Statehood Yes or No Vote: A History

Statehood Yes or No Vote: A History

Posted January 31, 2020

Pedro Pierluisi, who was the Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico at the time, wrote a letter to President Obama in 2015 recommending a yes-or-no vote on statehood for Puerto Rico.

“Thomas Jefferson wrote the ‘the ground of liberty is to be gained by inches’,” Pierluisi began his letter. He went on to define statehood as “the only democratic and dignified status option that has broad public support on the island.”

Statehood receive majority votes in plebiscites in 2012 and 2017, while independence received less than 6%.

“Although some people have yet to fully appreciate it,” he continued, “the statehood movement — which is a civil rights movement — has advanced further and faster toward our ultimate goal within the last six years that during any other period since Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898.”

Pierluisi stated that he had been able to persuade Congress “to be honest about the status options available to Puerto Rico if it does not wish to remain a U.S. territory. Without exception, your administration and Congress have affirmed that the only other options for Puerto Rico are to become a state or a sovereign nation, either fully independent from the U.S. or with a compact of free association with the U.S. that either nation can terminate.”

Pierluisi ran through the timeline of the preceding few years, including the choice of statehood by the voters of Puerto Rico, several additional rejections of the concept of “enhanced commonwealth“, the appropriation of $2.5 million for a federally-sponsored plebiscite, and the passage of a law to use those funds for a plebiscite in Puerto Rico.

“It has been nearly a year since the provision appropriating $2.5 million for the first federally-sponsored plebiscite in Puerto Rico’s history became law,” Pierluisi wrote. By now, five more years have passed.

Pierluisi’s letter proposed a simple yes-or-no vote on statehood. He gave five reasons to support this plan:

  1. There is precedent for an up or down vote on statehood. Both Alaska and Hawaii, the most recent territories to become states, both used this format.
  2. This approach is logical, since statehood received the most votes in 2012. Statehood also received the vast majority of the votes in 2017, following Pierluisi’s letter.
  3. The format allows everyone to vote, whether they approve of statehood or not. “Yes to statehood” and “No to statehood” cover all the bases.
  4. The vote would provide a clear result. Following both the 2012 and the 2017 referenda, anti-statehood factions came up with specious arguments against accepting the vote.
  5. The yes/no vote has bipartisan support.

A yes or no vote has now been proposed and supported by a variety of leaders, including the current Resident Commissioner, the current Governor of Puerto Rico, and the President of the Puerto Rico Senate.

Pierluisi recommended the following ballot language in his letter:

“Shall Puerto Rico be admitted into the Union as a State? Yes___ No___.”

Download and read the full letter:

