For far too long, women have shouldered a disproportionate burden in the Virgin Islands and have severely lacked adequate representation in our Law making body. As the Legislature currently stands we have a 1 to 4 ratio. For every 1 female Senator there are 4 male Senators and from a Historical standpoint, that ratio is considered to be high.
From Day-to-day, we are the ones who are doing quite a bit of the governing in these islands. We govern our families and households, the foundation of a society.
The best of us would lay down our lives for our children, just so they can have a little better than we did. But the luckiest of us trudge through jobs just to be able to survive and help support our families.
Our day starts by sending our children to schools that at times fail them, fail us as parents and society as a whole. None of us want our children to just get by! No. We want our children to be the best. To excel and we should accept nothing less than that same level of excellence in every area of our government .
The only way to save ourselves, our children, our families and our society is to fix it. As women, our voices should not only be heard by the government, We need to be the government. We need to govern as we have for so long.
On this campaign journey some of the many questions I often get asked are “who are you for?” “Who are your parents?” “Who are your Grandparents?”At the beginning I did not fully understand that question because I thought as a candidate they would want to know “Who I was” but I had to stop and realize it wasn’t that they didn’t want to know who I was, they wanted to know the people that made me “WHO I AM TODAY!”
Well as the firstborn of a barber from St. Kitts-Nevis “Denzil Frank Francis-Defreitas” and the grand daughter of a boat captain from tortola, Mr. Evermond Rabsatt, the one title that I hold dearest is being daughter to Leeann Rabsatt- Francis.
I want to tell you about a woman, who was accountant, budget Director, Teacher, Referee, Judge, Seamstress, Chef, doctor, Driver, party planner, counselor and so much more!
And often as child I saw my mother as Super Woman for the things she could do and had accomplish but she humbly lived her life under her secret Identity as a homemaker.
This woman, this stay at home mom has inspired me beyond words and helped mold me into the woman I am today asking to be your representative in the 30th Legislature.
I remember when I wrote my first book, my dedication to my mother said: “To the woman who has stopped me from being the bad girl I could have been.”
Well some might have a look of confusion when I say bad girl…but you have to realize that by about 19 years old, both my parents had died of cancer, and when you are a teenager for the first time with no parental guidance, it is so easy to go down the wrong paths in life.
But it always seemed that every time I was presented with a choice to make between doing good or doing bad…my mother’s voice was always there in my head saying “You know I taught you better than that” and those decisions became so much easier, to always choose the path of doing what is right.
I say all this to you to show you that the Strength of a woman, even in death, is more powerful than we realize and at times, even without my knowledge of knowing who I had become, I truly am My mother’s Child.
Historically some of the greatest leaders have been women. From the Egyptian times of Cleopatra to the modern times of Hilary Clinton, and even as our president goes about doing the work of the people beside him stands his strength…a woman, his wife our first lady Michelle Obama. Long and short women get the job done!
That’s right we get the job done! But why when it comes to the Legislature, where laws are made to represent us all both MEN & WOMEN, we are so under represented?
We should expect the same level of excellence from both our male and female senators because the ultimate goal is to do what is right for all people of this community.
As a member of our Legislature, I would make it my priority to demand that level of excellence exists in the First branch of government.
Surely on election day we can head to the polls and let our voices be heard. One Vote. Your Vote.
Today, we start with one small step for Women. One Giant leap for Womankind.