Soraya Diase Coffelt announced her candidacy for governor of the Virgin Islands on May 30. Visit the campaign Web site at www.sorayaforgovernor.com.
The Committee to Elect Soraya Diase Coffelt Governor can be reached at 777-7177 or P.O. Box 8528, St. Thomas, V.I. 00801
The following is her announcement speech.
“I am a daughter of the Virgin Islands and I am deeply honored to stand before you today to announce that I am a candidate for the office of Governor of our beautiful islands. As your governor, I commit to being a leader who will serve the people and always put the interests of the people first in everything that my administration will do and accomplish.
We will build a government that serves our people, not our own political or personal interests.
I have a clear vision and plan to lead a transformation of the Virgin Islands to become the economic powerhouse and leader in the Caribbean. We will be first in the Caribbean for places to live, work, do business and visit.
I promise to be a governor who serves the people first and I will work diligently to restore hope and prosperity.
The plan that my team and I have put together to achieve this vision has five transformational ideas which we will implement in unison:
Fight for our families – children, fathers and mothers
Ignite our tourism industry through diversification and investment
Rebuild our business community
Strengthen our most critical public services
Transform the inner-workings of our government
We refer to these five transformational ideas as first – which is what we will become as a territory. Our holistic plan puts forth many goals, and we will be rolling out these goals throughout the campaign. No plan can be complete, however, without hearing from the people who will be directly affected. After today, I will be embarking on a listening tour to listen to what the people of the Virgin Islands have to say. Our people are ingenious and have many wonderful ideas. As I go through my listening tour, we will put the finishing touches on the plan, including right down to specific tactics, and these will also be rolled out.
I commit to you right here, right now, to operate with absolute integrity, and to tirelessly work to improve our home and our lives.
There will be no tolerance for corruption. We will deal with those who place selfish greed before the common good.
Needless, irresponsible spending will stop. We will spend wisely to achieve our vision.
Only through vision, leadership and hard work can we become the economic powerhouse and leader in the Caribbean and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.
I will be a uniter, not a divider. I will bring all segments of our community together.
Importantly, I will ask each one of us to undertake our civic duty and volunteer to help our community. The spirit of altruism will pervade the islands because you will have a leader who believes in service to the people first and will not only say it, but also do it.
No one in the Virgin Islands should fear our government. No person or entity should be afraid of speaking out against the political establishment or exposing corruption in the ranks. In a democracy, this should be welcomed.
To our senators, I firmly believe that the Legislature is an equal branch of government. As governor, I will respect you and the position you hold. And, I will seek to partner with you in achieving our vision.
We are having my campaign announcement on St. Croix because I would like to send a loud, resounding message to the people of St. Croix that I understand the severe economic decline that you have experienced for many years and I am saddened by it. I want to assure you that I will dedicate my time and energies as your governor to do everything I can to bring prosperity to St. Croix. My vision and transformational plan has many key points which will directly positively impact all Crucians.
Since it is the day after Memorial Day, I would like to let our veterans and the families of our fallen servicemembers know that I am aware of many of the challenges that you face. An important part of our vision and transformational plan will be to remedy them once and for all.
I welcome all of you to join our transformational movement – whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, a member of the Independent Citizen’s Movement or an independent voter like me. Let us put party affiliations aside and work together to help our islands move forward into the next decade.
Let us start by putting our people first!”