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Puerto Rico’s Crisis at the Center of the May 12 Diaspora Summit

Centro Staff

When it comes to the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, there is typically a deadline to be mindful of. May 1st is of course the next important date on the calendar. That’s when the moratorium on Puerto Rico’s debt is set to expire. Afterwards, there are many possible outcomes, but as has been the case, the crisis in Puerto Rico is ongoing and encompasses a host of different issues.

In response to the wide-ranging nature of these issues currently affecting Puerto Rico (and by implication, stateside Puerto Ricans) and the urgency of this upcoming deadline, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies will be hosting its Second Diaspora Summit in New York City at the Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem. It will be a two-day conference beginning on May 12th (click here for more information and to RSVP).

As a follow-up to last year’s successful event, the Puerto Rican community will have another opportunity to come together and learn more about the crisis on the island. Panel discussions will provide insight on the role of the Oversight Board, as well as an overview of the fiscal crisis and the debt restructuring process. The program also includes panel discussions on Economic Development and Business Associations.

The Centro Roundtable, a group that was created in September of last year with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of PROMESA and its impact on Puerto Rico, was one of the recommendations from the Diaspora Summit in April of 2016. As part of their work, the Roundtable spearheaded the creation of Puerto Rico News, a comprehensive source of information on Puerto Rico that collects information about news articles, relevant documents, and other content related to the economic, fiscal, and humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. Centro staff and roundtable members also contribute news analysis and policy briefs regularly (To learn more, click here). 

This initiative is important because it informs stateside Puerto Ricans about the events that are happening in Puerto Rico. Last year, Centro had a successful Diaspora Summit I that showed the necessity and the hunger that stateside Puerto Ricans have when it comes to knowing what is happening in Puerto Rico. With the approval of the PROMESA act, the interest has increased even more and stateside Puerto Ricans want to know what the Fiscal Oversight Board is doing, how the debt restructuring is going, the implications of this on the political status debate, and how these policies are affecting our families in Puerto Rico.

It is important for stateside Puerto Ricans to stay informed about what is happening in Puerto Rico. Stateside Puerto Ricans are the ones with the right to vote for the President and Congressional officials. Currently, we are the majority with more than 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the mainland; it is our responsibility to learn about the issues and act.