By Jose Cruz
At the floor, id politics seems to be to advertise polarization. on the contrary, political scientist Jose E Cruz argues that, as an alternative, fragmentation and instability usually tend to take place merely whilst the variations are neglected and nonethnic suggestions are hired. Cruz illustrates his declare by means of targeting one staff of Puerto Ricans and the way they mobilized to call for responsibility from political leaders in Hartford, Connecticut. The actions of the Puerto Rican Political motion Committee from 1983 to 1991 illustrate the facility of ethnic mobilization and technique in an city environment. Cruz examines their insistence on their correct to be incorporated within the political method within the context of either a standard mid-sized American urban and the original attributes of Hartford's predominantly white-collar inhabitants. even as, this research recognizes the restrictions of the workout of such energy within the political procedure. via vast interviews Cruz brings to gentle the range of how within which politicians and political activists themselves view their very own actions and achievements. This workforce of Puerto Rican activists tried to penetrate the facility constitution of Hartford. notwithstanding their good fortune used to be constrained, their paintings constitutes a springboard for extra switch. writer notice: Jose E Cruz is affiliate Professor of Political technological know-how, country collage of recent York at Albany.
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Extra resources for Identity and Power: Puerto Rican Politics and the Challenge of Ethnicity
THE CONTEXT FOR PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL MOBILIZATION What kind of place was Hartford during the 1970s and 1980s? What effects did political and historical context have on Puerto Rican political mobilization? In 1968, Henry Roberts, president of CIGNA, emphasized that the benefits of development ought to be enjoyed by the city as a whole, not just by the businesses downtown. 34 Two years later, Arthur Lumsden told his peers that "the  riots have made the choice clear. " 35 By 1975, however, corporations began to retreat from the Hartford scene, and some of its leaders pursued a national agenda.
Without the support of the parties, went another argument, working people would be shut out of the electoral process; it was estimated that a candidate would need $10,000 to run a nonpartisan campaign. " Finally, some suggested that bloc voting would produce domination by officials from one geographical section, one political party, labor radicals, racketeers, or an interest group, none of which would be restrained by the veto power of the mayor. 14 The debate climaxed on 3 December 1946, when in fourteen of Hartford's fifteen wards, the voters supported CCC by adopting nonpartisan elections and establishing a nine-member city council elected at large.
Ethnicity was the substance of interest articulation. The specific ways in which ethnicity was politicized were determined by the strategy, focus, and structure of action, and action was structured in three major ways: as collective behavior, brokered representation, and political mobilization. As they moved from one form to the next, Puerto Rican leaders were faced with the challenge of finding a balance between fortuna and virtu that would enable them, as Machiavelli suggests in The Prince, to adapt their will to the demands of circumstances.