Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said in newspaper interviews that the Hurricane Maria disaster will accelerate his plans to organize the more than 5.3 million Puerto Ricans in the States to support Puerto Rico in Washington, D.C.
Rossello says that the devastation brought about by the hurricanes in September will actually provide an opportunity to speed up the changes he wants to put into place, including some that extend beyond short term hurricane relief. For example, he said, “2018 will be the year of the transformation of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.”
“What we have right now does not work,” the governor said. “Now, we can be more audacious in these objectives.” Rossello has been a supporter of renewable energy.
Other bold goals: education reform, tax reform, a switch to a county system for greater governmental efficiency, a new housing code, and improvements in the healthcare system.
Organizing the Diaspora
Rosselló also plans to create a nonpartisan political group, Puerto Rico’s first national political organization.
Without voting representatives in Congress, the governor said, “We will always be the first in line when they cut, and we will always be the last in line when they give out.”
A nonpartisan organization in the States will be able to influence legislators from about ten states with large enough Puerto Rican populations to be influential, the governor suggested.
At the same time, the Puerto Rico Statehood Commission will support candidates who favor statehood for Puerto Rico and in other ways work toward statehood for Puerto Rico.
Rossello campaigned as a statehood supporter and continues to see this as the best future for Puerto Rico.