74.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, March 3, 2024


The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the FYI bulletin board must e-mail source@viaccess.net. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.
November 20, 2003
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
As your Senator, allow me to be one of the first to wish you and your family a joyous and peaceful Thanksgiving observance. In 1621, the Pilgrims and Indians established a day to celebrate a fruitful and abundant harvest of agricultural products which has transcended into the nationally renowned Thanksgiving Day or fourth Thursday of the month of November.
As we draw closer to the dawn of another year, we need to take time to reflect on the many things we as Virgin Islanders need to be thankful for. We must be thankful that we have not incurred any devastating hurricanes; the blessings bestowed upon our lives to live with gladness and singleness of heart. We must be thankful for our country, Territory, culture, the harmonious multicultural society in which we live, and our beautiful natural resources that are second to few in the world. More importantly, we must be thankful and cognizant of the friends and families of military personnel stationed overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq, preserving the very fiber that this country was built upon; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Personally, I would like to thank my creator on this blessed day and you, the people of the Virgin Islands, who gave me this opportunity to serve in the 25th Legislature. I enjoy serving as one of your representatives and welcome the challenge in addressing the issues and concerns of the territory on your behalf on a daily basis.
In light of the recent budget hearings, Virgin Islanders everywhere should be thankful that we did not impose a 36 hour work week or the 10% surcharge on our individual income taxes. Small business owners, especially, should also be thankful for us not raising Gross Receipt taxes. Instead, my colleagues and I came up with solutions to rectify budget shortfalls both on the revenue and expenditure sides that did not unfairly burden the hard-working taxpayers of this Territory. A thirty-six hour work week, for example, does not affect government employees alone. A 36 hour work week would also have had some serious ramifications in the private sector, thus minimizing the amount of discretionary income our people would otherwise have to spend and circulate money in this economy.
We must also be thankful that President George W. Bush has announced that he will not be signing legislation recently passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress allowing Americans to travel to our Caribbean neighbor, Cuba. If the President was of the same mind as the Congress and signs the bill, the Virgin Islands economy would be in automatic jeopardy. We must remember that because Cuba was embargoed by the United States in the late fifties and early sixties, the Virgin Islands Tourism Industry came about and boomed ever since. But with this looming in the balance, along with increased competition from our neighbors, the Virgin Islands has once again, been given another chance to prepare ourselves to carve a niche in this industry and assume our rightful place in the Caribbean Region. We must be very thankful for this shaping of events in the region –– timely.
Let us, on this Thanksgiving Day, reflect on our blessings, the many chances we have been given to get our act together and "connect the dots" to a brighter and prosperous Virgin Islands.
This has been your Senator and public servant, Shawn-Michael Malone, serving you since 1982 and wishing one and all a blessed Thanksgiving Day.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.