Posts Tagged ‘latinos’

Boston City Councillor Felix Arroyo

April 28, 2011

Dear Chair Laferriere,

I want to thank you and all of the members of the committee and the Neighborhood Council for your dedication to our community. As a former member of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, I know firsthand the many hours each of you devote to improving our neighborhood. Your service is greatly appreciated.

News of Whole Foods Market moving into the Hyde Square section of Jamaica Plain has caused much discussion and debate in our neighborhood. The views range from complete support to complete opposition to everywhere in between.

We must recognize that the arrival of Whole Foods Market brings some immediate positive impacts to the neighborhood including jobs, a larger variety of organic and natural foods, and for property owners, a quick increase in property value.

However, along with these benefits come some concerns that need to be addressed. The same increase in property value can potentially lead to the rapid displacement of low and moderate income renters in the neighborhood. Many of these residents have worked hard to make Jamaica Plain the attractive and desirable neighborhood we are proud to call home. There are also concerns about local employment, the potential parking and traffic congestion, the impact on neighboring small businesses, opportunities for area youth, and preservation of the culture and identity of the community.

After many hours of reflection and conversations with my Jamaica Plain neighbors, I have come to the conclusion that there is an opportunity to take Whole Foods Market up on their offer to be a good community partner. The following are a few ideas, but in the end, I believe this should be an inclusive community-led effort in concert with Whole Foods Market.

  1. Local Hiring — Whole Foods Market has stated there will be 100 jobs at the Whole Foods Market in Hyde Square. Of the 100 jobs, they stated to me that 75 are entry level positions. Whole Foods could commit to hiring a significant percentage of local residents for all 100 jobs. By hiring locally, our community can benefit from the new jobs in our neighborhood.
  2. Parking/Traffic — Whole Foods Market in Hyde Square will attract hundreds of customers that do not normally drive through Jamaica Plain. This will undoubtedly create parking and traffic issues. If Whole Foods hires locally, they can also ensure that their workforce walk, bike or take public transit to work. Also, Whole Foods Market could play a role in solving traffic and parking concerns in the neighborhood.
  3. Neighboring Small Businesses — There are numerous small and locally owned businesses in Hyde Square. By partnering with neighborhood businesses, Whole Foods Market can help ensure that these businesses benefit from their arrival.
  4. The Latin Quarter — Whole Foods Market has stated that every store is reflective of the neighborhood in which they do business. They are planning to move into an area commonly referred to as Boston’s Latin Quarter. Whole Foods Market can best reflect the Latin Quarter by offering traditional Latin foods and by helping to promote the many cultures that help make up Boston’s Latin Quarter.

Whole Foods Market has expressed willingness to financially support local efforts in the communities they enter. I laud this position. I would urge Whole Foods Market to support two very important causes in our community.

  1. Affordable Housing — There are great organizations in Jamaica Plain that work to create and preserve affordable housing. Whole Foods Market could partner with them to help ensure that Jamaica Plain remain the economically diverse community we all love.
  2. Youth Development and Training — Whole Foods Market has shown willingness in word and in action to support youth development and training in our community. I am grateful for that support. Whole Foods Market can continue and explain its support of youth development and training in Jamaica Plain.

Our community is home to many residents and organizations that have dedicated themselves to making Jamaica Plain the great community it is today. It is my hope that Jamaica Plain residents, community based organizations, and Whole Foods Market will agree to come together to ensure that all of Jamaica Plain benefits from a Whole Foods Market in Hyde Square.


Felix G. Arroyo

Boston City Councilor At-Large

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Here is what the pro-statehood Center for Puerto Rico Equality and Advancement (CPREA) had to say about President Obama’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status report.

As the Report of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status makes clear once again, democracy at the national government level and full equality under the American flag is only achievable through statehood. Polls in Puerto Rico have shown pretty consistent growth in support for statehood. The 2008 elections gave Puerto Rico’s elected officials a mandate to enable a status choice that will lead to an end of the colonial status. It is time for that choice.

