Verdel L. Petersen wonders if the Sixth Constitutional Convention, scheduled for the Nov. 5, 2024, will elect convention delegates who reflect on the history of previous conventions and avoid the mistakes of the past.
Important dates for the Sixth Constitutional Convention were revealed by the Elections System of the Virgin Islands on Tuesday. The calendar outlines April dates for candidate nominations, May filing deadlines, processes for absentee ballots and early voting, voting machine testing, and the Nov. 5, 2024 General Election.
In a recent session of the 35th Legislature, crowded with honorarium bills, a non-descript amendment referring to some date changes in “Act 8681” was slipped onto a popular measure concerning veteran’s benefits, along with a couple of other unrelated items.
The Senate, in a marathon session Thursday, debated funding a Sixth Constitutional Convention (it passed), suing the Government Employees Retirement System (It was withdrawn), and legalizing adult marijuana use (It was amended and sent to the governor).
In preparation for a sixth constitutional convention, Verdel L. Petersen’s role is to educate the public on three major topics: constitutional development, political status and self-determination. They are intertwined, but in this letter, she focuses on constitutional development.
If there is a sixth Constitution Convention, it will face a challenge both clear and daunting: reconciling a desire to preserve traditional culture without running afoul of protections for individual rights, including those of "newcomers."
Though five failed attempts precede it, the Government Operations and Consumer Affairs Committee forwarded legislation Wednesday in hopes of establishing a Sixth Constitutional Convention of the Virgin Islands for the purpose of drafting a U.S. Virgin Islands Constitution.
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