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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 15, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesIF NEW YORK COULD TURN IT AROUND, SO CAN WE

IF NEW YORK COULD TURN IT AROUND, SO CAN WE

Our streets are untidy. We allow unclean, mentally disturbed people to beg, threaten and annoy anyone in sight. No one seems to be in control.
Police sometimes ignore crimes. Government officials throw up their hands in frustration at an inability to make government work. Newspaper headlines
bombard their readers with revelations of an empty treasury, illegal payments, fraud and mismanagement.
Is this the Virgin Islands? No, this was
New York City before a control board was appointed by the federal government to assist New Yorkers in solving their problems.
The comparison is not that much different than our current situation in the Virgin Islands.
However, New York City has 9 million people in an area the size of St. Thomas; we have 100,000 people spread out over three major
islands.
Do we need the drastic measures that saved New York City from collapse? Can we make the tough decisions necessary to improve our shaky financial, social and attitudinal problems? Can our new governor's "grander
vision" take root under these dire conditions? Are we trying to grow new
plants in old soil — will they sprout only to wither from lack of fresh nutrients?
Never before in the modern political history of the Virgin Islands has such intense pressure been placed on our institutions, social framework and people.
Our problems are not only financial, but spiritual as well; we need to be led up the mountain, not just down the road.
Being a Democrat myself, it is hard for me to tout a Republican politician, but my hat is off to Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City, who has continued his city's climb from bankruptcy to prosperity with the skill of a great leader.
The crime rate of both nuisance and violence has dropped to levels below the 1960s. You
can walk the streets of the once-infamous Times Square with your children and not be assaulted by street people, prostitutes, drug dealers and visual decay.
This resurgence of New York City only occurred after a humiliating but visionary decision to let the federal government restore integrity into a collapsing infrastructure.
Our leaders must recognize that the people of the Virgin Islands are prepared for the worst, and are willing to sacrifice now for a brighter future. We came out in great numbers to support a "grander vision" and are
hungry for the details.
Band-Aids cannot cover the deep wound in our
economy, and God cannot be called upon to save us if we don't first do for ourselves what needs to be done. There is no time for a grace period. Get the right people and get the job done.
The momentum of the great upset must
be continued, for the people are energized.
Let the sins of the past be forgotten so the future can be realized. Let the grander vision begin.

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Our streets are untidy. We allow unclean, mentally disturbed people to beg, threaten and annoy anyone in sight. No one seems to be in control.
Police sometimes ignore crimes. Government officials throw up their hands in frustration at an inability to make government work. Newspaper headlines
bombard their readers with revelations of an empty treasury, illegal payments, fraud and mismanagement.
Is this the Virgin Islands? No, this was
New York City before a control board was appointed by the federal government to assist New Yorkers in solving their problems.
The comparison is not that much different than our current situation in the Virgin Islands.
However, New York City has 9 million people in an area the size of St. Thomas; we have 100,000 people spread out over three major
islands.
Do we need the drastic measures that saved New York City from collapse? Can we make the tough decisions necessary to improve our shaky financial, social and attitudinal problems? Can our new governor's "grander
vision" take root under these dire conditions? Are we trying to grow new
plants in old soil -- will they sprout only to wither from lack of fresh nutrients?
Never before in the modern political history of the Virgin Islands has such intense pressure been placed on our institutions, social framework and people.
Our problems are not only financial, but spiritual as well; we need to be led up the mountain, not just down the road.
Being a Democrat myself, it is hard for me to tout a Republican politician, but my hat is off to Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York City, who has continued his city's climb from bankruptcy to prosperity with the skill of a great leader.
The crime rate of both nuisance and violence has dropped to levels below the 1960s. You
can walk the streets of the once-infamous Times Square with your children and not be assaulted by street people, prostitutes, drug dealers and visual decay.
This resurgence of New York City only occurred after a humiliating but visionary decision to let the federal government restore integrity into a collapsing infrastructure.
Our leaders must recognize that the people of the Virgin Islands are prepared for the worst, and are willing to sacrifice now for a brighter future. We came out in great numbers to support a "grander vision" and are
hungry for the details.
Band-Aids cannot cover the deep wound in our
economy, and God cannot be called upon to save us if we don't first do for ourselves what needs to be done. There is no time for a grace period. Get the right people and get the job done.
The momentum of the great upset must
be continued, for the people are energized.
Let the sins of the past be forgotten so the future can be realized. Let the grander vision begin.