June 15, 2003 Two Virgin Islanders will be going to Washington, D.C., later this month to join other young African-American leaders attending a summit sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus and U.S. Senate Democrats, according to a release from the office of Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen.
John Figueroa Seville of St. Croix and Dahlia Richardson of St. Thomas have been asked by Christensen to take part in the summit along with more than 250 other professionals including: business leaders, state representatives, veterans, student leaders and National Pan-Hellenic Council members.
The day-long summit, scheduled for June 26, is part of a Democratic Party initiative to promote policy priorities around the country with emerging leaders. It will cover issues of importance to American families ranging from jobs and the economy to health care, education, civil rights and homeland security.
"This is a great opportunity to develop our young, energetic political leadership from across the country on the issues that are important to American families on a national level, but have resonance in the day-to-day issues that we face locally," Christensen said.
Seville is a member of the Territorial Committee of the Democratic Party and the Knights of Columbus; he volunteers with the Elmo Plaskett Little League East and was a Senate aspirant in the last election.
Richardson is a member of the Young Democrats of the Virgin Islands as well as the V.I. Juvenile Prevention Council National Night Out Against Drugs, Crime and Violence.
The event organizers include Senate Democratic Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Democratic Steering Committee Chair Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the CBC.
Round-table sessions where the invited leaders will be able to exchange ideas with Senate and House Democrats will open the summit, which will also include a panel discussion on jobs and the economy moderated by former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman.
"It is a continuation of our dialogue with African-American leaders from around the country. It is our opportunity to tell them again just what we have been fighting for and just what we stand for," said Cummings.
"The Democratic Party and the African-American community have forged a strong and important relationship based on shared values and ideas. Together we have made so much progress that we cannot be satisfied simply with our past accomplishments, we must keep this important dialogue going and plan for the future," Sen. Clinton said of the summit.
The summit will conclude with a town hall-style meeting where the young leaders will discuss policy issues raised throughout the day and ways in which young Americans might be encouraged to participate more in the electoral process.
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