I congratulate our Virgin Islands Democratic Party officials – Attorney Derek Hodge, national committeeman; Attorney Arturo Watlington, state chairman; and Terrance Joseph, St. Croix District chairman — on the election results: Five candidates elected on St. Croix and two on St. Thomas, and a delegate to Congress as well. Whatever your plan and platform were, it counteracted the individual campaigns of candidates who were pitted against each other in the present election system.
This is the opportunity for seven Democrats to work together on one platform, designed to assist a Democratic governor to raise the Virgin Islands out of the depths of economic distress. The alternative is not pleasant to imagine. The Democrats elected are more business-friendly and better prepared and supported by a larger body of the electorate than any of the other elected individuals or parties.
The objectives of any legislative organization in the V.I. must be very clear now. The economy must be radically improved and revenues to the government must be increased, while government is downsized and expenditures are cut to provide the necessities.
If the Democrats do not or cannot organize the legislature, we are left to waffle and grope as eight or more independents with eight or more individual plans for survival bash prospective investors, abuse institutions of government, insult fellow U.S. citizens, and attack and fight each other, as they have done in the past.
The time is now to enact "numbered seats." Political organizations and other organized voter groups need to be strengthened, and now is a good time. Independents, accountable to no one, cannot be permitted to continue to ruin our economy, our institutions and our government.
Editor's note: Arnold M. Golden is a veteran Democratic Party political leader on St. Croix.