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Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto[note 1] (born February 25, 1963 in San Juan) is a Puerto Rican politician who is serving as the current mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Yulin is affiliated with the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), and previously served as a member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives.

Carmen Yulín Cruz
Coat of arms san juan pr.svg
Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Preceded by Jorge Santini
At-Large Member of the 28th House of Representatives of Puerto Rico
In office
January 2, 2009 – January 1, 2013
Personal details
Born (1963-02-25) February 25, 1963 (age 54)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Political party Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico
Spouse(s) Alfredo Carrasquillo
Children Marina Yulín Paul Cruz
Alma mater Boston University
Carnegie Mellon University


Early years and studiesEdit

Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto was born on February 25, 1963 to Carmen Irene Soto Molina from Lares and Pedro Cruz Vega.[1] She has a brother named Pedro José Cruz. Cruz inherited her middle name, Yulín, from her grandmother, Lutgarda Vega.[1][2] She studied her elementary school at the Julio Sellés Solá Elementary School graduating with honors. In 1974, she enrolled at the University High School where she became class president since the eighth grade until her graduation in 1980. She was also president of the Student Council, and captain of the track and field team, among other things.[citation needed]

Cruz completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She also completed her Master of Science in Public Management and Policy from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she became the first student to receive the Spirit Award, now called the Barbara Jenkins Award.[3]

Professional careerEdit

After receiving her master's degree, Cruz was recruited by Westinghouse to work on their Human Resources department. She has also worked as Human Resources Director for various companies like Colgate-Palmolive, Banco Popular, Cellular One (now AT&T), Scotiabank, and the United States Treasury Department.[citation needed]

Political careerEdit

First years in politicsEdit

In 1992, Cruz returned to Puerto Rico and became an adviser to then-Mayor of San Juan, Sila María Calderón. She ran for office as a Representative for District 1 at the 2000 general elections, but lost.[4] After that, she became an adviser to then-President of the House of Representatives Carlos Vizcarrondo Irizarry.[citation needed] Cruz has also served as President of the Popular Women Organization (OMP) from 2005.[citation needed]

2009-13: RepresentativeEdit

Cruz ran again for the House of Representatives at the 2008 elections, after winning a slot in the PPD primaries.[5][6] After being elected, Cruz became the PPD Speaker in the Commission of Women Affairs, among others. Due to the high population of Dominican immigrants in the subdivisions of San Juan, most notably in Santurce, Cruz became involved with the Dominican American National Roundtable as a supporter.[7]

Upon launching her re-election campaign in 2011, she became the first candidate from her party to collect the required endorsements, presenting more than the 4,000 total within the time frame required to complete only 2,000.[8] At the 2012 PPD primaries, Cruz led all of the candidates to the House of Representatives in votes, followed by fellow soberanista, Luis Vega Ramos.[9] On the original result, she had 217,162 votes counted, which surpassed the incumbent House of Representatives President, Jennifer González, with a reported 216,087 in the PNP primaries.[10] However, following the primaries a general scrutiny by the CEE, which delayed the certification of all candidates for more than a month, including Cruz, who had renounced the re-election bid and had to submit official documentation for the new candidature.[citation needed] In the meantime, a project drafted by her to decree an official "Hate Crime Awareness Day" was not approved by the House of Representatives, for falling one vote short of 27 (the required minimum) despite gathering the majority of votes. During its consideration, González asked to be included a co-author, supporting the initiative, but two other PNP co-authors missed the session. When her opponent, Jorge Santini, claimed to also support the project, Cruz only noted the irony and claimed this as confirmation that her approach to multi-sector alliances was the right one.[citation needed]

2012: Candidate for San Juan's mayorshipEdit

Cruz Soto began hinting at her interest in running for the mayorship of her native city of San Juan in early 2011, but decided to step down when opposed by the conservadores,[11] led by PPD president Alejandro García Padilla, who named the second in-command of that wing, representative Héctor Ferrer, to occupy the position. However, her name resurfaced following the resignation of Ferrer, who was forced to abandon the race due to a domestic abuse incident which led to a formal investigation.[12]

Cruz' campaign headquarters two days before the 2012 elections

Although Cruz initially denied running for mayor of the capital city, on March 26, 2012, she announced her decision to accept the party's petition and challenge incumbent mayor Jorge Santini.[13][14] In the media fallout that followed, Cruz was favored over Santini throughout the social networks, Facebook and Twitter, as reported by an specialist in media marketing.[15] Likewise, she was favored in unofficial polls held by mainstream publications El Nuevo Día (64% of 1,940 votes) and Primera Hora (120,041 vs. 34,588 or 77.3%).[16][17]

On March 28, 2012, it was reported that Cruz had been promoted to the position of alternate speaker for the PPD in the House of Representatives.[18] Two days later, San Juan's municipal committee ratified her as their new president.[19] In contrast to the majority of the candidates for any mayorship, she has expressed not believing in the "perpetuation of office", noting that eight years should be enough to fulfill a development plan, if executed correctly.[20] On May 4, 2012, she attended a Service Employees International Union conference and held a reunion with Jim Messina, campaign director for Barack Obama, to discuss health care and education funds, citing that "it is important to take stances in US politics, since half of all Puerto Ricans live there".[21] During this visit, Cruz also negotiated the establishment of a Chicago-San Juan alliance with the Puerto Rican community there, led by congressman Luis Gutierrez. Carmen Yulín has also expressed full support for LGBTT and women rights.[22]

2013–present: Mayor of San JuanEdit

Cruz was elected as the next Mayor of San Juan on November 6, 2012, defeating three term-incumbent Mayor Jorge Santini in the city's 2012 mayoral election. She became the third woman to hold San Juan's mayoral office, after Felisa Rincón de Gautier and Sila Calderón.