1.6.15 Letter to President Obama Regarding Puerto Rico’s Status

Tweets by ‎@PRicoReport

  1. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Rico’s population had stabilized before the earthquakes hit.  Puerto Rico’s Population Stabilized – Puerto Rico ReportPuerto Rico’s population stabilized during the year that ended July 1, 2019, according to new, similar estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau and the territory’s Statistics Institute, which works with…puertoricoreport.com15h
  2. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportNew Air Cargo Rules Provide Flexibility for Puerto Rico  New Air Cargo Rules Provide Flexibility for Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico ReportThe U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a notice tentatively allowing Puerto Rico to give foreign airlines more flexibility with passengers and cargo. What will change under the new rules?…puertoricoreport.com19h
  3. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportBill pending in Iowa House to give grants to people relocating from Puerto Rico  Lawmaker hopes to help Puerto Ricans move to Iowa for jobs – Radio IowaA bill pending in the Iowa House would set up a state grant program to cover the moving expenses for Puerto Ricans who’ve landed jobs in Iowa — outside of the largest Iowa cites. Republican Represe…radioiowa.com22h
  4. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Ricans still living in tents after earthquakes.  The continuing disaster aid crisis in Puerto Rico, explainedThe House passed an earthquake relief bill that has yet to be taken up by the Senate — meanwhile, hundreds wait in tents for aid.vox.comFeb 25, 2020
  5. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportYouth Development Institute of Puerto Rico Presents Proposals to Combat Child Poverty  Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico Presents Proposals to Combat Child Poverty – Puerto Rico…The Youth Development Institute of Puerto Rico hosted a presentation on Capitol Hill earlier this month entitled, “A Future of Child Poverty in Puerto Rico: How Much It Costs and What We Can  Do…puertoricoreport.comFeb 25, 2020
  6. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportKeep up with all the news on Puerto Rico’s status with our free newsletter.  Home – Puerto Rico ReportAbout Puerto Rico Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. The U.S. acquired Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898, and the Island has belonged to the United States ever since. In 1917, Puerto…puertoricoreport.comFeb 25, 2020
  7. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Rico and the Electoral College  Puerto Rico and the Electoral College – Puerto Rico ReportPeople born in Puerto Rico are citizens of the United States and can vote in presidential elections — as long as they live in one of the 50 states. If they live in Puerto Rico, they cannot vote for…puertoricoreport.comFeb 24, 2020
  8. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportConfused about U.S. territories? No wonder. This video explains.  A Clear Explanation of the Territories of the United States – Puerto Rico ReportAs this video explains, Puerto Rico is an organized, unincorporated territory of the U.S., containing 91% of the people living in all of the U.S. territories and more people than in 21 of the States….puertoricoreport.comFeb 24, 2020
  9. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportThe RESILIENT Networks Act will strengthen telecommunications for emergencies, and calls for an audit of the FCC’s response to Hurricane Maria.  The RESILIENT Networks Act – Puerto Rico ReportLast week, Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), a Communications and Technology Subcommittee…puertoricoreport.comFeb 24, 2020
  10. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportThe value of your vote depends on where you live.  Your Vote’s Value Depends on Where You Live – Puerto Rico Report“One man, one vote” was a popular political slogan in the 1880s. In the 1960s, updated to “One person, one vote” in recognition of woman suffrage, the slogan was used again to protest against…puertoricoreport.comFeb 21, 2020
  11. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReport. @USDA IG confirms #PuertoRico disadvantaged by being excluded from the federal nutrition program + more in the weekly #PuertoRicoReport newsletter #PR51 #PREquality #PuertoRicoStatehood … Feb 21, 2020
  12. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportWhere does the «Commonwealth» in «Commonwealth of Puerto Rico» come from?  The Origin of the «Commonwealth» Label – Puerto Rico ReportPuerto Rico is often called “a commonwealth” but “Commonwealth” is actually just a part of its formal government title.   Four States (Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania) and another…puertoricoreport.comFeb 21, 2020
  13. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportSome U.S. territories use what is called a «mirror code» for their income taxes. What is that?  What’s a Mirror Code Possession? – Puerto Rico ReportThe United States owns 14 territories, five of which are inhabited. Among these five territories, federal tax law is applied differently to its residents. Three U.S. territories are required to use a…puertoricoreport.comFeb 20, 2020
  14. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportThanks, Dennis Freytes!  «READ the FACTS in Puerto Rico Report: SUPPORT FAIR TREATMENT-EQUAL RIGHTS for all “WE THE PEOPLE” should include Puerto Ricans! Congressional Subcommittee Finds Problems with Unequal Treatment of Puerto Rico in U.S. Nutrition…Disadvantages of Puerto Rico’s exclusion from the federal nutrition program were on display last week as the U.S. House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee heard testimony from the United States…puertoricoreport.comFeb 20, 2020
  15. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportBill for Territories to Supply Statues for National Statuary Hall  Bill for Territories to Supply Statues for National Statuary Hall – Puerto Rico ReportRep. Michael San Nicolas (D-GU) of Guam has introduced HR 5820, a bill allowing the U.S. territories to display statues in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. National Statuary Hall The National…puertoricoreport.comFeb 20, 2020
  16. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Rico’s three status options under the U.S. Constitution  Puerto Rico’s Three Status Options – Puerto Rico ReportIn 2014, the U.S. government approved funding for a new status vote in Puerto Rico — if the U.S. Department of Justice agreed that the options on the ballot were constitutional. A proposal was made…puertoricoreport.comFeb 19, 2020
  17. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportAs we get ready for the 2020 Census, check out the Porto Rico Census of 1899.  At the time, Puerto Rico was commonly called «Porto Rico» in the States. A Page from History: The Porto Rico Census of 1899 – Puerto Rico ReportIn 1899, Puerto Rico, or Porto Rico as it was then commonly called, was newly under U.S. control. A census gave the numbers of inhabitants, dividing them into men and women, age groups, and ethnici…puertoricoreport.comFeb 19, 2020
  18. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportWhat’s a Mirror Code Possession?  What’s a Mirror Code Possession? – Puerto Rico ReportThe United States owns 14 territories, five of which are inhabited. Among these five territories, federal tax law is applied differently to its residents. Three U.S. territories are required to use a…puertoricoreport.comFeb 19, 2020
  19. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Rico Statehood has been showing up in popular culture lately, including on «Frankie and Grace»and «Superstore.» «The West Wing» had a discussion of there issue years ago.  Blast from the Past: Puerto Rico Statehood Discussed on the West Wing – Puerto Rico ReportThe West Wing, a TV drama about a fictional president of the United States and his staff, took on Puerto Rico’s status in a 2012 episode called “Galileo.” In this episode, the Citizen’s Stamp…puertoricoreport.comFeb 18, 2020
  20. Puerto Rico Report@PRicoReportPuerto Rico statehood is an issue for all Americans.  An Issue for All Americans – Puerto Rico ReportOnly residents of Puerto Rico were eligible to vote in the November 2012 referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status. Only residents of Puerto Rico will vote in the next — the first federally funded…puertoricoreport.comFeb 18, 2020

Load more TweetsEmbedView on Twitter

Puerto Rico Report

Lo ultimo en política de Puerto Rico/USA

Para trabajar por la Estadidad:

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Para trabajar por la Estadidad:
Para trabajar por la Estadidad: