Hon. Carlos Romero Barceló
Governor (1977 – 1985) and Resident Commissioner (1993 – 2001)
Carlos Romero Barceló is the first former governor of Puerto Rico who served in Congress as a Resident Commissioner, representing 3.7 million citizens. He was born on September 4, 1932 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His family has been linked to politics for a long time. His maternal grandfather, Antonio R. Barceló, was one of the founders of the Liberal Party and the first president of the Senate of Puerto Rico.
Romero Barceló graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1943. In 1953, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Yale University and, in 1956, he obtained a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Puerto Rico Law School.
In 1968, being a member of the New Progressive Party, he was elected mayor of San Juan. His work during those four years was very hard, judging by the opinion of the people who re-elected him in the 1972 elections to the same position. Two years later, in 1974, he was named president of the party. In 1976, he became the first Hispanic to be elected president of the National League of Citizens, of which he had been vice president and was an active member since 1970.
In 1976, Romero Barceló won the general elections and became the governor of Puerto Rico. In the elections of the following four year period, he was reelected. During his first four-year term, Romero Barceló focused on reviving Puerto Rico’s economy and building its infrastructure. In the second term, he concentrated on providing tax relief to the middle and working class, and imposed taxes on corporations that were previously exempt. He also made improvements to the physical plants of schools, hospitals and sports and recreational facilities. Romero Barceló distinguished himself by his firm and dedicated policy. Both opponents and supporters recognize him as a great politician and strategist of Puerto Rican politics.
Hon. Charles Rodríguez
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee for Puerto Rico and former President of the Senate of Puerto Rico
Charles Rodríguez was born on August 26, 1954 in New York City to Puerto Rican parents. At 7 years old, his family moved to Puerto Rico. He attended his primary, secondary and higher school in the municipally of Carolina. At 21 years of age he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Government and History at Cornell University, in the State of New York, where he also completed his first year of Law. In 1983 he obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the Law School of the University of Puerto Rico.
The eleventh President of the Senate is a member of a generation of Puerto Ricans participating in the public life of the Island since adolescence. At age 14 he became President of the Youth of the New Progressive Party in Carolina. By 1979, he was already the State President of that political body. In 1980, at the age of 26, he ran and was elected Representative to the House by Accumulation, position for which he was reelected in 1984.
His two terms in the House of Representatives identified him as a legislator committed to improving the quality of life and economic development of Puerto Rico. He was President of the Youth Commission and Spokesman of his party in the Commissions of Finance and Corruption Investigations in the Government.