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Puerto Rico Herald

Council for Puerto Rico Statehood Elects Antonio Monroig as New Chairman

June 10, 2004
Copyright © 2004 Puerto Rico Herald. All rights reserved. 

Puerto Rico Herald, June 10, 2004, Washington, DC -- The U.S. Council for Puerto Rico Statehood (USCPRS) announced on Wednesday the election of Antonio Monroig Malatrasi as the new chairman of their Board of Directors. Mr. Monroig, a partner in the law firm of Lasa, Monroig and Veve, replaces Dr. Hernan Padilla, who had served as Chairman since the Council’s inception in 1998. Mr. Padilla, who has relocated to Florida, will continue serving as a member of the board.

Mr. Monroig, a former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a past President of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly, has a long history of involvement in Puerto Rico public affairs and statehood politics.

The U.S. Council for Puerto Rico Statehood is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of all Americans about Puerto Rico and its current political status as a territory of the United States and to the promotion of the choice of statehood for a permanent status.

At a meeting with press on Wednesday, members of the Board expressed the opinion that the current attention given to Hispanics in the U.S. political arena and the increase in the American Hispanic population and their resulting potential political power will help the Council’s efforts by drawing more attention to all Latin-related issues.

As Chairman of the Council, Monroig said he has set a primary objective of increasing membership of the Council, which now includes members from 35 states and Puerto Rico. Other objectives include increasing their outreach to the U.S. political parties and the members of Congress and pursuing an educational program to all Americans.

As a significant element in the Council’s promotion of statehood for Puerto Rico, Monroig plans to focus on obtaining a vote for U.S President for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico, who are not currently allowed to vote in presidential elections. He observed that "there are only two ways to obtain the presidential vote — statehood or a constitutional amendment, as in the case of the District of Columbia."

When asked if the Council favors any political parties in Puerto Rico or the United States, Monroig responded that their focus is on educational and promotion activities in the United States and therefore they do not get involved in politics in Puerto Rico. Regarding U.S. politics, he pointed out that their Board of Directors is composed of members of both U.S. political parties.

In addition to Mr. Monroig’s election as Chairman, two new members were elected to the USCPRS Board — Michael A. Krull of Reston, Virginia, and Justin O’Brien, of Washington, DC. Mr. Krull is Managing Director of the Washington Office of Gordon C. James Public Relations. Mr. O’Brien is a municipal affairs consultant in Washington, DC.

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