Hon. José “Quiquito” Meléndez-Ortiz

At-large member of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives

Twitter: @QuiquitoMelende; Instagram: quiquitomelendez; Facebook: @quiquitomelendezpr

José “Quiquito” Meléndez-Ortiz

Representative Meléndez was born on December 5, 1973 in Aibonito but he grew up and lived most of his life in Coamo. Meléndez Ortiz is a product of the public school. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the Inter-American University.

In 2002, he obtained his degree of "Juris Doctor" from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. Before coming to the Capitol, Meléndez worked as a lawyer in his private practice for 10 years in constitutional, family, criminal and general law cases.

Meléndez Ortiz is a lawyer and politician, member of the New Progressive Party, and was sworn into office as Representative by Accumulation on May 22, 2011, to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives. In his first year as a legislator, he stood out for presenting forceful proposals such as the law that restored the requirement to present the forms by all the candidates for elective positions, to maintain transparency in all the affairs of these officials. In the area of Security, he has presented several proposals, such as the one that will establish the first Specialized Superior School in Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences in Puerto Rico, which will serve as a talent bank to identify and train future police officers, forensic investigators, lawyers and prosecutors. . It has also presented several advanced initiatives to combat crime, achieve clarification of cases and promote citizen cooperation.

Among them is the proposed law that seeks to establish guidelines for the imposition of minimum bail in order to limit wide judicial discretion and protect witnesses and victims of crime of those accused of committing serious crimes, such as murder and domestic violence.

In the workplace, he presented a measure against moral harassment or bullying in employment, to curb discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Meléndez Ortiz, was Legislative Advisor to the PNP Delegation in the Chamber, Consultant in Electoral Affairs, Legal Advisor to the PNP Electoral Commissioner, and Secretary of the Chamber.

In the political field, he has held various positions as Presidential Delegate of the PNP and the Republican Party of Puerto Rico; Regional Election Coordinator, Regional Director of the Young Republicans Federation, and National Committeeman of the Young Republicans. He has also served as Electoral Director, Alternate Electoral Commissioner, and Electoral Commissioner of the Republican Party in Puerto Rico before the EEC.

Panel Information

Thursday, March 17

2:15 PM EST

Cafecito Dialogue: The State of Puerto Rico, Why it Matters & Why It’s a Civil Rights Issue in America

Under the current territory status, close to 3.2 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico can and do get treated unequally under various federal laws and programs which inherently limit Puerto Rico’s Economic Development and access to essential federal funding for programs such as infrastructure investments, Medicaid/Medicare, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. This panel will discuss efforts, collaborations, and initiatives which collectively seek to improve the lives and communities of the residents of Puerto Rico.

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