Pols talk of P.R., Tish seat on isle jaunt

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY JIL­LIAN JOR­GENSEN CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF

The polls closed and the pols headed south.

New York City’s elected of­fi­cials, con­sul­tants, lob­by­ists and politi­cos about town de­scended on San Juan Wed­nes­day evening for the an­nual So­mos El Fu­turo con­fer­ence, the first held since Hur­ri­cane Maria hit the is­land.

Few were there for the panel dis­cus­sions — the an­nual post-elec­tion event is typ­i­cally an op­por­tu­nity not just to foster the city’s re­la­tion­ship with Puerto Rico, but for po­lit­i­cal types to don some ca­sual clothes and break down Tues­day’s wins and losses and what comes next.

“I think we un­der­stand that So­mos gives us an op­por­tu­nity to come to­gether, the is­sues that we’re fight­ing for in New York, you know, the ses­sion is com­ing around the cor­ner, we have a num­ber of work­shops all ded­i­cated to our agenda, but we also want to not lose sight of the fact that we play a role as a di­as­pora for Puerto Rico,” Bronx Assem­bly­man Mar­cos Cre­spo (photo), chair­man of the As­sem­bly Puerto Ri­can/His­panic Task Force that hosts the event.

That role in­cludes help­ing the peo­ple of Puerto Rico to re­solve their “sta­tus,” Cre­spo said. “Un­til the peo­ple of Puerto Rico re­ally have the rep­re­sen­ta­tion that comes with be­ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, that’s our role is to be there for them and to mo­bi­lize and ad­vo­cate and raise aware­ness about their needs, and we saw that never more than af­ter Hur­ri­cane Maria,” he said.

Of course, there will be some par­ty­ing — in his wel­come re­marks Cre­spo noted there would be old-school hip hop in the ho­tel’s night­club Fri­day night — and tons of pol­i­tick­ing.

This year’s con­fer­ence comes with the added in­trigue of a spe­cial elec­tion for pub­lic ad­vo­cate — which es­sen­tially be­gan weeks ago but has now kicked into high gear with Pub­lic Ad­vo­cate Leti­tia James win­ning her elec­tion as state at­tor­ney gen­eral of­fi­cial Tues­day night.

The bar at the El San Juan was buzzing with talk about who the front-run­ners in the crowded elec­tion would be — with sources say­ing Coun­cil­man Ju­maane Wil­liams, who won’t be at­tend­ing the con­fer­ence, was al­ready lin­ing up sup­port.

For­mer Coun­cil Speaker Melissa Mark-Viver­ito — a na­tive of Puerto Rico who will be at the con­fab — is also likely to run, a source close to her has told The News. Her pre­de­ces­sor, Chris­tine Quinn, also eyes the seat.

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