Cruz's administration continues prior mayor Jorge Santini's plans for the revitalization of the Río Piedras district .[23] The first phase of this plan consisted of the restoration of historical buildings in the subdivision.[23] An economic plan spearheaded by José Rivera Santana promoted incentives for housing and establishment of new businesses in Río Piedras, in an attempt to salvage the economic importance that the district once had.[23] This was complimented with direct communication and collaboration with the local community and several institutions including the University of Puerto Rico.[23] Among the initiatives to revitalize the municipal economy, Cruz proposed the absolute elimination of the 7% sales tax (IVU) in Río Piedras for a period of four years.[24] This would be the first time that any zone would receive such an exemption, giving small and local businesses a strategic edge over foreign mega corporations.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Cruz married psychologist Alfredo Carrasquillo on September 25, 2010, three months after the start of their relationship. They were divorced the year after, but remarried in 2013.[25] Cruz has a daughter, Marina Yulín Paul Cruz, from a previous marriage.[26] [27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Cruz and the second or maternal family name is Soto.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Bauzá, Nydia (May 7, 2012). "Con "las botas puestas" Carmen Yulín Cruz". Primera Hora (in Spanish). 
  2. ^ Santiago, Amary (November 7, 2012). "Carmen Yulín le sigue los pasos a Doña Fela y a Sila María Calderón". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). 
  3. ^ "Todos los Representantes: Hon. Carmen Y. Cruz Soto" (in Spanish). Cámara de Representantes de Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on January 11, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Elecciones Generales 2000: Representantes". CEEPUR. Archived from the original on August 9, 2004. 
  5. ^ "Primarias 2008: Representantes por Acumulación". CEEPUR. Archived from the original on May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Elecciones Generales 2008". CEEPUR. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "DANR Successfully Concludes Leadership Summit in Puerto Rico" (in Spanish). Dominican American National Roundtable. 2011-08-22. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  8. ^ "Carmen Yulín fue la primera en completar endosos políticos". Primera Hora (in Spanish). November 14, 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. 
  9. ^ Villa, Javier (2012-03-19). "Soberanistas dan golpe moral a liderato de la pava con triunfo en primarias populares" (in Spanish). Noti Uno 630. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. 
  10. ^ "Carmen Yulín con más votos que González aunque dice no mira la presidencia de la Cámara" (in Spanish). Telemundo Puerto Rico. 2012-03-19. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  11. ^ Keila López Alicea (2012-04-05). "Política". Para Carmen Yulín la segunda será la vencida. Puerto Rico: El Nuevo Día. p. 12. Hace apenas un año, Yulín llegó a considerar la candidatura, pero decidió aspirar a otro término luego de recibir oposición por parte del liderato conservador del PPD, esto como consecuencia de sus posturas soberanistas. 
  12. ^ Rosario, Frances (March 21, 2012). "Carmen Yulín asegura que no aspirará a San Juan". El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. 
  13. ^ Rodríguez, Israel (March 27, 2012). "El PPD le apuesta a Carmen Yulin para la alcaldia de San Juan". El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. 
  14. ^ Nydia Bauzá (2012-03-26). "Carmen Yulín será candidata por la alcaldía de San Juan" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  15. ^ Ely Acevedo Denis (2012-03-27). "Se activa en Twitter la contienda por San Juan" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  16. ^ "Gana Carmen Yulín en las redes sociales" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. 2012-03-26. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  17. ^ "Encuesta: ¿A quién prefieres para alcalde de San Juan?" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2012-03-26. Archived from the original on August 14, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  18. ^ Daniel Rivera Vargas (2012-03-28). "Carmen Yulín Cruz y Luis Raúl Torres serán los portavoces del PPD en la Cámara" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  19. ^ Yanira Hernández Cabiya (2012-03-31). "Asume la presidencia del PPD en la ciudad capital" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  20. ^ Marvin Fonseca (2012-04-28). "Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto espera estar en la Alcaldía de San Juan solo ocho años" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-04-30. 
  21. ^ "Carmen Yulín se integra a campaña de Obama por fondos Medicaid y Becas Pell" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. 2012-05-04. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  22. ^ "Agradece apoyo de Carmen Yulín a reclamos de comunidad LGBTT en San Juan" (in Spanish). Telemundo Puerto Rico. 2012-07-17. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  23. ^ a b c d Rosangely Piñero (2013-09-15). "Mejoras al casco urbano de Río Piedras" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2014-04-20. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  24. ^ a b Limarys Suárez Torres (2013-10-07). "Carmen Yulín quiere una zona libre del IVU" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  25. ^ Rodríguez, Israel (April 13, 2013). "Carmen Yulín Cruz se vuelve a casar". El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2013-04-15. 
  26. ^ Rosario, Frances (October 7, 2010). "Carmen Yulín Cruz se casó en secreto" (in Spanish). El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2010-10-10. 
  27. ^ Muñiz Gracia, Alba Y. (May 9, 2010). "Orgullosas mamá-gallina". El Nuevo Día. Archived from the original on 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2014-04-20.