Edward L. Browne Is Running as an At-Large Delegate

May 20, 2007 – May Alexander Hamilton once wrote, "whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force." Over two hundred years later, the same question could be asked of the people of the United States Virgin Islands (U.S.V.I.). Are men and women regardless of their age, religion, race, or class willing to work together to develop a document that will unify and strengthen our society, or will they capitulate to separation and exclusion?
I am running as an at-large delegate to the fifth Constitution Convention because I know that I can bring leadership, experience, and a Joshua generation perspective to the numerous discussions that will take place at the Convention. I will champion:
The development of two commissions: One commission will be for the youth and another for our elders in the community. A youth commission will provide the young people of the U.S.V.I. with the opportunity to influence and participate in the development of policies geared towards addressing their concerns. An aging commission will assist in improving the quality of life for our seniors by addressing issues such as health care, self-sufficiency, and social and community involvement.
The Formation of Municipal Governments: The development of municipal governments will lead to greater accountability and autonomy within each district.
Educational Reform: In my opinion, the prime challenge facing the delegates at the Convention will be education reform. One question of concern is whether or not the district superintendents should have greater control? A second question is should the Commissioner of Education primarily focus on territorial issues, federal issues, or both?
A Taxpayers' Bill of Rights: A Taxpayers' Bill of Rights should set forth taxpayers' rights and responsibilities and the government's responsibilities to deal with taxpayers' fairly.
Cultural and Historical Preservation: I believe that the U.S.V.I. Constitution should reinforce the cultural and historical dimensions that make these islands and its people great. I do not believe that a definition of who is a "Virgin Islander" should be placed in the Constitution. This reminds me of the dreaded three-fifth clause that was originally placed in the United States (U.S.) Constitution. However, thank you, good morning, de man, salt fish cake, quelbe, and quadrille are the things that makes us "Virgin Islanders" and this way of life should be preserved.
In closing, I realize that I am running in opposition to many distinguish leaders from the Moses generation. However, I feel that many of my competitors have had a chance to lead previously. I am asking that you give someone new from the Joshua generation (ME) a chance to now lead. Let us come together and work as one people to get a Constitution done.

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