The Report of the President’s Task Force is detailed and comprehensive. It lays out many possible processes for resolving the question of the territory’s status. Most important, it should put an end to the debate about whether “Commonwealth” must be a territory status. The Obama Task Force agreed with past Federal administrations of both national political parties that under “Commonwealth” Puerto Rico remains subject to the broad authority of the Federal government—in which Puerto Rico has no votes—to govern unincorporated territories as it sees fit, limited only by the fundamental rights of individuals, and that Puerto Rico would remain subject to this authority under any “Commonwealth” arrangement.

The Popular Democratic Party’s dream of an “enhanced Commonwealth status,” one that would be permanent and end Federal territory governing authority is simply unachievable.

The leaders of the PPD need to decide if they want a Puerto Rico to continue as a territory without votes in its national government and equality for Puerto Ricans with other U.S. citizens or the territory should have the democracy, equality, and dignity that is only possible through nationhood or statehood – with statehood being the only status that offers this under the U.S. flag.

The Center for Puerto Rico Equality and Advancement (CPREA) calls upon the leaders of the PPD to accept the realities of the status options, stop trying to misinterpret the Report of the President’s Task Force to confuse people about its plain meaning, give up making impossible status proposals that delay resolution of the issue, and stop trying to impede the people of Puerto Rico from choosing their preference among possible statuses.

CPREA applauds the Task Force report for dissipating fears concerning Puerto Rico’s language and culture. As in other states of our union, Puerto Rico’s culture, language, and identity under statehood would be a part of the fabric that has made our Nation great. English would continue to play the same important role in Puerto Rico as it does today.

The Report of the Task Force should lead to a growth in the ranks of the statehood movement by burying myths about the status options as loyal American Puerto Ricans who have been misled by the PPD realize that the only way to obtain full democracy, equality, and security and, at the same time, to continue to enjoy our rich linguistic and cultural heritage is through statehood. This should lead to a majority of Puerto Ricans choosing statehood in a choice among real status options.

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In response to what appears to have been a very public airing of dirty laundry among major Latino social media organizations, Hispanicize also issued a statement to clarify their views about recent developments that led to accusations of unprofessional behavior.

We don’t have all the details and in fact, we don’t care why this occurred, but we do believe the following: ATTACKING AND ACCUSING among similar online groups serves no purpose. It creates an atmosphere of division, jealousy, anger, and frustration. Social media is not about competition and ego-blasting, it is about sharing, caring, supporting, mentoring, and humility. Those are the principles we should be sharing in all instances.

Here is their statement, which posted on their blog today:

Collaboration Will Foster Growth of Latino Social Media


It was a bizarre time for us at Hispanicize last week.  Barely days after our Hispanicize 2011 conference, certain people who we do not even know took to personally attacking us, falsely accusing us of having a secret partnership with folks from one social media organization, hating on our friends at BeingLatino and much worse.

Our policy is not to respond to unfounded accusations because we believe the body of our work over almost THREE YEARS speaks for itself: two leading online content platforms covering Latino social media (Hispanicize) and public relations (Hispanic PR Blog) as well as two highly acclaimed national conferences that have pioneered the Latino social media space.

Other organizations have clarified their position so our industry friends have recommended that we make our own clarifications:

Hispanicize will not condone, support or even retweet any public attacks against other organizations, individuals or companies.  A lot of Latino organizations and people get attacked online all the time but as a matter of principle we do not repost, rebroadcast or retweet anything about them because that’s the same as creating or supporting those things being published.  As an industry colleague wrote recently, shame on those who stir divisions.

Despite being a for-profit, Hispanicize we will not waver in our commitment to Latino bloggers and social media marketing professionals.  As our own conference modeled for the world recently, we will continue to build online and offline forums for collaboration and unity in this growing space and we will continue to provide these communities with countless free, professional development services because these tools are needed.  This belief is what compels us to produce the annual Hispanic Social Media Guide, the yearlong Latino Blogger Training Series and the Hispanic Social Media Insights Webinars series, among other things.

Hispanicize will continue to provide thought leadership content that helps propel ALL Latina and Latino bloggers forward regardless of whether they blog for personal, private or business gain.  We do this because we are passionately committed to helping ALL Latino bloggers – English and Spanish-language – succeed as citizen voices.

Despite being a for-profit, Hispanicize will also continue to provide the Latino community organizations with in-depth initiatives that serve and empower them.  Our national Latino Social Media For Social Good program, for example, provides unprecedented full day communications and social media training to non-profits serving Latino communities in eight major cities starting in June.  This major initiative is foundational to who we are and what we will continue to be.

