The U.S. Virgin Islands can become a model for the rest of the United States in the development of alternate energy and broadband, a prominent U.S. political figure told a St. Croix audience Saturday.
Alice Germond, secretary of the Democratic Central Committee and a longtime party operative, addressed about two dozen people gathered Saturday at the Student Center on the University of the Virgin Island’s St. Croix campus. The event was the first of a lecture series being coordinated by former V.I. Sen. Emmett Hansen and UVI dean of students Miriam Osborne-Elliott.
Hansen, the chairman of the V.I. Democratic Committee, introduced Germond, calling her "the second most relevant woman in national politics next to Hillary Clinton."
Germond has been active in the Democratic Party for more than 45 years, holding leadership posts in local, state and national campaigns. She was political director for Clinton-Gore in California, deputy national political director for Michael Dukakis, and super delegate director for Gary Hart.
In 1988 she was director of political operations for Ron Brown’s successful election as chair of the DNC. She was named his senior adviser, coordinating DNC programs and was his liaison to the 1992 convention. From 1993 to ’96 she was director of the DNC’s Government and Party Affairs departments.
Saturday she talked about the role of government in society and emphasized the importance of local activities on national politics.
Projects ongoing in the U.S. Virgin Islands could lead the way for the rest of the United States, she said, in broadband Internet – the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network project – and renewable energy.
“You have a great opportunity here for wind and solar energy. You can become a model for the United States,” she said.
The most import element in making government work is full participation from all citizens, Germond said. Residents must make sure government gets the job done and done well. She then discussed the various roles of local, state and federal government in the states.
This drew a comment from May Adams Cornwall, executive director of the V.I. Waste Management Authority and a prominent member of the territory’s Democratic Party, about a suggestion she heard at a recent town meeting that Christiansted should have a mayor.
Germond said such a decision required consideration of many factors and should be made on the local level.
Hansen said getting Germond here was his way of making the national party aware of the territory’s unique situation. He said he has known Germond for many years.