This past 2016 election was something to be remembered. And from every person who offered a kind word to every single one of the voters who cast their ballot in my favor during Early Voting and in November, I thank you deep down in my heart. Your trust and confidence empowers us all.
Today, we embark on a new special election and it will take no single effort to influence our beautiful Virgin Islanders to encourage positive changes. As we embark on this journey together, I promise you that the remarkable support that this campaign generated and continues to generate will not go wasted.
This campaign was born from a need for change. It started as a movement of concerned citizens and ran without formal party support. We told the truth from the ground up. It is my goal once elected, I to utilize the ability of direct access to crafting, implementing and enforcing the laws that govern our society.
Our movement of reform vowed from ‘day one’ to demand that the government hear our voices. And we’re going to proceed forward as such movement. If I thought our cause was worth giving up like that, I would’ve never embarked on this journey. I’m proud of our accomplishments and I stand by our intentions.
I remained obligated to concentrate on focusing those efforts on changing the Virgin Islands from outside the formality of political office. We continued to move forward and take the symbolic act of governing ourselves because we are strong and because we can.
It starts in the home. As the heads of households, we need to govern on a micro level. Of all the places in the world, a home needs to serve as a safe and comforting haven. When our homes are filled with domestic violence, alcohol and substance abuse or neglect, how can our children grow into productive members of society? If we’re victims, and constantly feel threatened, how can we create that haven for others if it doesn’t exist inside of us.
We need to support the organizations that protect women against domestic violence. And we need overcome the cultural bias towards alcohol and substance abuse in order to adequately fund resources that addicts can utilize. We need to support mental health facilities of all varieties in order to support our growing homeless population. These are not just moral obligations. These extend into areas of simple economics and quality of life.
Safety is a basic human dignity. Is it not the top priority of the governors of society to protect us? We not only have the highest per capita murder rate of any state or territory in the United States but we rank one of the highest in the world. We need our streets to be safe in order to spark any sort of economic activity to help pull us out of this recession. Businesses don’t want to move into areas of high crime. When this happens, there are no jobs, making people desperate and enabling this vicious cycle of poverty, crime and recession.
Our energy costs are rising once again, draining more and more from the budgets of families who need it to pay for basic necessities. If we began to work on infrastructure projects to alleviate some of the pressure off our electricity demands, this would drive costs down. It would simultaneously employ many of those same desperate people who need work, so they can do the governing at home.
This is the type of government that works for its people, not against them. And it creates an atmosphere in which the people will work for the government in return.
On April the 8, 2017 in this special election we have a chance to change the system. A chance to elect somone who can fight on your behalf and be a true represenative of the people. Let’s make this vision of paradise more than just an illusion in a travel brochure. Let’s make it a reality for the people that create that illusion.
Thank you so much for your continued support. God Bless the Virgin Islands
Alma Francis Heyliger
Special Election for the 32nd Legislature