Hon. Charlie Rodriguez

A Short Biography

From the Office of Charlie Rodriguez
Translated, with permission

Charlie Rodriguez, Puerto Rico Senate President, was born in New York on August 26, 1954, son of Eduardo Rodriguez and Nilda ColŪn. He was brought to Puerto Rico when he was six years old where he began elementary school at "Colegio Bautista in Carolina". 

From a young age he was interested in letting people know about injustice, which induced him to become actively involved in politics. When he was 14 years old he became President of the New Progressive Party Youth in Carolina, and in 1979 he was elected National President of the New Progressive Party Youth.

He obtained his Bachelors degree in Government and History from Cornell University in 1973 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico Law School in 1983. Rodriguez has always been an advert advocate of equal rights for Puerto Ricans before the Government of the United States, nation of which we are a part of.

He was elected in 1980 to the Puerto Rico Legislature as an at-large state representative where he acquired a vast legislative experience. In the House of Representatives, where he served until 1988, he presided the Youth Commission and was ranking member of the NPP in the Committees for the Treasury ("Hacienda") and the Committee for the Investigation of Government Corruption.

In the 1988 elections, he was a candidate for Mayor for the city of Carolina after having been an assemblyman for that same city in 1979. During the four year term 1989 - 1992 he dedicated his time to his private law practice.

Rodriguez also served as Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Party in Puerto Rico, and was elected as delegate for the Democratic National Conventions in 1980, 1984, 1992 and 1996.

In 1992 he decided to return to the Legislature, but this time as a senator. After being elected, his fellow senators chose him as Majority Leader for the New Progressive Party. During that term he was responsible for working with important legislation that helped in setting the foundation for Pedro Rossello's governmental reforms.

From the Senate, and with the intent of contributing to the quality of life in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez took on the task of creating the Puerto Rican Congress on Television Violence ("Congreso PuertorriqueŅo Sobre la Violencia en la TelevisiŪn"). This initiative set the foundation for a process of self-regulation for television stations with the intent of limiting access to that type of programming by children and teenagers.

Rodriguez' legislative efforts have truly been numerous and varied. For example, the "Monumento de la RecordaciŪn a Soldados CaĢdos en AcciŪn" (Monument for Remembrance of fallen Soldiers) on the south side of the Capitol Building. He also helped in passing legislation to increase the sentences for violent crimes as well as helping to strengthen the positive values of our society by declaring the 1st of September as "Bible Day".

Other important legislation he has sponsored established the compulsory public liability insurance for motor vehicles, the project for tax incentives for artists and a law that establishes a cap of $60,000 for the sale of low-income housing.

As a member of the Council of State Government (CSG) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Rodriguez has actively participated to establish public policy at the federal level.

In 1995 Rodriguez was re-nominated for a second term in the Senate where he obtained the majority of votes during the NPP primary and was re-elected to his senate seat in the general election of November 1997. In January 1997 he was elected President of the Senate by his peers. He effectively continues in that post to the present day.

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