ReStart Puerto Rico Moves People to Act Positively for the Collective Good
What do Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, reguetón singer Cosculluela and television reporter Carmen Dominicci have in common? They will be part of a Latin Media House initiative to move Puerto Ricans to undertake concrete actions for the common good.
ReStart Puerto Rico seeks to spread a unifying message through positive stories to rid Puerto Ricans of negative thoughts and bring about positive actions.
The word “restart” means to start anew or to start again after stopping. The grassroots initiative promotes the public to start anew, much like people do while using a computer when they push a button to make the machine restart after it has stopped operating.
“We want to wake Puerto Rico out of all the negativity, impact their psyches so they stop seeing everything as dark,” said Miguel Ferrer, publisher of Latin Media House.
The idea is to make people undertake small positive actions, such as avoiding putdowns of others, helping a neighbor, rescuing a stray animal or picking up trash at the beach to put them in the mood for collective positive actions for the island, he said.
“We want people to do something positive to put them in the right frame of mind to do more complex actions in favor of Puerto Rico,” he indicated.
The imposition of a fiscal oversight board that will make financial decisions for the government is not expected to impact the initiative. “The board will have to get feedback and opinions from the private sector. We want to change the mood of a tired private sector into one that is positive and active,” he said.
ReStart Puerto Rico, which was officially launched this week on social media networks, will be broadened to print media, television, radio, billboards and movie theaters, according to Laura Maldonado, project manager.
“This is about emphasizing
the good side
of being Puerto Rican”
-Laura Maldonado ReStart PR project manager
Maldonado said Miranda, Cosculluela and Dominicci will be featured in the first phase of the initiative, as well as other well-known personalities, to encourage others to do good deeds. Employees at Latin Media House recently recorded videos talking about the positive
actions they would undertake to “restart Puerto Rico.”
“Our goal is to have 100,000 people join the initiative by Christmas,” Ferrer said.
The campaign is different from other initiatives because ReStart Puerto Rico wants to promote people into taking action for the good of the island. “This is about emphasizing the good side of being Puerto Rican,” Maldonado said.
ReStart Puerto Rico already has the support of various private-sector entities.
The program is but the latest, and arguably the most ambitious, in a slew of similar initiatives that have popped up in recent months, such as the #yonomequito (roughly translated as “I’m not out of the fight”) campaign spearheaded by local automobile distributor Bella Group and its president, Carlos López-Lay.
Such efforts have been prompted in large part by the desire to turn around negative attitudes among some of the island’s residents in light of the economic and fiscal difficulties that Puerto Rico has undergone of late. The campaigns also partly seek to push the tide against the heavy migration of Puerto Rico residents from the island to the U.S. mainland, which has been estimated to be as much as a quarter of a million so far this decade.
“We want people to do something
positive to put them in the right frame
of mind to do more complex actions in
favor of Puerto Rico.”
-Latin Media House Miguel Ferrer