Nov. 23, 2002 – Sen. David Jones has accepted the invitation of Senator-elect Raymond "Usie" Richards to a meeting on Monday of all St. Croix district representatives in the 25th Legislature, but with a word of caution. And Delegate Donna M. Christensen has asked to send a staff member to the session.
Richards, who ran as an Independent Citizens Movement party member, is rallying his soon-to-be colleagues to develop an alliance and an agenda for St. Croix because of its especially dire economic and social problems. On Friday, he released letters from Jones and Christensen concerning the Monday meeting.
Jones is a member of the Democratic Party, which will have a majority in the 25th Legislature, and is widely rumored to be the majority's choice to be president of the body. He wrote Richards on Friday, "I fully agree it is imperative that we work together to improve the quality of life of all Virgin Islanders, focusing on issues of St. Croix." But he added, "As you may be aware, the Democratic Party already has a platform with a St. Croix agenda which the majority of the people of St. Croix endorsed, as manifested in the outcome of our past election."
In the Nov. 5 elections, eight of the 15 winning Senate candidates ran as Democrats.
Christensen wrote Richards on Thursday: "Since there are areas of mutual concern, and since there is a federal nexus to many of the problems you will address locally, I would like to send a representative."
Richards said earlier in the week that he was calling the meeting to enlist the support of his fellow St. Croix senators to establish an agenda for the island. (See "Senator-elect seeks St. Croix alliance, agenda".)
According to Richards, all St. Croix senators and at-large Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd have said they will attend the meeting, and it will not be open to the press or public. Richards said the senators would issue a statement on any conclusions reached. The St. Croix senators are: Douglas E. Canton, Democrat; Emmett Hansen II, independent; Jones, Democrat; Norman Jn Baptiste, independent; Luther Renee, Democrat; Richards, ICM; and Ronald Russell, Democrat. Liburd also is an ICM member.
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