfranchise all eligible voters who currently claim residency there. The time has come for President Obama and members of Congress to actively seek to reverse the current disenfranchisement of more than two million American voters. 

If you agree that all U.S. citizens living on the island of Puerto Rico should be granted full voting rights, please sign the petition below and contact NEWYORICANGIRL via this website for more information on how you can help to empower your fellow American citizens. God Bless the United States of America.

 

“The Economist” suggests Congress address Puerto Rico’s request for Statehood

16 Nov

NEWYORICANGIRL with Pro-Statehood Congressman of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi

“The Economist” suggests Congress address Puerto Rico’s request for Statehood

Kudos to the well respected media outlet, “The Economist” for giving Puerto Rico’s recent referendum vote – in favor of statehood – the respect it deserves. The attached article encourages the U.S. Congress to seriously consider Puerto Rico’s request to become a state BEFORE the mid-term elections in 2014. So, you can bet that Puerto Rico’s Congressman, Pedro Pierluisi will be one very busy representative who could use your support if you believe that the U.S. Constitution applies to ALL legal American citizens. NEWYORICANGIRL

Your Fellow Puerto Ricans are Americans too!

14 Nov

Puerto Rico’s Congressman addressing the U.S. Congress on Statehood Vote

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL” – unless you are an American citizen living on the island of Puerto Rico.

Today, Congressman Pedro Pierluisi – the ONLY representative for Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress (and, hamstrung by being a non-voting member at that!) – served his constituents well as he issued a wake up call to his fellow members of Congress. It would be wise for them to listen, lest they dig their hole even deeper with my fellow Hispanics – including my 83 year old uncle, a professor with a Master’s degree, who has never, in his entire lifetime, been granted the privilege of voting for his own President of these great United States (see him in photo below).

As the President reinvigorates his promise to reform immigration, he’d better remember that Puerto Ricans deserve to be his priority because they are LEGAL AMERICANS. They’ve not broken any laws in crossing illegal borders or robbing jobs and social services from our nation’s economy. They do pay taxes and comply with federal legislation, while politely tolerating their second-class citizen status that disenfranchises them from voting for their own Commander in Chief. So, with all this talk about the impact of the Latino vote in the re-election of President Obama, why aren’t the pundits pointing out that more than two million LEGAL AMERICANS of Hispanic origin were willingly banned from voting on November 6th?

Further, our President and members of Congress seem determined to reward the negative behavior (perpetrated on our nation by those who’ve entered our country illegally) by first addressing the issue of immigration reform. To the U.S. Congress and President Obama I say,  you’d be better serving our nation by simultaneously elevating Puerto Rico’s request for a congressional debate on statehood and – at the very least! – granting my fellow Puerto Ricans living on the island equal voting rights in time for our next presidential election in 2016.

To level the playing field for illegal members of our society before you resolve the injustice of your fellow Americans living without equal representation and voting rights would simply be unjust. Surely the needs of our LEGAL AMERICANS should be the priority, lest your fellow countrymen begin to doubt the sanctity of their rights granted by the U.S. Constitution.  NEWYORICANGIRL

NEWYORICANGIRL with her Uncle Willie; visiting the homestead of our ancestors in Aguada, Puerto Rico…

 

Everybody’s Talking about the Hispanic Vote while Ignoring Puerto Rico’s 2 Million+ Disenfranchised Voters…

8 Nov

The media and political analysts were all abuzz yesterday, talking about the whoopin’ Romney and the Republicans suffered when 71% of Latinos voted for Obama last Tuesday. But, a mention of the two million disenfranchised voters on the island of Puerto Rico who are American citizens banned from voting for their own President? Nada. Not a peep. How myopic is that?!

So, the way I see it, the Democrats are dissing me too. Beware, U.S. Congress and all it’s elected officials with their comfy chairs over there. Our Puerto Rican community is watching what you do with the results of the island’s referendum vote – 62% in favor of statehood – and you’d be wise to grant Puerto Rico the respect and dignity their clamoring for because the Hispanic electorate is watching. My people have done everything the United States has demanded of them for 114 years now and we’ve decided it’s payback time.  NEWYORICANGIRL

Puerto Rico Votes 62% For Statehood!

7 Nov

Photo credit: Jason Roundtree

My people have spoken loudly and clearly that a definitive majority – 65% – are clamoring for Puerto Rico to pursue statehood! Now, I will pray every day that President Obama keeps his promise to  support the outcome of this referendum vote. And, the Republicans would be wise to follow suit if they want to begin rebuilding their current disastrous and dysfunctional relationship with my broader Latino community.

