Third District Candidate for the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Dr. Arlene Thompson announced during her launch on 2 February that the areas of the Third District under her representation will experience a transformation.
Thompson acknowledged that the 2017 hurricanes helped to create more challenges for the District and the Territory as a whole: “The hurricane events of 2017 only helped to expose our already crumbling infrastructure,” she pointed out. The VIP Candidate said that she is concerned about the number of persons who told her that they are not interested in voting during this election. She revealed to the gathering, “as I interact with the many residents across our district, it is easy to see why persons can lose hope for a brighter tomorrow. The refrain from many persons all carry a common theme ‘What’s the use in voting?’: Nothing will ever change.”
“Some individuals even lament that we are at one of our lowest points in our history of ministerial representation. Sadly, the stories across the District all pull at my heart strings: For example, one businessman in Seacow’s Bay told me that he is so frustrated with the state of our country that he is going fishing on election day,” she explained.
Dr. Thompson said that she was touched and concerned to hear some of the terrible hardships that are facing residents in the District. She said that persons opened up and shared these issues with her: “There is the senior citizen in Pockwood Pond who suffers respiratory effects from the incinerator burning. Not forgetting the community minded citizen who continues to work tirelessly with young people in the district by teaching them the fundamentals of basketball. For the past 22 years he has been a beacon of hope for young men, even holding tournaments under less than desirable court conditions. He dreams of a day when these youngsters could play indoors and not in the blazing sun.”
For years the District has been having water shortage and Dr. Thompson said that this is something that needs to be looked at, in fact it is a charge that has been given to her: “How can I forget the many residents who are begging and pleading for a relief from our inconsistent water supply. One of my cousins in Duff’s Bottom said, “Cuz, if it is the only thing you get done, please address the water problem”.”
NDP MENU OF BROKEN PROMISES
The VIP Candidate said that many of the residents expressed to her that they feel disillusioned and see the present political situation as hopeless: “Sadly, many of our residents and citizens have lost hope in our systems. So, while the current National Democratic Party administration may want to gloss things over, the stark reality is that we cannot afford to be fed four more years of the same menu of broken promises and dreams,” she said.
Nonetheless, Dr. Thompson urged the residents of the District to renew their hope: “Despite this picture of gloom and doom, residents of District Three, I dare you to dream again about how we can turn this economic and social situation around and restore our district and country to the picture of prosperity our forefathers toiled for and envisioned for us.”
While noting the plans she has for the District the Candidate stated: “Some of our goals and initiatives are what we call ‘low lying fruit’ while others may need to be rolled out in a phased approach.”
In the area of health, she suggested the instituting a health and wellness council made up of voluntary associations, churches and other civic groups to periodically monitor chronic health issues in residents; the plans she said include the holding of periodic health fairs; developing neighbourhood watch groups to support home-bound senior residents; as well as engaging authorities in determining meaningful solutions to the pollutants that impact residents from the operation of the incinerator at Pockwood Pond.
On the economic side Dr. Thompson spoke of establishing a farming association and the provision of incentives to promote agriculture and livestock farming. These include the establishment of a roadside District Farmers Market.
Further the VIP Candidate spoke of encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship among young people by providing opportunities for them to develop cottage industries that interest them.