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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 14, 2024


Dear Source:
For several years it has been fashionable for legislative candidates to register in the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands and run for office as independents. This practice should come to an end with the 25th Legislature. The eight Democrats who were elected (four on St. Croix and four on St. Thomas) should work together on common values for social and economic development and work as a block with the governor, who is also a Democrat.
During the hiatus between now and January 2003, they should caucus to work out their programmatic road map to the next two years. A program of economic development focusing on St. Croix should be on their priority list and certain pieces of legislation should be ready for assignment to the Rules Committee after the organizing resolution is passed on the first day of the session. Newcomers to the Democratic Party should read about its history beginning in the early l960s under the very skillful and capable leadership of the late Sen. Earle B. Ottley.
The Democratic Party always had an agenda which included building housing, creating jobs and improving the infrastructure in the various neighborhoods among the three islands. Greater political independence was achieved because men of vision like the late Earle B. Ottley and the late Gov. Ralph M. Paiewonsky fought as Democrats to make them happen. The current leadership of the party should educate the public on what the party means to the territory and not be ashamed to register and run as a Democrat. They should read the writings of the late Valdemar Hill and Ottley for the actual and factual evolvement of politics in the Virgin Islands from 1917 to the present.
2003 presents the Democrats who were elected to the 25th Legislature and the governor with a golden opportunity to enact meaningful legislation for the advancement of the territory's residents. It means demonstrating year-round concern for residents as a whole regardless of economic or social status. The Democratic Party stands for being "people oriented," and that translates to standing up for the rights and advancement of the people. That is what the Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands is all about.
Eric E. Dawson

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