Manny Ruiz

Hispanicize will not shy from our commitment to provide marketers with the facts and resources they need to make informed decisions about Latino social media.  We do not pretend for one second to have all the answers but we won’t allow that to stop us from examining the issues and trends that impact Latino social media.

The Latino social media space is maturing and will mature.  People have suggested that one party or another has preposteriously claimed they “own” this space.  I hadn’t heard that until recently but what’s interesting is that we have deliberately it seems to me that if our recent conference didn’t promote unity, collaboration and partnership in our community in the fullest way possible with many of the leading social media voices in attendance in one place at one time, nothing else can.

One last thought – Hispanicize is growing and evolving so don’t put us in a box.  We will continue to change and we will try new and innovative things.  Some will succeed and others won’t.  Hispanicize doesn’t have the corner on the best ideas by a long shot but we will put big ideas in motion and we will collaborate with many of you along the way.  In this long and ongoing process, we hope you will judge us by the fruit of our labor.

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There are times where pride and love overtake you.

When we are positive and caring, we all win. When we strive to take down and demean, we all lose.

Such is the case of the recent blog post published by the fabulous Ana RC of Latinos in Social Media. In an age where the Latino online world is growing a rate that outpaces other demographics, the race to be the BEST has clouded the intentions of many. Let’s take a moment to pause and realize that by uniting and supporting the works of many, WE WILL ALL WIN. We are proud to republishing Ana’s recent post: A CALL FOR LATINOS UNIDOS.


A Call for Latinos Unidos

by ANARC on APRIL 24, 2011

It’s been a tough week for LATISM. We’ve been accused of not knowing what a real blogger is, of reporting inaccurate numbers, of taking commission money from a company, of intentionally keeping silent in front of attacks and false associations for the sake of private gain, of receiving undeserved praises since we’re not really influencers after wall, of allowing illicit use of the LATISM brand, and on goes the list. To me the worst part is that some of our community members have been asked to chose alliance in the spirit of “with me or against me” old crap from the 50s like it used to happen with the mafias.

My initial reaction was to ignore everything. In the end, my style has always been “A palabras necias, oidos sordos” (help me translate that in English, but it’s the equivalent of ignoring provoking statements). However my LATISM compadres have demanded that I make an official statement with clarifications about the rumors. I still don’t think I need to since actions speak louder than words and everyone who counts in the Latino sphere knows about LATISM, who we are, what we do, what is our mission.

Ana Roca-Castro

I do feel the need to call for Latinos Unidos. Whenever we start these cheap fights in public it only damages our image as a community. There is nothing wrong with healthy competition. That was the main reason why many of us ended up in this country. For the freedom of expression and the opportunity to take a piece of the pie. However we kill our businesses and organizations with lies, accusations and fights. That is totally against entrepreneurism, against community building and against professionalism.

We’ve looked like a circus lately in some pretty important platforms.

The minute we learn to show a united front, we will empower our respective businesses, causes and ideas. This doesn’t mean that now everyone has to merge, hug and kiss. Not at all. This means that we must treat each other with respect and professionalism. That we must emphasize our strengths and unique differential advantage without the need to trash or spit someone else’s work.

I have received many calls from brands about this issue. My excuse tends to be that we are a young community, that the entrepreneurs at stake are young and just getting started in their business, that they are rushing to make things happen fast thus the reason to literally copy cat ideas, names and concepts, and so forth.

But, entre nosotros, se me cae la cara de verguenza. (between us, I’m totally embarrassed). I can’t understand how those who promote division and hatred can’t realize that they’re only hurting their own image and brand, certainly not the ones they are accusing.

You all know that I’m not a marketer. As a developer I’m not used to this type of fiercely, backhanded competition. The IT sector tends to be very black and white about business ethics. You never know when you will need a competitor to win a bid or to get a project so you try your best to build strategic alliances. The typical approach is “hoy por ti y manana por mi” (today for you and tomorrow for me). Quality is our way to stand out. Never backstabbing since that would totally remove us from a circle of trust. There are fights, yes, big ones. But they remain internal and they are only a strong sign of a desire to collaborate (if not we just ignore each other and move on). You can then imagine my asombro in front of this bochinche de patio. I’ve been told that this is normal in the marketing world. I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s a justification. I know many marketers who are super professional and talented in their work. Regardless of the industry, this is WRONG.

