Yet another political organisation has emerged to contest the 2019 General Elections.
This organisation — the third new party to form in the last six months — has been branded the Reform Action Alliance (RAA).
The organisation has not released the names of any of its members except for outspoken resident, Cindy Rosan-Jones — one of the party’s 50 founding members.
Rosan-Jones told BVI News on Tuesday that the party will only be presenting four At-Large candidates for the upcoming elections. She, however, said the RAA will “endorse” candidates from other parties who ‘reflect the RAA’s vision on values’.
She declined to confirm whether she is among those four candidates, stating: “I cannot disclose that at this time.”
She also declined to specify whether any of the four RAA candidates is or has been in political office before.
And when asked whether the organisation has a leader, she said: “The organisation operates as a team. Finding solutions to the issues facing the country is our priority.”
The RAA is expected to release the names of its quartet of candidates in mid-January, “once the House of Assembly is dissolved”.
Meanwhile, in explaining the reason for forming the party, Rosan-Jones said in an RAA media release: “What we found was that both voter and non-voter residents have become disenchanted with government, with our leaders, with how systems work, and with the existing party system.”
“Our biggest concerns are that people have grown hopeless, that there is disinterest in going to the polls, and that many young people do not see the importance in registering to vote … It was startling for us to hear how many people did not feel their vote at the polls mattered,” added Rosan-Jones who is sister to the late, former magistrate and past VIP candidate, Charmaine Rosan-Bunbury.
With this new organisation added to the list, the parties who have declared that they will contest the 2019 General Elections comprise the Julian Fraser-led Progressives United, the Ronnie Skelton-led Progressive Virgin Islands Movement, the RAA, and traditional political parties — the National Democratic Party and the Virgin Islands Party headed by Myron Walwyn and Andrew Fahie, respectively.
Below is a full media release from the RAA
Fifty Virgin Islanders and their supporters have come together to create the Reform Action Alliance (RAA), a civic organisation aimed at broad spectrum change in the territory’s governance. After ten months of meetings, focus group discussions, market research and ongoing deliberations, the RAA has now been launched to act as a watchdog for the people of the Virgin Islands and to field and endorse candidates for the next General Election.
Entry onto the political scene by this diverse group of Virgin Islanders was prompted by overwhelming feedback from the public that the existing systems of governance do not work in the best interest of the people and that – more than any other time in our history – conscientious and common sense change is urgently needed.
● A Territory where Virgin Islanders thrive and flourish, and where those who come to live among us feel welcomed and valued.
● An enriched Society where good health, education and the environment come first, and where innovation and entrepreneurship make us regional leaders.
● A reformed Government that makes decisions in light of shared information, that responds to the needs of the people, is accessible to all and is faithfully accountable for good stewardship of the people’s money, resources and well-being.
Having spent substantial time and effort in speaking and interacting with all demographics of the public, the consistent message received by the RAA has been that people need to be heard, need to be acknowledged and need to see significant and swift change in the direction in which the BVI is currently headed.
“What we found was that both voter and non-voter residents have become disenchanted with government, with our leaders, with how systems work, and with the existing party system,“ said Cindy Rosan-Jones, one of several founding RAA members. She also said, “Our biggest concerns are that people have grown hopeless, that there is disinterest in going to the polls, and that many young people do not see the importance in registering to vote”, adding that “It was startling for us to hear how many people did not feel their vote at the polls mattered.”
The RAA identified this disillusion with the voting process at a voter registration drive that they organised in September 2018, where they successfully registered seventy-eight, new voters. But many potential voters declined to register, stating that there was no option that represented their needs.
RAA is now in a position to present a real alternative, formulated to specifically address the needs of the people. A further Voter Registration Outreach will take place on January 12th. Special emphasis will be given to motivating young people to become active participants in the election process. In answer to feelings of hopelessness and a need for significant change that have been observed, the RAA will present four dynamic At-Large candidates in mid-January, once the House of Assembly is dissolved, along with RAA endorsements of candidates already declared who reflect and support the RAA’s Vision and Values.
● Fair, progressive, honest and transparent Governance.
● Quality Standards of Living attainable by all through broad access to excellent healthcare, education, housing and a livable wage.
● Sustainable Development that protects natural environments.
● Community Spirit that inspires our youth, cares for the elderly and protects the vulnerable.
● Legislation that enriches and safeguards our long-term future.
● Equality in areas of gender, ability, age, sexuality, race, nationality and religion.
The RAA is about re-engaging people in a healthy process for change. Courage is needed for this process to succeed – courage to speak, courage to stand up and the courage to support leaders who demonstrate ethical and moral standards. This calls for unity of purpose, and so we invite all those who agree with our Vision and Values to join us as we seek to restore integrity and common sense to this beloved territory.
RAA Logo Symbolism
The Yellow background reflects the stars in our Vigilate and represents hope, transparency, and positivity for a bright future, with the sun rising on a new BVI. The Turtle Dove in flight, our national bird, represents the restoration of national pride, and respect for our natural beauty and bounty. The BVI Flag, a symbol of pride, represents who we are as strong, resourceful and courageous people. RAA Invitation The RAA encourages all voters and other persons who truly care about the BVI, to visit our website, www.RAABVI.org, and share your concerns and ideas.
The right plans for the people cannot be made without knowledge of what people want. Regardless of politics, loyalties, or voting status, ideas and opinions that will benefit these beautiful islands and their inhabitants, will be valued and respected by the RAA. Volunteers and donors who wish to support our efforts are invited to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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