The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the grim reality of trying to survive day-to-day for thousands of Bermudians. And as we look ahead, even as the pandemic recedes, the outlook is not rosy. We are living through tough times. Bermuda’s economy was fragile before Covid-19, and it is even more precarious now with the Government providing no concrete direction on how to manage the “What’s Next”. We are in the midst of an election, and you will hear a lot of promises.
You’re not alone if you’re concerned about Bermuda’s future. About whether our economy will provide stability and opportunity for all Bermudians, especially those still unemployed because of the pandemic. About an education system that never seems up to the job of preparing our young people, especially those with learning differences. About how to pay for food, rent and all the other bills of necessity. And about issues of social and racial injustices that have plagued Bermudians for far too long.
I share those concerns. I hear you. I see you. I know that you are there. I am with you.
It is time for action, not continued inaction. That’s why I’m standing as a Parliamentary candidate for Constituency 25, Warwick North East, at the General Election on Thursday, October 1. I have a solid record of lifting Bermudians up, and I’m committed to fighting for you.
A lifetime of lifting Bermudians up
After completing my secondary education, I earned a B.A. in business administration and computer science, followed by two master’s degrees in human resources development and management. I have diverse work experience in banking, finance and human resources, having held senior executive positions for the Bank of N.T. Butterfield, Heddington Insurance and Orbis Investment Management, Ltd.
But I’m most proud of the way I’ve been able to put management skills to use in the service of Bermuda’s young people. For several years, I served as the director of the Orbis Scholar Program, which was designed to identify and nurture the potential in young black Bermudian males and females from socially and/or financially disadvantaged communities to become successful and responsible leaders within society. And in 2011, I helped to create the Bermuda charity SCARS, the first organization in Bermuda to specifically address child sexual abuse by providing resources and training in recognizing, preventing and reacting responsibly to child sexual abuse. In 2017, I received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for exceptional service to the community.
How the journey can begin
So, you may ask, what can I do for you? How can I be effective as a Member of Parliament representing your concerns and needs? First, I know the job, having served as an MP from 2003 to 2008. I know how Parliament works and how to move things forward. If elected, I will not be a bench warmer. I’m a doer.
Responding to the voices of the Black Lives Matter movement in our community, I will introduce legislation — as a private member’s bill if necessary — to create a national mentoring and apprenticeship program that enables black Bermudians to have equal access to career opportunities with leading companies and organizations. It would be an important step in how our country can address the realities of systemic racism and move toward real social change.
There is one thing I have learned through the formation of SCARS, and that is how to fight through roadblocks and deal with adversity while convincing others to do the right thing and create a common vision.
To move Bermuda forward, however, the reality is we need a strong and growing economy. Just about everything in our community depends on it — jobs creation, a strong social safety net, universal health care, effective public education and financial security for all. The current government has raised your taxes and significantly increased debt to arguably unsustainable levels, but after three years, they have not found a realistic way to grow the economy. Pandemic aside, are you really better off than you were in 2017?
I’m confident that the OBA will do better. Bermuda deserves better. You deserve better, and I humbly ask that you support me as your representative and advocate.
As I canvass the constituency — with a mask and socially distancing — I look forward to discussing many of these issues with you in person. If you’d like to schedule a specific time to talk, or if you’d just like to share your thoughts and suggestions, you can contact me by e-mail or phone at [email protected] or 799-3400.