I beg everyone to make an effort to push for unity. Don’t say about your brother what you wouldn’t want to hear about yourself. And if someone comes to you with a bad rumor, please stop it right there. You don’t even know if the rumor has been motivated by a misunderstanding or by a hidden agenda. So why pass it around? Remember that what comes around goes around. Let’s BUILD a healthy Latino business spirit. Let’s BUILD a strong Latino industry of professionals that can make everyone proud. Let’s BUILD more businesses and welcome competition. Let’s BUILD more organizations and support one another. Let’s BUILD more partnerships. Let’s BUILD more alliances. Let’s BUILD AND NOT DESTROY.

I know it’s harder, I know it takes longer, I know it’s not as fun and spicy sometimes. But only by BUILDING a United Latino Front we can make a difference in this country. Take a look at the Jewish community. Why can’t we take their example? See how they support each other, defend their businesses and take pride in each other’s success. Maybe internally they kill each other, but for the world, they are ONE. Let’s build a collaborative approach. I have no doubt that we can make it happen. If our previous generation didn’t succeed in this, I know for sure that this digital generation can and will foster a smarter and more positive spirit.

For the record, LATISM is not affiliated with any for-profit organization. We are an independent 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organization. Which means, literally, we’re not in this environment to make profits.  Our mission is to help and empower our community. We do take sponsors, and the money goes directly to fund our initiatives such as giving scholarships, funding community projects and paying for the organization and administration of our conferences and Tweetups. Our board members are all volunteers who graciously give their time and efforts to make things happen for the benefit of all. In fact, many times, we put down our own money to finance projects. Why? Because we have all come to realize the power our community has and the amazing things we can do when we can channel its beautiful energy into projects that leave a positive, lasting mark in the community. We own the financial freedom to say no (which we have done many times) to any brand or organization that doesn’t value the basic human rights of our Latino community. We are very very selective with whom we partner. And I will make sure they’re all clearly listed on this page within the week. That way we avoid further confusions.

Case in point, and on a separate note, a big hug and huge thanks to each of the 7,200 blogueros and blogueras who have completed our Blogosphere survey. Our goal was to reach 5,000 and, as always, you have exceeded our expectations. The results will be amazing: showing the power and scope of our community, backing it up with TRUE NUMBERS can benefit all of us, regardless of the field we are in.

To give you a quick peek, when we asked the Latino influencers: “If you were the President what would be your #1 priority?” 73.7% has selected “Education” – followed by “Jobs” then “Health” and “Immigration” – the least popular was “Tax Cuts.”

It’s not too late to add your granito de arena and join this survey which will be The Largest Voice of Influential Latino(a)s. We have until May 10th to welcome new participants. So please join and apply for scholarships to the different social media conferences we have partnered with throughout the year.

Click Here To Take The Survey And Be Represented

I am particularly moved by those of you who are making donations to the scholarship funds. You are a real inspiration since I know many of you personally and I know that the donations you are making represent a sacrifice. This leads me to believe that, even if there will always be chismes and “growing pains” within our community, when we unite we can do beautiful things together. You are the reason why we keep going. You are the living example of the LATINOS UNIDOS! Thank You.

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Yes, being Latino in the US is hot. Smoking hot right now, so it is not surprising that major media outlets will capitalize on this momentous demographic shift in the US population.

Enter Telemundo, the second largest Spanish-language station in the US. Premiering this May 1 on mun2, Telemundo’s hip channel for the younger Latino crowd, RPM Miami, is being billed as the country’s first-ever bilingual series (not an accurate statement, which we will show later in this post). Unfortunately, just like the car chases that will dominate the series, the show’s premise is all speed and no substance.

And Telemundo will fail. We give the show maybe a few weeks before the channel pulls the plug on it.

