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Opinion: Pushing for Systemic Change in the Territory, Starting With the Legislature

  • Staff Consortium
  • March 08, 2024

Editor’s Note: In this submission, attorney Mark Hodge outlines the first step in his plan for systemic change in the U.S. Virgin Islands – a different way to manage legislative elections.  Why is this the first step?  At the moment, our Legislature does not function like a proper legislature comprised of colleagues, and to complete any of the other steps to achieve critical systemic change, we will first need an efficient Legislature so that the best public policy can be enacted without the petty one upmanship campaigning that is inherent in our Legislature’s very structure. What is the problem with our Legislature?  The problem with our Legislature is how it is elected.  We have party primaries for the 7 St. Thomas/St. John seats and 7 St. Croix seats, where all the incumbents of that party are running directly against one another for one of those 7 party nominations.  Then, we proceed with what appears to be unheard of elsewhere in the country: a jungle general election for multip...

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