May 11, 2006 – Generation Now, a St. Croix-based voter empowerment group, has thrown down the gauntlet to potential candidates in the upcoming election. During its Thursday press conference at the Hibiscus Hotel on St. Croix, the group demanded an issues-oriented campaign.
"We want to separate the people of substance from those people who feel that they can run and be elected just by saying the right things," said Albert Bryan Jr., vice president of Generation Now.
"While the candidates are running their popularity campaigns, we will be running an issue-based campaign to ensure that people are elected who are capable of moving this island forward," he added.
Generation Now's mission statement avows that they will "promote more proactive and politically astute Virgin Islanders, by empowering people through education and information, and consolidating the strength of viewpoints among the voting public."
The group defined its priorities for both the gubernatorial and legislative elections in 10 categories: education, crime, economy, wages, health care, social services, government reform, constitutional convention, energy and infrastructure.
"We plan to engage the candidates directly to find out exactly what their plans are for solving the problems facing this territory," said Adrienne Williams, Generation Now president. "We're looking for more than promises and speeches. We need substance."
The group's brochure states that they are seeking to:
— promote an issue-oriented election campaign;
— compel candidates to address the top 10 issues facing the Virgin Islands;
— increase voter education and participation;
— reduce fear, mistrust and apathy of the political process;
— elect the best candidates to lead the Virgin Islands; and
— produce and publish its research and findings of unedited candidate responses to the top issues and priorities of the Virgin Islands.
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