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terry
(@terry)
Expert

I see where the obama signed legislation enabling the Constitution committee to try again.

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Posted : July 2, 2010 1:59 pm
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

I see where the obama signed legislation enabling the Constitution committee to try again.

We are very fortunate to have President Obama as our leader during these difficult times. He listens to people and works to bring diverse factions together.

Our representative to Congress Donna Christiansen pleaded with the President and leaders of congress to send the VI constitution back to the people of the USVI. President Obama announced that the USVI constitution that was sent to him was possibly illegal and discriminatory. However Representative Christiansen convinced the leaders of congress to pass it unanimously. The president agreed that the "people of the USVI" should have another chance at making the document right. I would rather that it died an honest death in Washington DC and we were required to start all over..

There is still the danger that due to ignorance and apathy this constitution will be voted on and passed by the people. If that happens we face years of legal action and mistrust. However, if every one of us takes the time to actively oppose it and help rewrite it to reflect the true wishes of the majority, then we can finally move on.

It is time to make the USVI a place that treats all people fairly and equally.

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Posted : July 3, 2010 2:07 am
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

well for one, it would help if Adelbrain shot himself in the back with a unlicensed firearm for a change!

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Posted : July 3, 2010 12:58 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Donna Christensen was quoted saying she wanted to have Congress correct the document and send it back for a vote (knowing that the conventioneers would never be able to correct it?) but she was convinced by colleagues that the changes had to come from the territory. My skeptical self says there will be a bunch more time and money spent with no results. But I want to hear Anita's more diplomatic response...;)

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Posted : July 3, 2010 1:32 pm
islandlola
(@islandlola)
Trusted Member

I

It is time to make the USVI a place that treats all people fairly and equally.

I'm always baffled by discourses such as this.

Pretty much everything of any significant economic value in all three USVI's is owned by people who are relative newcomers (by ANY definition).

Is there anything wrong with this picture?

Gee, I dunno, I guess it depends on one's point of view.

But I think that selfsame newcomers might examine just where the unequal treatment lies.

Just a random thought.

Best,

Islandlola

Islandlola!

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Posted : July 3, 2010 1:42 pm
stxer
(@stxer)
Advanced Member

I

It is time to make the USVI a place that treats all people fairly and equally.

I'm always baffled by discourses such as this.

Pretty much everything of any significant economic value in all three USVI's is owned by people who are relative newcomers (by ANY definition).

Is there anything wrong with this picture?

Gee, I dunno, I guess it depends on one's point of view.

But I think that selfsame newcomers might examine just where the unequal treatment lies.

Just a random thought.

Best,

Islandlola

When I wrote the sentence regarding equal treatment, I was referring to the parts of the proposed constitution that "give special rights to a special class of people". That of course is class discrimination and would be illegal under the US constitution. It is insulting that it was every approved by the framers of the USVI document.

Everyone in the USVI is a newcomer, as there are no longer any of the 'original natives" left. Remember change happens. No matter how much we would like things to remain the same, we must adapt or perish. Who decides? All we can do is make things as fair as possible.

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Posted : July 3, 2010 2:58 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

stxer

You are right on. The document as created to create a special class of people. Of course it was in violation of the US Constituion but they sent it any way.

What balls!

billd

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Posted : July 3, 2010 10:37 pm
Edward
(@Edward)
Trusted Member

The document was DOA in DC. President Obama did the right thing in sending it back with the fixes that will make it viable.

Edward in New Hampshire

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Posted : July 3, 2010 11:36 pm
stcmike
(@stcmike)
Advanced Member

Why is a VI constitution necessary - Just another waste of money

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Posted : July 4, 2010 12:24 am
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

Why is a VI constitution necessary - Just another waste of money

the first organic act in 1936 was basically danish law from the time of the transfer, and more control was given to the u.s.v.i. when this was revised. the revised organic act of 1954 (by act of congress), gave the territory its legislature and set the rules for how things run here in all branches of government... they more closely mirror what is in place under the u.s. flag.

along with the status between us and the united states of america, a constitution would be created by the people of the u.s. virgin islands and modify some things such as the size of the legislature, definitively address beach rights and other issues. defining a virgin islander and native rights are also items that are covered. the maturation of this unincorporated territory will be shown by its ability to more fully establish its own self-governance. it will most definitely influence the way the u.s. deals with us, on a personal level... and the international community, as it pertains to trade and commercial development. we are no longer the "effective poorhouse" (herbert hoover, 1931 visit), but we are still taking the laundry to mother when it needs washing.

there was supposed to be a lot of public input during the process, and i don't think many people of the territory really got interested in the process until there was controversy over the definition of "virgin islander"... but we should all get a copy of the document, and read it... then follow the proceedings via the web or in person. it's a big document, with a lot of parts.

