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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeNewsPoliticsAttorney Russell Pate is Running for Senate, Learn About His Platform Here

Attorney Russell Pate is Running for Senate, Learn About His Platform Here

Dear Friend and Virgin Islander,

I’m Attorney Russell Pate.  I am running for Senate.

(Submitted photo)

Don’t vote for me, if you want more of the same.  I’m different.

  1. No Pay for Senate.

I will take no salary, benefits, or retirement for my work in the Senate. I will take no campaign donations. I won’t ask you for money. I won’t do fish-frys and bake sales.  I’ll be open to all and beholden to none. As an attorney, I fight every day for normal hard-working people, like you. I’ll always fight for what is best for you and your children.  For efficiency, the Senate should move to two-year budget cycles; four-year terms with staggard elections; with the goal of a part-time Senate.

  1. Voting Rights, Equal Rights, Human Rights.

Virgin Islanders have always fought for their Human Rights; the 1733 St. John slave rebellion, 1848 Emancipation, 1878 Fireburn, 1892 Dollar-for-Dollar coal strike; Why have we given up fighting for Equality? The USVI was purchased in 1917. Waiting 107 years for Equal treatment is too long. I will fight.  Please join me.

a. The VOTE in Washington: I will change the Election Laws so we can vote for 2 Senators and a Representative in Congress. When we elect our 3 Congressional Representatives, we will charter an airplane and fill it will military veterans (holding pictures of other veterans killed or injured in foreign wars) to escort our Representatives to Congress to their rightful seats in the House and Senate.

b. Our own Constitution: The VI has had 5 Constitutional Conventions. All failed (and cost millions). I will adopt the Revised Organic Act as our Constitution. We already live under the ROA. But once adopted as our Constitution, we can reform and change it via super-majority vote in the Senate, so that Virgin Islanders will finally be in control of their Rights and their Destiny.

c. Elected Attorney General: I will change the Laws so we will elect a Virgin Islands Attorney General who serves the People, not the Governor.

d. Third Circuit Judge: Since 1971 the USVI has not had a Virgin Islander judge on the federal appellate court (the Third Circuit) that supervises the USVI federal District Court. I will pass a Resolution for the President to appoint a Virgin Islander to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

e. Ended the Custom Zone: The Custom Zone is a mess. Puerto Rico is inside the Custom Zone, while we are outside. I will work to end the discriminatory Custom Zone; the indignity of going through Custom screenings at the airport, being treated like second-class citizens, and also frustrating and arbitrary duties on UPS, Fed-Ex and cargo shipments (but not USPS and Amazon shipments).

f. Military Draft: The USVI has one of the highest rates of military participation, with heroes fighting for freedom abroad in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, while their freedoms and equal rights are denied at home. I will draft a Resolution for our young men NOT to be Drafted until we are provided the right to vote in Congress and for Commander and Chief of our Military Forces, the U.S. President. The United States’ 250th Birthday is in 2026; for that celebration, the best gift the United States can give itself is Equality for ALL its Citizens.

g. Denmark & the E.U.: If the United States is unwilling to extend Equal Rights and Voting Rights to the USVI (which is the Promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) to every U.S. Citizen; we must have a plan “to walk.” We reach out to Denmark, Ireland and the European Union to join them in their Parliament. When the USA treats you like a girlfriend for 107 years and not a wife, it’s time to think about leaving that relationship. If the USA doesn’t make good-faith progress, I will put a Voters’ Referendum on the ballot, so the People can decide.

  1. Crime

a. Murders: Our murder rate is unacceptable. It is one of the highest in the World for developed countries.  During the coronavirus pandemic the Governor issued Emergency Orders.  I will advocate for the Governor to issue an Emergency Crime Order that will allow us to stop those who are perpetrating violence and killing our children.  When criminals see consequences, violence will stop.

b. Gun Licenses: We have some of the strictest gun laws under the U.S. Flag, yet the highest murder rate per capita. The criminal element has firearms; while law-abiding citizens have a costly and difficult time receiving a firearm permit. Our firearm licensing system evolved because U.S. Navy Officers (who ran the V.I. from 1917-1931 and believed in Jim Crow laws) did not want “colored” citizens to be armed for self-defense. 42 States have simple straight-forward gun licensing rules for law-abiding citizens. We should join those States. For more info read, Bruen, 597 U.S. 1 (2022).

  1. Court Delay

Our courts are the slowest under the U.S. Flag.  Justice delayed is justice denied. Court delay destroys confidence in all branches of government. Court delay affects every person, just like a WAPA power outage. Small businesses cannot timely enforce contracts, people negligently injured do not have money for rehabilitation, parents die and children do not get their timely inheritance. I work in the courts and see the multitude of structural and practical problems. I have a multi-step legislative plan to create a system of motivations for speedy justice, so the USVI can join the vast majority of the States were 95% of criminal trials are completed in less than 1.5 years and civil cases in less than 2.5 years.

