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James Bernier Jr. is Running for Delegate

May 21, 2007 — I am Attorney James Bernier, Jr., #37. You should vote for me on June 12, 2007 because (1) I know the law and your constitutional rights, (2) I am passionate about the Virgin Islands since my family roots go back pre-1917, and (3) I present a fresh face and new perspectives at the Fifth Convention!
Of local French and Hispanic Heritage, I was born, raised and educated on St. Thomas. I attended Sts. Peter and Paul School from kindergarten through high school, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science from the University of the Virgin Islands, and earned a law degree in Washington, D.C. from American University Washington College of Law. While at the College of Law, I worked as a staff member of The American University International Law Review. My thesis paper in law school (known as an upper-level writing requirement) examined the relationship of the USVI to the United States of America and discussed the misapplication of constitutional rights to those residing in the USVI. I am currently a litigation Attorney in St. Thomas, working with Stryker, Duensing, Casner & Dollison.
I returned to St. Thomas after completing my legal education because I saw the potential of the Virgin Islands and my people. I started a life, home and family here because I know that there is no place in the world better than the Virgin Islands. My toddler will grow up in these islands and receive her education here, as I did. My family and I are "the youth" and "the future" and we truly have an interest in these islands. This is why I am running as a delegate to the Fifth Constitutional Convention.
One cannot ignore the fact that the USVI currently has a functioning governmental structure that provides services for its citizens. The problem, however, is that the current structure can perform more efficiently while providing greater accountability and transparency. Moreover, we cannot make changes to the Revised Organic Act without Congressional Approval. Based on this, these are my goals as delegate: (1) More rights: determine which additional rights are needed. For example, there is no automatic right to a jury trial in criminal cases in the Virgin Islands; (2) Local control: examine the feasibility and appropriateness of more local control in our governmental structure; (3) Police abuses: examine the feasibility of establishing a review board; (4) Qualifications and accountability for judges and elected officials: examine current methods of election and appointment and implement appropriate qualifications and removal procedures; (5) Education: examine possibility of establishing special untouchable education funds for facilities, books, and higher education. Also examine possibility of greater administrative authority for principles and vice-principles
You can also share your ideas and concerns with me, as well as receive updates via www.videlegate.com and bernier@videlegate.com
With your vote on June 12, 2007, I will revitalize the Convention, and ensure that our Constitution will be a working document that will effectively serve the Virgin Islands and its residents for generations.

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