April Meeting Minutes: Economic and Political Root Causes of Puerto Rican Debt Crisis

Roberto Clemente Community Academy opened its doors to the Puerto Rican Agenda on Saturday, April 2, 2016 for its monthly meeting to continue the dialogue from the successful Community Forum at ASPIRA High School last month on the Puerto Rican debt crisis, the campaign to free Oscar Lopez Rivera, and the formation of the National Puerto Rican Agenda Although a spring snow storm was in full effect, the spirited discussion evoked the heat and humidity of our beloved “isla del encanto.” Dr. William F. Santiago-Valles, Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Director of the Race and Ethnic Relations Institute at Western Michigan University, provided valuable insight on the economic and political root causes of the debt crisis while building upon his last presentation for Agenda members during the September meeting.

Additionally, Edwin Rios, hotel and entertainment entrepreneur and former owner of Rumba provided an overview of “Radio Rumba,” a new entertainment experience planned for Paseo Boricua. The Caribbean inspired supper club will feature weekly Latin American headliners for this mid-size venue. The entertainment complex will fill a void in the community for a live entertainment experience in an upscale venue paying homage to the unmatched talent of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lastly, Agenda members made commitments to attend and/or support plans for the upcoming Puerto Rico/Puerto Rican Diaspora Summit convened the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College on April 22-23, 2016 in New York City. Aside from scholarly presentations, Puerto Rican elected officials and community leaders will meet and advance plans to establish an Association of Puerto Rican Elected Officials and a National Puerto Rican Agenda.

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