TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced 29 appointments to the New Jersey Puerto Rico Commission. The Commission, which was established under legislation signed into law by Governor Murphy in January 2020, will build upon the Administration’s efforts to promote interconnectivity between Puerto Ricans living in New Jersey and on the island. The Commission’s work will include supporting ongoing recovery efforts, exploring economic development opportunities, and promoting educational and cultural exchange between New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Senate President Steve Sweeney has appointed Senators Nellie Pou and Declan O’Scanlon to the Commission and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has appointed Assemblywomen Yvonne Lopez and Nancy Munoz.
“Many Puerto Ricans live in New Jersey and their contributions to the fabric of our state have been immense,” said Governor Murphy. “We have a longstanding friendship with the government of Puerto Rico and the people of Puerto Rico and this Commission will serve to bring that relationship to even greater heights. We could not have better leaders than Peggy and Jose to lead this effort.”
“I want to thank the Governor and the legislators for creating this great commission that recognizes the over 500,000 Puerto Rican Americans of this state, which is the third largest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States,” said Co-Chair Peggy Anastos. “Governor Murphy, many thanks for giving me this opportunity to be co-chair of this commission. I truly appreciate your trust in my ability to make a difference. I feel honored and extremely lucky that I have, not only served as an advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico in the 90’s, but that I remain very active in my community, NJ and Puerto Rico for the last 25 years. Special thanks to Senator Pou, Senator Ruiz, Senator Cruz Perez, Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, Assemblywoman Quijano, Assemblywoman Chaparro, and Assemblywoman Pintor-Marin.”
“I am proud to have been asked to co-chair the New Jersey Puerto Rico Commission by Governor Murphy,” said Co-Chair Jose Lozano. “With many Puerto Ricans living in and having connections to our state, maintaining and improving our ties with Puerto Rico has never been more important. In addition to the all-important effort of helping the island of Puerto Rico in its continuing recovery from Hurricane Maria, this Commission will serve to promote cultural exchange and economic development with Puerto Rico and its people. I look forward to starting our work, with Peggy and all of the members of the Commission.”
The New Jersey Puerto Rico Commission was established under A4188, which was signed into law by Governor Murphy on January 9, 2020. Established in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which took a devastating toll on the island of Puerto Rico, the Commission will serve to maintain and improve ties with the government and people of Puerto Rico.
New Jersey has a population of over 500,000 persons of Puerto Rican descent, and it is estimated that 30,000 Puerto Ricans came to New Jersey after being displaced by Hurricane Maria. Through this Commission, the State will contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic recovery and continue the State’s significant relationship with the island. The Commission will advance bilateral trade and investment, work on joint policy issues, encourage New Jersey companies to invest in Puerto Rico, among many other initiatives. Peggy Anastos and Jose Lozano will serve as Co-Chairs of the Commission.
The Commission will report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within one year of its initial organizational meeting and by February 1st of each succeeding year for the activities of the preceding calendar year.