/ Puerto Rico
/ Carmen Yulin Cruz
Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz began her political career as a member of the House of Representatives in Puerto Rico during the 2009-2012 terms Yulin- as she likes to be called- was a fierce advocate for the rights of working people, for gender equality and for the rights of the LGBTT community. She was also involved with pursuing and reinforcing the rights of diabled citizens, such as the deaf and university students in their quest for a more democratic and affordable education.
Yulin was elected as Mayor of San Juan on 2012. Her election was the result of a grass roots effort which united in an unprecedented alliance groups which have traditionally been excluded from the democratic process. During her tenure Yulin has proven to be a friend of labor making San Juan the first and only municipality in Puerto Rico where employees have the right to collective bargaining; citizen participation has been at the core of her administration as San Juan has become the first place in Puerto Rico to pioneer participatory budgeting. Under Mayor Yulin Cruz the municipality has taken steps to begin a change torwards a municipal version of universal health plan and culture and sports are widely used as a tool for economic and social development. At the forefront of her personal struggles are the release of political prisioner Oscar Lopez Rivera and the dredging of El Caño Martin Peña an impoverished area of San Juan where 27,000 people feel the injustice of lacking a proper sewer system which keeps them from reaching their highest community potential. A firm believer that "the power is in the streets" Yulin strives to seek alliances to empower people and ensure an agenda of prosperity and social justice.