Here are our reasons:

  • Once again, we see hot and sexy (and white) Latinos in a world of corruption, crime, and intrigue. Revenge is the theme. This plot plays like a bad Mexican B movie. As we battle stereotypes about Latinos, shame on Telemundo for perpetuating them.
  • Miami. Fact check: Latinos are everywhere. As one Facebook commentator said: “And why oh why does the setting have to be Miami? (not hating on the city. I love me some Miami) But it’s such a cliche; it’s as if Miami (hot, steamy, spicy Miami) — and parts of NYC/LA — are the only geographic areas acknowledged to have Latino populations. Newsflash: we’re everywhere!!!” We agree.
So, Telemundo, why? Why, when you had a golden opportunity to bring a truly ground-breaking bilingual show, you choose the same old tired formula? Sure, it’s probably because your demographic demands it and expects, but we think you have a responsibility to at least try more original programming that would actually appeal to a greater audience, instead of limiting it to your core base.
Which is why we think that PBS got it right with its new series, Black in Latin America, hosted by Harvard professor (and former Obama beer buddy) Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The series, which premiered this month, explores a topic that been ignored for centuries: the influence of the African diaspora during the era of the slave trade and how it has influenced Latin America. We applaud PBS for taking a gamble and hitting a blackjack. This four-episode series will quickly become MUST SEE TV for anyone interested in Latino issues. Here is a synopsis of the series:

Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided In the Dominican Republic, Professor Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of inter-marriage, and how the country’s troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification. In Haiti, Professor Gates tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves’s hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.

Cuba: The Next Revolution In Cuba Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

Brazil: A Racial Paradise? In Brazil, Professor Gates delves behind the façade of Carnival to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.

Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race In Mexico and Peru Professor Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people—the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States —brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.

So while stereotypical Latinos will be screeching their tires on the streets of Miami, our DVR will be cued up to Professor Gates’ series. That is our revenge.

PS to Telemundo: Your new show is not the first bilingual TV series. That honor goes to ¿Qué pasa, USA?, a sitcom that ran on PBS from 1977 to 1980. Yes, it was a show ahead of its time. Unlike Miami RPM.

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Yup, all you need is YouTube now. Grady Warren is bad for America. Simple as that. But you decide for yourself.

Who is Grady Warren?

According to his LinkedIn profile, Warren is a sporting goods professional from Jacksonville, Florida. He is the founder of Conservative Sportsmen, whose mission is as follows:

As conservative sportsmen and sportswomen we must come together to address the core issues that our nation is facing at this time and we must prepare to act or we shall be left with a country that none of us will recognize or will want to live in.

To engage in honest dialogue without the constraints of political correctness.

To educate our fellow countrymen about all candidates who are seeking election to public office thereby enabling them to cast their vote for candidates who share their conservative principles and values.

To save our republic from the insidious agenda of Liberal, Progressive, Socialist, or Communist organizations and individuals who are systematically pursuing the fundamental transformation and destruction of the constitutional form of government that was established by our founding fathers.

To protect our 2nd amendment right to bear arms for the purposes of hunting, sport shooting and fun shooting and the protection of our families.

We believe that…
We should respect and obey all fish and game laws.

The government has placed limits on coastal fishing that are inherently unfair and that these limits are based on unsubstantiated “scientific” data as evidenced by the recent closure of the red snapper fishery in Florida.

We should peacefully resist through civil disobedience, the governments intrusion into our right to our “pursuit of happiness” by hunting and fishing.

The government should not restrict our right to bear arms as guaranteed by the 2nd amendment of the constitution.

We believe that..
Illegal immigration must be stopped and that all individuals who have ignored our immigration laws while entering the United States must be returned to their country of origin and encouraged to re-enter the U.S. legally through the proper channels.

Children who are born in America of illegal alien parents should not be granted American citizenship and should return with their parents to their parents’ country of origin.

English should be chosen as the official language of the United States and that all signage, telephone prompts, etc. from the U.S. government should be in English only.

We believe that…
All social and racial groups of our country should refer to themselves only as Americans rather than a hyphenated American which separates our citizens and draws attention to our differences instead of our shared belief in the American dream.

Entitlement America should recognize that the Liberal, Progressive movement has created a massive government bureaucracy under the pretense of “compassion” that has destroyed their family structure and self esteem while robbing them of their ambition and relegated them to a life of poverty and degradation, thereby preventing them from pursuing the American dream for themselves and their families.

