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SENATOR-ELECT SEEKS ST. CROIX ALLIANCE, AGENDA

Nov. 20, 2002 – The territory's biggest island is in big trouble, and one of its new senators-elect wants to begin doing something about that even before the 25th Legislature convenes.
Senator-elect Raymond "Usie" Richards has enlisted the help of his fellow St. Croix representatives in coming up with an agenda to help the island recover from the myriad problems plaguing it, including crime, infrastructure and education issues.
In a release issued Wednesday, Richards said he has received written or verbal commitments from all St. Croix senators and at-large Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd to meet on Monday and begin work on a plan.
Richards said the meeting is not open to the public, but the senators will issue a statement on any conclusions they reach.
Noting his pleasure at the senators' rapid response, Richards said he has called the meeting to "begin the process of addressing the continuous growth and escalation of social outrage and economic depression that continues to plague our community."
He said he was grateful that his colleagues recognize that political affiliation, or lack thereof, "cannot and should not become obstacles for the need to work in unison to aid and heal our community in their time of need."
In Richards' view, the biggest problem facing St. Croix is its weak government infrastructure, "right down to the physical condition of government property."
Only St. Croix senators and senators-elect were invited to attend the meeting. "At this point in time, I am solely concerned about the state of St. Croix," Richards said. "People on St. Croix are crying out for attention and assistance for our particular ills, and it's time St. Croix becomes a priority."
He said the St. Croix district senators will best protect their constituents' interest by forming an alliance and an agenda early on. "This beginning stage is an opportunity for all of us, if we're sincere about St. Croix being our first priority, to establish a bond along those lines," he said.
Along with his release, Richards distributed copies of letters he received from Liburd and Sen. Emmett Hansen II accepting the invitation to meet.
"I look forward to engaging in meaningful dialogue as we try to address the many problems confronting St. Croix," Liburd wrote.
Hansen said he is "in full support of your initiative and am gladdened to see such leadership coming from a newly elected colleague." He added that he intends to bring to the table constituent concerns that have been reported to his office. "I feel that you are truly embracing the opportunity that has been afforded you by your constituents," he told Richards.

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Nov. 20, 2002 - The territory's biggest island is in big trouble, and one of its new senators-elect wants to begin doing something about that even before the 25th Legislature convenes.
Senator-elect Raymond "Usie" Richards has enlisted the help of his fellow St. Croix representatives in coming up with an agenda to help the island recover from the myriad problems plaguing it, including crime, infrastructure and education issues.
In a release issued Wednesday, Richards said he has received written or verbal commitments from all St. Croix senators and at-large Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd to meet on Monday and begin work on a plan.
Richards said the meeting is not open to the public, but the senators will issue a statement on any conclusions they reach.
Noting his pleasure at the senators' rapid response, Richards said he has called the meeting to "begin the process of addressing the continuous growth and escalation of social outrage and economic depression that continues to plague our community."
He said he was grateful that his colleagues recognize that political affiliation, or lack thereof, "cannot and should not become obstacles for the need to work in unison to aid and heal our community in their time of need."
In Richards' view, the biggest problem facing St. Croix is its weak government infrastructure, "right down to the physical condition of government property."
Only St. Croix senators and senators-elect were invited to attend the meeting. "At this point in time, I am solely concerned about the state of St. Croix," Richards said. "People on St. Croix are crying out for attention and assistance for our particular ills, and it's time St. Croix becomes a priority."
He said the St. Croix district senators will best protect their constituents' interest by forming an alliance and an agenda early on. "This beginning stage is an opportunity for all of us, if we're sincere about St. Croix being our first priority, to establish a bond along those lines," he said.
Along with his release, Richards distributed copies of letters he received from Liburd and Sen. Emmett Hansen II accepting the invitation to meet.
"I look forward to engaging in meaningful dialogue as we try to address the many problems confronting St. Croix," Liburd wrote.
Hansen said he is "in full support of your initiative and am gladdened to see such leadership coming from a newly elected colleague." He added that he intends to bring to the table constituent concerns that have been reported to his office. "I feel that you are truly embracing the opportunity that has been afforded you by your constituents," he told Richards.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.