Viviana Wants Statehood for Puerto Rico and a President Who Gets It
Overlooked and underrepresented by virtually every American president for decades, Puerto Rico has long struggled to be heard in the West Wing or the halls of Congress. But just because the island isn’t part of the mainland doesn’t mean its citizens aren’t equally concerned with the way things are headed.
Viviana, is concerned about that lack of representation. She laments the fact that Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote for President of the United States, even though the president’s actions directly affect the island.
“It’s disheartening seeing my people suffer without representation in Washington D.C.,” says Viviana.
Many Puerto Ricans agree with her. A 2017 referendum on statehood in Puerto Rico brought 500,000 Puerto Ricans to the polls, 97 percent of whom voted in favor of statehood. Though turnout was low, these numbers reflect the attitudes of a growing number of Puerto Ricans.
Indeed, if Puerto Rico were to become the America’s 51st state, the benefits would solve a great deal of its fiscal woes. Statehood would bring in billions in additional funding for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income payments, in addition to money from income and corporate taxes.
Viviana wants to see more political involvement from her fellow Puerto Ricans living in America. She wants Puerto Ricans to vote, to run for office.
Most importantly, Viviana wants the “next president to listen to the people of Puerto Rico, to help the people of Puerto Rico. There is an influx of Puerto Ricans moving to the U.S. because they don’t have what they need in their own country.”
For Viviana, statehood would be the start of correcting some of the wrongs perpetrated against Puerto Rico by the U.S. government. “Puerto Rico doesn’t deserve a government that turned its back on the island that they colonized and own.”
Simply put, she wants the next president to “understand.”