Rep. Méndez meets with leader of pro-statehood group on strategies
By John McPhaul
The New Progressive Party (NPP) minority leader in the House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Núñez, and the executive director of the pro-statehood organization Statehood Ideological Rebirth (RIE by its Spanish initials), José Giovanny Ojeda, held a meeting Wednesday to establish strategies in favor of achieving the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the union.
“The guiding principle of the NPP is statehood, it is to achieve equal rights for American citizens in Puerto Rico. We have worked for it, using multiple platforms for the same purpose,” Méndez Núñez said. “That is why we are holding a frank dialogue with the various organizations that promote the admission of the island [as a state]. Entities such as RIE, whose members have always been active in favor of statehood, are vital for the efforts we are making to achieve the desire of all.”
In the meeting, which lasted an hour, the former House speaker discussed a range of issues such as the recently announced draft status bill, which establishes a binding status consultation between statehood, independence and sovereignty with free association.
“We are going to continue our conversation with various people and groups that advocate for statehood because at the end of the day we are all statehooders and we all seek the admission of Puerto Rico as a state of the union,” the NPP vice president added. “I thank the members of RIE for their work and I anticipate that we will be holding activities together.”
In mid-May, at a press conference held in Congress, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón (R-P.R.), the U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), among others, announced an agreement to submit legislation in the lower chamber in order to establish a congressionally binding status consultation.