Kissimmee mayor eager for Puerto Rico governor’s public town hall

By Paula Machado, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018

Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Roselló will visit Central Florida on Friday to meet with local residents and listen to their concerns.

  • Gov. Roselló will hold public town hall in Kissimmee on Friday
  • Roselló will also meet with Kissimmee Mayor Alvarez
  • Roselló to visit several locations across U.S.
  • RELATED: Hurricane Maria impact

Roselló will be holding a public town hall meeting at the Kissimmee Civic Center starting at 10 a.m.

He’ll also be meeting with local government officials such as the City of Kissimmee Mayor José Alvarez who told Spectrum News 13 there’s a lot to talk about and a lot to do.

“People are coming here and they’re finding that is not the same picture that has been painted to them,” said Alvarez about the thousands of Puerto Rican families arriving in Central Florida.

Alvarez mentioned this is not the first time he’s met with Puerto Rico’s governor, but it’s the first time Roselló visits Kissimmee after becoming governor.

He’s glad Roselló is taking the time to hear from the residents who just moved from the island and the reality they’re facing.

“It’s going to be hard to find housing, it’s going to be hard to find a job,” said Alvarez.

One of the biggest concerns Alvarez will bring up to Gov. Roselló is housing.

 “We want FEMA to activate a long term rental assistance program and we’ve given them some examples on how it can be used here with the problems that we have,” Alvarez explained.

According to the Mayor, FEMA told them the request has to come from the governor himself. Concerns like education and employment will also be on the discussion table.

This stop in Kissimmee is one of several on Roselló’s list as he tours the U.S.

On Wednesday, Roselló traveled to the capitol to press Congress for statehood for Puerto Rico.

"This is inconceivable. Inconceivable that in the 21st century, we are talking about a 15th century construct as being acceptable within the greatest, most modern nation in the world. We need to end that. If not for the people of Puerto Rico, not for civil rights. Do it because it betters our nation," said Roselló.

In Friday’s town hall, Gov. Roselló is expected to talk about the recovery after Hurricane Maria and what the island needs from Congress to guarantee equal treatment for the residents of Puerto Rico, which are U.S citizens.

Alvarez said that is something they need for the Puerto Ricans who are now coming here.

 “Once those families that come here get settled and their roots are set, they’re not going back,” said Alvarez.

 A spokesperson from the Governor’s office said anyone interested in hearing from the Governor of Puerto Rico is invited to attend to attend Friday’s town hall, they recommend to arrive early.

Kissimmee Police Department said they will have extra security on site.


WHAT: Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Roselló hosting public town hall
WHEN: Friday, January 12th 10am-12PM
WHERE: Kissimmee Civic Center, 201 E Dakin Ave, Kissimmee