Puerto Ricans have been good Americans for 114 years now; politely waiting for their turn to be treated as equally as their fellow citizens. We are legal and loyal and our time has come. May the U.S. Congress, our President and all Americans finally give us the respect we have worked hard to earn lawfully, fairly and squarely. NEWYORICANGIRL

Talk about Disenfranchised Voters?! American citizens banned from voting for their own President of the United States…

5 Nov

As we prepare to vote in tomorrow’s hotly contested presidential election, I know we’ll be hearing a lot about voter disenfranchisement. Hundreds of lawyers and civil rights watchdogs have been dispatched to Ohio – and all around the country – to closely monitor our voting process and cry foul the moment they note anything suspicious. And while this is essential, I’d like to take this moment to remind you that currently the U.S. Congress is willing disenfranchising the more than 2 million voters on the island of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans who live on the island, along with their non-Puerto Rican neighbors, choosing to claim residency there will be banned from voting tomorrow for their own Commander in Chief. So, while we tune in to watch election coverage tomorrow, please say a prayer for your fellow American citizen not being granted your same constitutional rights. Here is an earlier blog post intended to educate you further on this injustice…

La Fortaleza (the Governor’s mansion in Puerto Rico) up for grabs in the 2012 election cycle.

As Puerto Rico hosts the Republican primary today, it’s important you know that these same American citizens will be banned from voting in the general presidential election this coming November. Puerto Ricans are legal American citizens whether they live on the mainland or the island of Puerto Rico. However, did you know that if you (ANY AMERICAN!) declare your residency on the island of Puerto Rico, you will be banned from voting for your own President of these great United States?  This ban applies to EVERY American, not just Puerto Ricans, and is simply an absurd and antiquated policy that knowingly disenfranchises more than 2 million Hispanic voters in every presidential election. Our nation’s FairVote organization agrees. “If I move anywhere in the world, I can vote absentee, but not if I move to Puerto Rico,” says FairVote executive director, Rob Richie when referencing that a declaration of residency on the island would force him to surrender his right to vote in our nation’s presidential election. “There’s a lack of attention of this issue which is that we don’t have a fundamental right to vote as stated in our constitution and there is a lot of ignorance out there about how Puerto Ricans serve and die in service of our country.”

Does it sound fair to you that Puerto Rico’s residents have been drafted to serve in our military at the same time that they couldn’t vote for their own Commander in Chief? I believe the time has come for our country to grant full voting rights to our citizens living on the island – separate and apart from the island’s upcoming referendum on statehood.

The island of Puerto Rico became part of the United States in 1898 as part of the Spanish American War. In 1917 we were granted U.S. citizenship courtesy of the Jones-Shafroth Act during President Woodrow Wilson’s administration. My ancestors were then immediately drafted to fight in World War I and we’ve stepped up to serve in every conflict since.  According to the executive director of the Center for Conservative Latino Principles and former President Bush appointee, Alfonso Aguilar, “the great irony is our country is doing the same thing to Puerto Rico that King George did to the subjects of the American colonies which was the basis for the ‘Don’t Tread on Me’” slogan leading to the American Revolution.

Because we are a polite and fiercely loyal people we didn’t ask for ESL classes when occupied by the USA and we even adopted English as the official language in 1901. Further, contrary to the major misconception, we do pay taxes. The congressman of Puerto Rico gets annoyed when responding to the worn out argument that it’s okay to ban Puerto Rican islanders from presidential voting because they don’t pay federal taxes. “I don’t buy that argument. We pay payroll taxes, while at the same time close to 50% of U.S. households on the mainland are avoiding paying taxes via earned income tax credits or because of their income levels.” Pierluisi is currently serving as Puerto Rico’s non-voting member in Congress and is supporting the pro-statehood efforts of Governor Luis Fortuno.

The island’s upcoming statehood referendum vote is scheduled for the same day our nation will select its next president. Our country’s presidential election day in November will also serve as a painful reminder to the residents of Puerto Rico that, once again – even though they’re allowed to vote in presidential primaries – they’re still banned from casting their ballot for president.

While Puerto Rico’s voter turnout rate of more than 80% is lauded as one of the highest in the western hemisphere, those living on the island will be banned from participating in the selection of their next president because the U.S. Congress has taken more than 114 years to grant these American citizens their full voting rights. Given that Hispanics are the now the country’s largest minority, the time has come for the majority to remember that actions speak louder than words and we’re watching. With all the speculation about the Hispanic votes and it’s role in choosing the nation’s next president, it seems obvious that the political party most willingly to champion this cause will be rewarded at the voting booth in November. NEWYORICANGIRL

NBC – Republican candidates campaign in Puerto Rico

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