“The parade has always been about Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans, not any one participant. It is a celebration of a culture and community at the center of what makes New York City great. Unfortunately, the parade and the plight of Puerto Rico have been overshadowed by needless controversy. Oscar Lopez Rivera agreeing to step aside from any formal role in the parade is a critical step forward in refocusing our city's attention on the more important issues facing Puerto Rico.
“Puerto Rico and its 3.5 million people, many of whom are family and loved ones of New Yorkers, are in the midst of an economic collapse and health care crisis that threatens their future. Our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico deserve help from Washington and they are not receiving it. This should be our singular focus when it comes to Puerto Rico and our city’s parade.”