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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, February 5, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesTom Bolt Advocates Balanced Approach as Constitutional Convention Delegate

Tom Bolt Advocates Balanced Approach as Constitutional Convention Delegate

The people of the Virgin Islands are our greatest asset, yet our government’s present structure fails to empower its people to resolve many of the problems they confront daily. The Virgin Islands Constitution could provide answers to these concerns. The rights vested in our citizens, government organization, taxes, and educating our youth are key issues before the Virgin Islands 5th Constitutional Convention.
Throughout my professional career, I have sought to serve our Virgin Islands as President of the VI Bar Association, as Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, as Founding Executive Director and Counsel to our Law Revision Commission, and as Counsel to the VI Legislature for almost a decade. I have worked with many within our island community to improve the state of our law.
Today, I serve as Chair of the VI Bar Association’s Legislation and Law Reform Committee working to improve the antiquated probate laws of the Territory and continue to serve as I have for the past 20 years as Chair of the Virgin Islands Uniform Law Commission updated our commercial laws, our laws concerning children and those that suffer from domestic abuse, as well as many other areas of the law.
Some know me from my community service as President of Habitat for Humanity, moving forward an agenda to provide safe and affordable housing to those in need, others as Chairman of the Salvation Army where we are constructing a medical clinic for the homeless and mentally challenged, while feeding 100s of our most needy every day or as Chairman of the Board of the Children’s Trust, advocating on behalf of the future of our island –– our youth — the inheritors of our legacy.
It is my goal in seeking election as a delegate to bring a balanced approach to the deliberations and achieve consensus amongst the delegates, as well as the electorate so that we may finally vest authority for our islands within its people. We can become ““the masters of our destiny”” by enacting a living document, the Virgin Islands Constitution.
By empowering the people of the Virgin Islands, I seek revision to our initiative and referendum process so that measures could be placed on the ballot upon petition of 5% of the electorate. Other sources of empowerment would come with home rule. For years, many have sought more direct control of their government. The electorate should have the authority to establish island councils, municipal government, and special districts when approved by a majority of those desiring incorporation.
Having served as Counsel to the Legislature, I recognize a number of issues concerning the first branch of government that need reform. The Constitutional Convention should enact single member districts. The standard practice of single subjects for bills and requiring advance notice prior to adopting legislation should be addressed. We should address merit selection of judges and legislative pay, removing politics from these critical areas.
The future depends on you — the voters. Exercise your right in the future our islands. Vote!

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