Washington – The Equality Commission this week rendered its annual report to the Legislature of Puerto Rico – written in English -, in which the presentation of two pro-statehood bills stand out as victories.  "Our work has resulted in many victories," indicates the report of the five members of the Equality Commission, created by the government of Puerto Rico and chaired by former Governor Carlos Romero Barceló.
The projects of the Democrats José Serrano (New York) and Darren Soto (Florida) have not been discussed at a public hearing yet, and it is known that they will not advance in the Lower House Natural Resources Committee.
The report indicates that the Equality Commission has been able to strengthen ties with "key allies" and obtained bipartisan support for the bills.
Congressman Soto's bill, which encourages turning Puerto Rico into a state in a matter of 90 days, has 21 co-sponsors. Five, five of them Republicans.
The legislation of Serrano and González – which seeks to first convert Puerto Rico into an incorporated territory – is co-sponsored by 58 other congressmen. In total, 18 are Republicans.
“It is undeniable that defining and resolving the political status of Puerto Rico is discussed at the highest levels of government and in the media. Equal treatment status cannot depend on where you reside in the United States, "the report adds.
The Equality Commission considers its efforts in Washington D.C. “They have helped give voice to millions of people who are treated differently because they reside in Puerto Rico.”
The other four members of the commission are: former Governor Luis Fortuño; former President of the Senate and President of the US Democratic Party in Puerto Rico, Charlie Rodríguez; attorney Zoraida Fonalledas, delegate to the United States Republican Party; and attorney Luis Berríos Amadeo.
At a time when both President Donald Trump and the Republican majority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), have flatly rejected statehood for Puerto Rico or Washington DC, the government of Puerto Rico has called for a statehood yes or no referendum on November 3.
Last week, the full House of Representatives of the United States approved a bill that would convert much of the area of Washington DC in state 51. But, the measure has no republican support and will not advance in the US Senate.
On Wednesday, the pre-candidate for the New Progressive Party (PNP) to the governor Pedro Pierluisi, a former resident commissioner in Washington, proposed call a special election in 2021, if the government and statehood wins the referendum, to be able to elect four 'shadow congressmen' and two 'shadow senators'.
The five members of the current Equality Commission They were appointed by ex-Governor Ricardo Rosselló. The agency has two vacancies, following the resignations of former Governor Pedro Rosselló and Republican activist Alfonso Aguilar.