We believe that…
Justice should be swiftly served to those who commit violent crimes and that they should receive the same compassion and leniency that they extended to their victims.

Criminals convicted of rape and sexual assault should not be eligible for parole thereby preventing them from committing future crimes.

White collar criminals should receive more severe sentences.

Lobbyists who are found guilty of attempting to influence elected officials through bribery, must be sentenced to 10 years in prison without parole AND elected officials who are found guilty of receiving bribe money from lobbyists must be sentenced to 10 years without parole for breach of public trust.

We believe that…
Our government should strictly adhere to the constitution as it was written and intended by our founding fathers.

Our government should be forbidden from operating with an economic deficit and should be required to balance its budget every year.

Our government should not be allowed to borrow from itself.

All bills that are introduced in Congress must be devoid of ear marks, thus eliminating most pork barrel spending for special interest groups.

Our government should provide for the strongest military in the world for our defense.

Our government should provide and maintain the federal interstate highway system.

Our government should encourage and promote the growth of capitalism by eliminating most federal regulations and restrictions on businesses and replace all individual and corporate taxes with a 23% consumption tax (a.k.a. the Fair Tax) on all purchases.

We believe that…
Elected officials should not be allowed to give themselves a raise in salary, insurance coverage or special retirement benefits, unless voted on and approved by the American people.

We should hold our elected officials to a higher moral and ethical standard of behavior and their breach of public trust should be severely punished.

We should vote for and elect government officials who share our moral and ethical values and our desire for less government intrusion into all areas of our lives regardless of political party affiliation. This will result in greater individual freedom and responsibility for “We the People”.

Why is it acceptable for the government to take from a productive, hard-working American citizen and give to someone who will not work or may even be here illegally?

Why are illegal aliens granted more rights and privileges than American citizens?

Why do those in the U.S. military have to be drug-tested but not people who receive money from federal entitlement programs?

Why don’t we come together as Americans, not hyphenated Americans, and address the problems facing our nation.

Why is the government in bed with the country’s most powerful unions?

Why are we unwilling to profile potential terrorists?

Why are so many Americans afraid to hear the truth on most issues?

When is the American public going to say “Enough is enough”?

Good question, Mr. Warren. Enough IS enough.

PS: We did reach out to Warren tonight to request an interview. Wondering if we would actually talk to a Latino that speaks English and Spanish.

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The following column by Oscar Pintado Rodríguez was published in Spanish in the April 12 edition of El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest circulation newspaper. We have provided a translation into English. Pintado Rodríguez expresses the opinions of the island’s Alliance for Free Association (ALAS in Spanish) and how this non-political party will use the proposed upcoming status plebiscites to educate Puerto Rican voters about the option of free association, one of three options being recommended (independence and statehood are the other two) by the White House report.

The Alliance for Free Association (ALAS) announced that the upcoming consultations (referendums) are a good opportunity to educate people about the option of free association. We are a group of private citizens organized to educate others about this option of decolonization.That is why we do not have the weight that political parties carry in the electoral interests.

We believe that status must be keep out of the elections and the hands of political parties. Our participation is conditional and that the definition of free association is consistent with international law, the conditions of participation are equitable to the representatives of all the alternatives and that the definitions of the options are based on the reality of relations between Puerto Rico and the U.S..

This involves the inclusion of a provision of dual citizenship for Puerto Ricans. However, if the Popular Democratic Party (PPD) wants to defend this provision, I’m sure ALAS would not have qualms to disband and join the PDP.

However, since we are not a political party nor do we want to be, we can not be asked to think and act with electoral interests in mind. Consequently, our good friends from the Popular Party cannot pretend to grant ALAS responsibilities that show our allegiance to the PPD, or any other political party. The proposed referendum has to have options that are non-colonial and non-territorial. The colonial commonwealth will not be on the ballot. We have always claimed that we want to decolonize Puerto Rico. In fact, the Obama report recognizes the territorial nature of the current commonwealth.

However, trying to put it in as an option of decolonization is a clear violation of international law. If the definition of free association, as I said before, meets, according to ALAS, current standards of international law, we will represent, defend and spread our message to educate our people.

Puerto Ricans who believe in sovereignty should not miss this opportunity to place free association as a legitimate option for the future.

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