The Austin-San Juan Strategy


On May 19, 2018 I sent this to many Puerto Rico and Texas-based politicians.

It is my opinion that Puerto Rico would offer Puerto Ricans a better quality of life by transitioning from a Commonwealth to a State. I am declaring that opinion up front, because I believe that Puerto Rican statehood could change American politics and the lives of millions of people in a positive way.

The idea I’m putting forth addresses a few major issues at hand, the American government is incredibly confusing and complicated. In 2017, 97.7% of Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood in a referendum that had a historically low turnout of only 23%. There’s nothing more American than a low voter turnout, so good job Puerto Rico!

Admittedly, the incompetence of bureaucracy and the stigma that bigots and far-right news outlets will attach to Puerto Rico, islands, and “asking for statehood” will serve as massive road blocks on a public relations and perception basis. In the 21stcentury of politics, perception is unbelievably important, but unfortunately you can no longer fake perception because through the internet and time everyone is found out. This leaves Puerto Rico with one option, come up with a really good plan to achieve statehood.

This is my really good plan to help Puerto Rico achieve statehood, grow its economy, and fix its infrastructure; I call it:

 “The Austin San Juan Strategy.”

Unfortunately enough it is 2018, Donald Trump is the President and a special breed of especially slimy Republicans control the American government. Upcoming elections show that hope is around the corner, only if people decide to vote. Malcolm Gladwell released the third season of his podcast “Revisionist History” in May 2018, in which he spoke about strange laws and the way in which they are written, more specifically he focused in on Texas.

Texas, as it turns out, has the legal ability to break off into as many as five states. According to the Smithsonian Magazine:

“Article IV, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress must approve any new states. But Texas’ claim to an exception comes straight from the 1845 joint congressional resolution admitting Texas into the Union. It reads: “New States of convenient size not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas and having sufficient population, may, hereafter by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution.”

It is my opinion, based on nothing other than common sense that the American Bureaucracy would be more open to Puerto Rican statehood, if it was tied to major legislation involving the division of Texas. It is also my opinion that both fronts are fighting for a larger voice in their political system, better infrastructure, and quality of life; but alone are too weak gain national attention, but together could gain the interest of the rest of the country.

That being said, benefits could also involve a favorable relationship between Texan and Puerto Rican companies involving infrastructure, creating jobs, and generating revenue. 

It is also my opinion that this idea will receive push back, Texas rather than dividing into 5 states should divide into 4 – leaving the door open to discuss Puerto Rico as the 54th State of the American Union.

The simple arguments for Puerto Rican statehood are there, more people live in Puerto Rico than 21 states in the Union, Puerto Rico is closer to DC than Yellowstone National Park, and Puerto Rico needs to be fairly represented in the American Government. In what common sense argument does it make sense for a country to exist with a struggling commonwealth, under which circumstance neither Puerto Rico nor the American government necessarily benefits.

This idea would include agreements in business, political, and influential spheres. Proven backing and foot work towards improvement for both the American government and Puerto Rico. I refuse to write dishonestly, racism, greed, and political division will be the most exhausting obstacles in this challenge. A divided Texas seems radical, but could offer opportunity for expansion in Middle America, we’ve seen Austin and Houston grow – to perhaps challenge cities like Chicago. Having a separate State government develop laws for the massive populations and territories in Texas could truly change the fabric of American society.

Statehood is important, it’s the reason Houston was flooded in 2017 and was up and running soon after with billions invested in flood prevention, but Puerto Rico’s power grid never fully recovered from a devastating hurricane season.

Texas and Puerto Rico could work together in a joint campaign to forever change the United States of America. It will take work, branding, messaging, intelligence, networking, and planning, but I felt it was important to introduce this idea.

In short, the Austin-San Juan Strategy is a proposed idea to connect Puerto Rican and Texan government officials, business owners, and influential figures in an attempt to work towards a common goal of fair representation within the American Government.

-  Jason Peters