“In the days following the general election,” wrote Arelis Hernandez of the Orlanda Sentinel last week, “it quickly became clear that Puerto Rican voters helped tip the scales of political power in Central Florida.”
In the same story, though, Puerto Rican businessman Raul Ramos, director of the Puerto Rican Leadership Council, was quoted as saying, “Candidates come eat arroz con pollo and talk about their Puerto Rican college roommates to us, but they’re gone once the election is over. We want more than that — we want a seat at the table.”
The increasing awareness of Puerto Rican voters as a political force combined with frustration at being left out of significant decision making has led to the beginnings of a new political action committee (PAC) for Puerto Ricans in Florida. Miguel “Mike” Nieves, who ran for Congress in Florida’s 9th District, has joined with others in the community to create the PAC. They are currently consulting with attorneys and hope to complete the process in 2013.
PAC organizers say that they will support Puerto Rican candidates of any political party as well as others who represent the best interests of the Latino community.