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Doug Brady Seeks to Be Convention Delegate

May 30, 2007 – Why Doug Brady? I don't usually "toot my own horn," but I've asked for your vote, so here goes… Why me?
First: my wife Isabel and I relocated to St. Croix in 1978. Our first daughter was born at Charles Harwood and our second daughter and son at Juan Luis. I've been active in legal, political, church, school, sports and community affairs for three decades. St. Croix is my home and I care.
Second: As a Christiansted attorney for three decades, I understand the structure of government, the relationship between the Virgin Islands and United States, and among our executive, legislative, and judicial branches. I represent individual clients, but also serve as mediator and arbitrator, chosen by lawyers to help negotiate and resolve their clients' disputes, experience well suited to address difficult and contentious problems that are certain to arise in the Constitutional Convention.
Third: I've been active in Virgin Islands political and legal issues for many years. In 2002, I spearheaded the "Numbered Seats Initiative" for the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, to change the way we elect our Senators.
I am now defending our Legislature in the lawsuit filed by our former Governor to prohibit establishing our Supreme Court in St. Croix.
I'm a former elected member of the Democratic Party Territorial Committee, and have served on the V.I. Bar Association Grievance and Ethics Committee for many years, as well as its the Committee on the Judiciary and as attorney advisor in the high school moot court competition.
Fourth: I know the issues. In 1976, Congress granted us the authority to draft our own constitution "for the local self-government of the people of the Virgin Islands." As of today, we have chosen not to exercise that right to organize our own government, which is still imposed upon us by the Revised Organic Act of the federal Congress.
We cannot determine our own capital and seat of government. The Superior Court recently ruled that our elected Senators are powerless to establish our own Supreme Court anywhere outside the city limits of Charlotte Amalie. I don't necessarily believe that the capital must be relocated or that the Supreme Court can only be established in St. Croix. What is essential, however, is that these decisions must be made by us in the Virgin Islands, not imposed upon us from the outside.
How should we elect our Senators – subdistricting, numbered seats or some combination? The present system makes political parties ineffective and creates competitors, rather than coworkers, among our Senators. What about municipal government – "site-based management" for government operations? Should municipal government result in a reduced role and reduced size of our Legislature?
Who is a Virgin Islander? Am I? Are my born here children? Does it make any difference – should there be rights and privileges for Virgin Islanders not available to others?
All these issues will be on the table and must be determined in this historically vital process leading to our self-government. Thanks for your vote.

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