The Strategic Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) and local radio station WSTX AM 970 have partnered to present the Economic Development Candidates Forum 2016 series set for 12:30-4:30 p.m. (AST), Monday, Sept. 26.
All Virgin Islands candidates for the Senate and delegate to Congress are invited to present their economic plans to the public during the live broadcasts. Three-minute segments will be provided each candidate with two additional minutes for a follow up question by a SEDI panelist if necessary.
“It is critical that our electorate be well educated, and it is imperative that candidates clearly articulate well thought out strategies for remedying our economic depression,” said SEDI founder Anthony Weeks. SEDI, a macro economic and public policy think tank that researches and addresses matters of governance and fiscal responsibility, has actively promoted public discussions on pertinent issues during previous election cycles.
According to Weeks, host of the popular “Economic Roundtable Business Forum” and MBC Live programs airing locally on WSTX AM and internationally on the http://kalalloo.com network, V.I. voters are very concerned about the tenuous state of the territory’s economy.
“In November, we must make informed and responsible choices of leaders who have the knowledge, proven experience and track record to turn the economy around. The SEDI forums will give candidates an opportunity to demonstrate that their plans are comprehensive with potential to be immediately actionable upon taking office in January,” Weeks said.
The issues to be addressed are urgent. Recent reports from the credit rating agencies confirm that the Virgin Islands, with about 100,000 residents, is contending with some of the same forces that have pushed nearby Puerto Rico into a cascading series of defaults: a declining population, retirement-fund debts and a history of borrowing to cover budget shortfalls. The territory’s $2.4 billion of debt, issued by various arms of the government, amounts to some $23,000 per person, even more than Puerto Rico’s $20,000 per capita. The unemployment rate in the USVI is estimated as high as 14.8 percent.
The forum will also be moderated by SEDI’s Economic Think Tank members Albert Bryan, Abbelle Bakr and Cassandra Dunn.
The listening public, the press and other media outlets are invited to tune in to the live broadcast on radio station 970AM, or online at http://kalalloo.com
For further information or to register for Monday’s radio forum, candidates for Senate and Congress should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25. Time slots will be assigned in the order of registration.
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