- Slides: 36
Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans Edwin Meléndez, Ph. D. Professor of Urban Planning Hunter College, CUNY
Agenda n Introduction n Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis n Puerto Rican Millennial Migration n The New Nomads n Puerto Rican Resiliency n Diaspora Awakening n Final Thoughts and Conclusions
Brief Summary of Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis n The economic and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico has led to a humanitarian crisis. n There are two major dimensions to the humanitarian crisis: n n The significant deterioration of key social indicators such as employment, earnings, poverty and dependency on transfers. Migration to the United States as economic displacement and working families’ resiliency. è An unprecedented migratory wave from PR to the US of over 400, 000 people over the last decade. n Unfortunately, we are not near the bottom yet!
Brief Summary of Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis n Puerto Rico’s economy entered into a recession earlier than the U. S. , and factors other than the global financial crisis are at play. n At least three major structural factors triggered the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico: The decline in manufacturing jobs induced by the elimination of Section 936 federal tax credits, n The crisis in public finances and the rise of public debt, and n Congressional and presidential neglect to enact effective territorial policies. n
Brief Summary of Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis n 1917 the Jones Act conferred American citizenship to Puerto Ricans. And, also established triple tax exempt bonds. n 1976 Section 936 exempts mainland companies from Federal taxes on income earned in Puerto Rico. n 1984 Congress eliminated bankruptcy as an option for Puerto Rico. n 1995 Congress approved a 10 -year phase-out of Sec. 936 tax credit. n 2006 economic recession begins.
Puerto Rico’s Growth Before and After Repeal of Section 936
Change in Public Debt by Governors and Sector (millions) Source: Puerto Rican Planning Board, Economic Report to the Governor, various years.
A Humanitarian Crisis, Not Just an Economic and Fiscal Crisis n More than 46 percent of the Commonwealth’s residents live in poverty – the highest poverty rate of any state or territory. n At 11. 4%, unemployment rate in Puerto Rico is three times the national average. n Median household income in Puerto Rico is $19, 518, approximately one-third of the U. S. median. n Over $40 billion government obligations to pension funds, already sold assets and depleted reserves.
Congressional and Presidential Action In 2016 Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, better known as PROMESA, is enacted. è Established an Oversight Board. è Empowered to audit and restructure the debt. è Development of a long term fiscal plan. è Approve balanced budgets. è Legal powers supersede local laws. è Oversees contracts of $100, 000 or more.
Congressional and Presidential Action PROMESA establishes a Congressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico to examine: è How Federal laws and programs, including tax exemptions, affect economic growth. è Equitable access to Federal health care programs. è Energy and infrastructure revitalization. è Public pension systems. A final report with recommendations to Congress is due by December 31, 2016.
The Millennium Migration and internal mobility have realigned the stateside Puerto Rican community. They confront several new and different scenarios: First, the stateside population has grown fast over the last decade. n Second, Florida, especially Central Florida, has emerged as a new enclave with a high concentration of the population. n Third, there is greater dispersion across the U. S. n
United States population 2013 and 2014 * not including Puerto Rican ** includes only the Puerto Rican population on the island, excludes non-Puerto Rican foreign born. Source: US Census Bureau, 2013 and 2014 American Community Survey, 1 -Year estimates
Net Migration Sources: Puerto Rico Department of Health and US Census Bureau Population Estimates; US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 1 -Year estimates, various years; and, U. S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, various years.
Why do Island-Born Puerto Ricans Move Stateside? For Jobs! Sources: Puerto Rico Planning Board, Encuesta del Viajero, 2010 -11, 2011 -12.
Puerto Rican Population in Puerto Rico and the United States Source: US Census Bureau, ACS 2000 -2011 (1 -year estimates) and 2010 Intercensal Estimates
Largest Migration Flows To and From Puerto Rico, 2006 -2014 Source: U. S. Census Bureau, ACS 2000 -2014 (1 -year estimates).
Puerto Rican Population by State Source: U. S. Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census and American Community Survey, various years.