  1. Uber & Taxis

We live in the 21st Century.  The Taxi Commission is a disaster.  It’s time to un-regulate and let more people enter into the transportation business. Young people should have the opportunity to open up a transportation business, or drive for Uber and Lyft, for the convenience of both locals and tourists.

  1. Business Ownership & Success

a. Get Government out of business: Government should never be in business.  In a free, fair and open democracy, Businesses are the players and Government is the referee. A referee makes sure the playing field is even and that no one is cheating. A referee should never step into the game and play.  Decisions by the V.I. Gov’t in business have been one disaster after another.  Also, the V.I. Gov’t pays millions a year to stateside companies like Witt O’Brien, JP Morgan, AECOM, Squire Patton Boggs and Winston & Strawn. Big companies making money off the USVI should have a local office training local Virgin Islanders for these high-paying white-collar jobs.

b. One-Stop-Shop for Business: A business license requires the business owner to jump through red-tape at DLCA, DPNR, Fire Services, BIR, Finance, Labor, Dept. of Health, and others.  We need a One-Stop-Shop department that coordinates all this in one-stop for the convenience of business owners.  At this One-Stop-Shop Department the phones should be answered: “Thank you taxpayer, how may I help you.”

c. EDC (Tax Credits): The USVI rolls out the red-carpet using tax credits for stateside millionaires, while leaving Virgin Islanders high and dry. The VI needs an Equal playing field for citizens. While the V.I. Government is willing to “give away the farm” to bring down multimillionaires from the States, a Virgin Islands child is told to “do their best” in crumbling schools. Tax subsidies are a band-aid for larger problems. The USVI should be fair to all businesses, local and stateside, remove red-tape regulations, make government offices more helpful and overhaul the gross receipts tax.  Once we have a fair system, no tax subsidies would be needed to draw foreign businesses to the USVI.

d. Government Notices: Notices are required to be placed at the Courthouse, Post-Office, Police Stations and public places – which turns into a wall of stapled jumbled papers. We must get out of the Stone-Age, and have a website that lists all government notices, like www.USVInotices.gov where all notices can be organized and easily searchable online. This is a business-and-people friendly solution.

  1. WAPA & Solar Power:

The Virgin Islands is in the Tropics. The Sun is our #1 resource. We should have the best laws encouraging solar power. After Hurricanes Irma & Maria, the federal government promised $4 billion dollars to WAPA.  That is more than $40,000 for every man, woman and child in the Virgin Islands.        I will work to channel funding to solar panels for every home and business. No more WAPA bills.     No more random outages. No more diesel needed for generators. Free solar to power electric cars.       No more buying gasoline. No more car exhaust. No more road smog; only pure Caribbean air.

  1. Roads and Sidewalks:

We live in Paradise.  Every man, woman and school-child should be able to walk across the island in safety. Sidewalks must be a priority. With sidewalks, locals and tourists alike can walk, jog, run or bicycle from Frederiksted Pier to Point Udall. Or on St. Thomas, from Port to Paradise Point. Like other islands, we should use Traffic Circles, as there’s no stop-lights to lose power or be knocked down by wind. Traffic Circles are hurricane-proof. Also, I want a prison pot-hole brigade, where good-behavior inmates form a work-crew to fill pot-holes marked by local residents.

a. Kids sports: Kids need activities. We must get kids off video games and cell phones for physical activities which create teamwork, camaraderie, and independent thinking. With the horse-race track closed for who knows how long, and the abundance of horses on the island, I want to establish a Virgin Islands Polo Club. Polo is the sport of Princes and Princesses; our youngsters are also Princes and Princesses of the Virgin Islands.  With the horses, equipment, and some instruction, any large field can be used to play Polo… and our children may go on to Ivy-League schools to compete in polo. 

  1. Historical Preservation

I will end the discriminatory Historical Commission which only picks on people who are trying to remodel old buildings, yet does nothing about the hundreds of buildings falling into ruin. People trying to fix up old buildings should not be punished.  A building that cannot be renovated to be productive will rot away. The Historical Commission will be tasked to only focus on derelict and abandoned buildings. I have draft legislation that will put derelict buildings back into the hands of Virgin Islanders.

Raise your voice to be heard – you are powerful – we will end the second-class treatment of American Citizens in the USVI.  I believe in this mission, because it’s the same mission that famous Virgin Islanders risked their lives for: Princess Breffu, General Buddhoe, the Three Queens, Queen Coziah – they fought for Freedom, Dignity and Equal Rights.

I ask for your support, encouragement, prayers, and your VOTE.

Please pass this Platform letter on to a voting family member, friend or neighbor

                          VOTE ATTORNEY RUSSELL PATE SENATE 2024                             

Raise your voice you are powerful

 

Paid for by Attorney Russell Pate                             

 

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