@ east ender, and i hope it helps...

that being said... sometimes the wrong thing happens for the right reason. suddenly everyone's interested! the level of public discussion on the fifth constitutional convention has been vigorous in the blogosphere, in the news, and on talk shows... as well as among people. it's time that everyone who has an opinion, make it known, in a civil manner, to the membership of the convention, and take the time to share facts with those who cannot access information. each one, teach one.

for more background on how important the constitution is to us, please see dr. carlyle corbin's paper via the humanities council, Adoption of a (US) Virgin Islands Constitution and Its Implications for Status

here is a copy of the proposed constitution submitted to the governor in 2009: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16178594/US-Virgin-Islands-Proposed-Constitution-5th-Constitutional-Convention... or if you don't have a login (you may use your facebook login or create a scribd account)... get it at crucians in focus: http://cruciansinfocus.com/ - it's in the right column.

best to you,
anita.
"do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind."
--- scott nearing

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Posted : July 5, 2010 2:19 am
StCroix
(@StCroix)
Advanced Member

I'm always baffled by discourses such as this.

Pretty much everything of any significant economic value in all three USVI's is owned by people who are relative newcomers (by ANY definition).

Is there anything wrong with this picture?

Gee, I dunno, I guess it depends on one's point of view.

But I think that selfsame newcomers might examine just where the unequal treatment lies.

Just a random thought.

VERY random.

We have 110,000 people living on an island with an economy that is 80% from tourists (outsiders). Of those 110,000 people, 80% were living in poverty 50 years ago. If you are not aware of just how far the average "local" has come in the past 50 years, I invite you to view some of the photos from St Croix in 1941. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=13805&id=108490892501873

In particular, view the "La Valle Village" at http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=187061&id=108490892501873

Given the limited natural resources and one dimension economy, it's no wonder few who were in poverty a generation ago, and many of whom were not able to (or chose not to) complete their education, are still not wealthy enough to own tracts of land, build hotels, start factories and own shopping centers. This is not "their fault" ...it is simply a statement of fact.

On the other hand, some outsiders have done well coming here, in part, because they brought a different attitude towards work, and within a generation have done very well. For example, "The Arabs" (as the locals disparagingly call them) have parlayed their work ethic, business acumen, and tight knit social relations into many successful businesses.

Rather than complain about "outsiders" who come and spend money, choose to bring their businesses here and employee local people, who buy homes, pay taxes, and shop here, -we should thank them not only for their investment, but their example and their ideas.

And while we're still fresh off the July 4th Holiday, we should also thank the American people who have pumped BILLIONS of dollars into these islands through the Federal Govt, law enforcement, rural utility acts/taxes/subsidies, housing, and disaster assistance.

I find it interesting that many of those I would classify as "separatists" have been voted out of office by the people. It doesn't surprise me that they found another avenue to advocate their separatist agenda (the convention), and I have faith that the good people of the USVI will vote down their separatist agenda once again.

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Posted : July 5, 2010 12:22 pm
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

stcroix:
Rather than complain about "outsiders" who come and spend money, choose to bring their businesses here and employee local people, who buy homes, pay taxes, and shop here, -we should thank them not only for their investment, but their example and their ideas.

And while we're still fresh off the July 4th Holiday, we should also thank the American people who have pumped BILLIONS of dollars into these islands through the Federal Govt, law enforcement, rural utility acts/taxes/subsidies, housing, and disaster assistance.

this type of thinking right here is what makes those you refer to as 'separatists' so intent on moving toward self-determination.

it is unfortunate that we have a large segment of the nation's population that thrives on welfare. i am talking about all americans, not just those who live in the territories.

long-term welfare programs do nothing but teach people to ask for things, atrophy their desire for self sufficiency, and create a sense of entitlement much like that seen in a young child. most people, if not exercising the musculature of independence, simply don't see how it can ever "happen" for them and come to resent those who "already have". granted most who have, have worked for what they have. but, there are some who are just fortunate. that's life. it's a matter of perspective.

best to you,
anita.
"do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind."
--- scott nearing

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Posted : July 7, 2010 3:22 am
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