Interstate Mobility Rates for Puerto Ricans and Other Groups (%) 5 4 3. 5 PR 3 Dom nhwhite 2. 5 nhblack other latinos 2 any latinos All USA 1. 5 1 0. 5 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Source: U. S. Census Bureau, ACS 1 -year estimates 2006 -2013
Migration Flows Between “New Enclaves” Source: U. S. Census Bureau, ACS 1 -year estimates 2006 -2013
Migration Flows Between “Old Enclaves” Source: U. S. Census Bureau, ACS 1 -year estimates 2006 -2013
Puerto Rican Resiliency in the Midst of the Great Recession n n Migration and inter-state mobility is best understood as a response to the economic crisis in the U. S. and Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans’ resiliency in the midst of declining opportunity is demonstrated by: Øseeking jobs wherever these are available; Øtraining to improve skills and employability; Øchanging careers and occupations; and, Ødeploying more strategies for improving competitiveness in the job market.
Challenges and Opportunities for the Diaspora n The population loss that has affected Puerto Rico adversely has brought a revival of stateside communities and a new set of challenges. n Population growth and dispersion have created an opportunity for a more robust national footprint for political empowerment and economic opportunity. 24
Diaspora Solidarity Movement n There are over 200 stateside community and civic organizations with a “Puerto Rico” and/or “Puerto Rican mission. n There are over 100 stateside “Latino” organizations serving Puerto Ricans. n There are close to 150 state and local Puerto Rican elected officials. How do we create an effective action network, a more unified voice for Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans?
Diaspora Solidarity Movement Stateside Puerto Ricans and others : Ø Are using their political power to call upon Congress and the President to take action on PR’s economic and fiscal crisis; Ø Could use their purchasing power to support Puerto Rico’s economic revitalization; and, Ø Could use their cultural capital to strengthen the connections to Puerto Rico.
Diaspora Solidarity Movement n Only 52% of eligible Stateside Puerto Ricans vote in US presidential elections. n Stateside Puerto Ricans are now in a position to articulate a national response to how Congress makes decisions regarding Puerto Rico. n “Por Puerto Rico” is a slogan that can help us improve the 52% voting rate. 27
Puerto Rican Purchasing Power, in billions, 2014 [CATEGORY NAME], [VALUE]
Diaspora Solidarity Movement n October 13 -14, 2015 Orlando, Florida n November 4 -7, 2015 Somos el Futuro, San Juan PR n November 5, 2015 Somos Conference participants joined Todos Unidos por la Salud rally, San Juan, PR n December 2 Day of Action at the Capitol n Over 1, 000 from 7 states visited 40 members of Congress or called many others.
Diaspora Solidarity Movement Coalition Building è Hispanic Federation and Puerto Rican Day Parade è National Puerto Rican Agenda (10 states) è Caucus of Puerto Rican Elected Officials è Vamos por Puerto Rico (PR/NY) è Old Regional: PR Agenda (IL) è New Regional: PA 4 PR, Iniciativa Boricua (FL), Alianza por Puerto Rico (MA)
http: //centropr. hunter. cuny. edu/pr_summit/conference-videos
Diaspora Solidarity Movement Centro’s Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican Conference, April 22 -23, 2016, NYC n Over 600 attendees, over 80 organizations n Live Streaming Total Views: Friday 845, Saturday 335 n Action Fair: 26 organizations, 376 visitors, 124 staff n Open House at the Centro Library and Archives: 200 visitors, 40 new volunteers n Tweeter profiles went from 15, 854 to 86, 554 n Wide press coverage
Diaspora Solidarity Movement n Voter registration campaigns in FL, PA, OH/IL n Centro’s Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican Conferences n #LGBTRicans! June 11, 2016 n New England (September 17 th) n Parades and Festivals (December 3) n Florida (TBA) n Youth (TBA, regional) n Diaspora Summit II, April 2017
Diaspora Solidarity Movement Centro’s Round Table on Puerto Rico will monitor and report on: èCongressional Task Force on Economic Growth in Puerto Rico Ø Sustainable long-term economic growth Ø Energy and Infrastructure Revitalization èPROMESA Ø Appointments to the Oversight Board, ED Ø Debt Restructuring, Austerity
Conclusions n The economic and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico affects the diaspora in significant ways. ØIt has brought a revival of stateside communities and a new set of challenges. ØCreated an opportunity for political empowerment and economic progress. ØFostered ties between Puerto Rico and the Diaspora to find solutions to all 8. 6 million Puerto Ricans.
Final Thoughts n We must recognize the gravity of the state of Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal situation and call for action in support of the economic recovery of Puerto Rico. n The crisis in Puerto Rico is transforming stateside Puerto Rican communities n The Diaspora is and will be playing a key role in the future of Puerto Rico… Time for action!