Dozens of faces vie for the territory’s 15 V.I. Legislature seats every two years, so how can voters get a clear look at where they all stand on the important issues facing the territory without relying on self-serving campaign materials or a handful of candidate forums where they may not even be asked the same questions?
We at the V.I. Source are asking every senatorial candidate 13 questions to fairly give each one an opportunity to tell our readers about themselves and where they stand on some of the most important issues of the day ahead of the General Election on Nov. 8.
We have also asked the same questions of the territory’s gubernatorial candidates.
We sent the questionnaires to the email addresses the candidates filed with the Election System of the Virgin Islands with their nomination papers. Candidates have been asked to respond by Friday, Oct. 28, and we will publish the responses as we get them.
Here are the questions we asked:
- Why do you want to be a Virgin Islands leader, and why should voters choose you over other candidates? What are your top priorities for the territory and why?
- What fuels violent crime in the territory, and what should the government, nonprofit organizations and residents do to help alleviate it?
- How would you improve the territory’s electrical grid and implementation of renewable energy?
- How can the territory improve upon its tourism product to better compete within the Caribbean region and beyond?
- How would you improve the USVI’s taxi product? Do you think a service such as Uber could work here?
- What are your plans to promote agriculture in the territory? The Vision 2040 exercise identified agriculture and better food security as the top concern of its survey respondents. How can the USVI achieve this goal?
- How should the territory balance development with environmental protection, especially given concerns around climate change?
- What do you envision as the future of the St. Croix refinery?
- Do you support an additional cruise ship dock in St. Thomas Harbor? Why or why not?
- What is your position on Caneel Bay on St. John? Should it be redeveloped? Left in its natural state? A mix of the two?
- What will you do to support the territory’s marginalized and struggling communities?
- What would you propose to better support people dealing with mental illness, alcoholism, addiction, and homelessness?
- How will you support immigrant communities?
- What can the government do to better assist and support seniors, as well as family members needing respite from caregiving?
- What plans do you have to redevelop a framework for success for young people in the territory? This could include intervention services, education reform, and recreational facilities, among others.
- What plans do you have to help our LGBTGIA+ youth?
- Why should millennials vote for you?
- What plans do you have to reestablish the libraries in the territory?
- How can we provide access to affordable healthcare for individuals and small businesses?
- What possibilities are available for the professional or educational development of individuals within the territory so that we can continue to retain and attract a qualified workforce?