Melissa Speaks at the Inauguration of Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto of San Juan

Yesterday, Melissa was honored to speak at the inauguration ceremony for Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, the newly elected mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For so long we have watched and hoped for a moment like the one in which we find ourselves right now. A moment that is truly a transformative one for Puerto Rico and all its people. The people are demanding that their government represent the needs of the majority and not that of a small sector of interests. Some people have compared this moment in Puerto Rico to the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement, which literally helped reshape and reframe the public discourse around income inequality and government representation…

Her message has been simple but powerful: “Un San Juan Para Todos” (“A San Juan for All”). Her inclusive vision for the future of San Juan extends to all – old and young, women and men, poor and wealthy, members of the LGBT community, immigrants… everyone. Even those that did not vote for her. Those who historically have not had a voice in our society are included to bring forth a new future for San Juan, together with our inspiring mayor.

All this means that new ways of doing business must be put in place. I am proud to say that Mayor Carmen Yulín – who I consider a sister in struggle – has committed to engaging in a participatory budgeting process here in San Juan, a way to turn the power over to the people and their communities to decide how to spend public dollars. I was among the first Council Members to engage in this process in New York, which is only the second city to do so in the U.S. It was an honor for me to invite Carmen Yulín to City Hall to discuss this initiative with her, and I look forward to seeing it happen here in San Juan.

To watch Melissa’s speech, commence at the 38:30 mark:

For the full transcript, in English & Spanish, click here.

2 thoughts on “Melissa Speaks at the Inauguration of Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto of San Juan

  1. Heard your speech in San Juan. Would like to talk to you about a special project that involve youth from public housing Lloren Torres which seeks to engage the youth in affirmative activities preventing their involvement in drugs /gun violence. The prolifration of youth gangs over control of drug corners, located in PR publc housing projects have fuel the public’s fear and magnified possible misconception about public housing residents. A young director from the project wrote this play at the age of 17- and residents are the actors of this powerful anti drug/violence message. In Llorren, the largest housing project in the metro area with 2,570 units has a high level of rival traffickers, feud over turf. The group of 40(11 to 30 + yrs. old) involved in the theatrical production wants to produce a bilingual version of the play to take to NYC. There has been over 20 performances all over PR. With this play , the public (PR & NYC) gains a new appreciation for the value and the power of reflection, introspection and how the youth from the projects uses theatre as a weapon for their own human growth and development.(POR AMOR EN EL CASERIO por Antonio Morales) . Please contact me or Antonio Morales, the Director ,at (dramatory@gmail) to help us develop the strategy to get the group to perform in NYC. This group visit /performing in NYC may be one way of constructing ties between El Barrio and us. Thank you for reading this long message.

  2. Pingback: Join Us for the Second Annual Participatory Budgeting Celebration, with Special Guest San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto | Melissa Mark-Viverito

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