As we are approaching a year before the 2006 elections, most of us experience the various problems we have in the Virgin Islands. The community has problems with sewage, litter, roads, education, crime, traffic, etc. Most of us are tired of listening to complaints and no solutions.
There are various organizations most people can join to lobby towards getting the results from elected officials. The three political parties; Republican, Democrat and ICM, should be stating their views through the state chairs on the various bills and laws that passed through Government House and the Legislature. The Virgin Islands needs these political organizations to be active in order to provide views and ideas to assist elected officials and V. I. residents to find solutions. Since these parties seem to be passive, other organizations like League of Women Voters, Rotary, Lions Club, North Side Civic Association, etc. all need to step up to the plate so the community can improve.
These organizations can work on bringing initiatives to the public. What is an initiative? Title 18ss12 (b) (1), page 138 "An initiative may enact, amend, or repeal any law, except that an initiative shall not be used to repeal a law declared by the legislative at the time of passage to be an emergency law necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or peace." While there are various initiatives that can be brought to the Board of Elections, one might ask how you can get an initiative on the ballot. You must first get signatures from one percent of your district or 4% of voters from the total register list. Then this one percent or 4% amount goes to the supervisor to verify if the organization has the correct number of signatures. If yes, then it goes to a committee that votes on the ballot title.
Title 18ss12 (6) page 139 states: "After the ballot title has been written, proponents of the initiative proposal shall have a maximum of 180 days to circulate the petition. Petitions containing signatures equal to at least 10% of the voters of each legislative district or 41% of all voters of the V.I. must be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections. The Supervisor shall have 15 days to determine that the minimum number of valid signatures are contained in the petition and he shall forward the certified proposal to the legislature which must accept or reject the measure within 30 days."
While there are many initiatives that can be placed on the ballot, please be advised that both the Board and the Election System are here to assist any organization that has an interest in trying to get an initiative on the ballot.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to [email protected].