Thu | Oct 22, 2020

Morrison up to the task in St Catherine NE

Published:Sunday | August 16, 2020 | 12:29 AMPaul Clarke - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Kerensia Morrison engages two men in conversation at an Independence Day event in Springfield, St Catherine. Morrison is seeking office as the member of parliament for St Catherine North Eastern in the September 3 polls.
Kerensia Morrison engages two men in conversation at an Independence Day event in Springfield, St Catherine. Morrison is seeking office as the member of parliament for St Catherine North Eastern in the September 3 polls.

Kerensia Morrison says improving the quality of life of the residents of St Catherine North Eastern is top of her agenda as the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) prospective candidate tries to woo them to back her bid to represent the constituency in Parliament when the polls close on September 3.

“It is a farming community and it is rural, and so I want to spend much time assisting the farmers, assisting the citizens here to achieve their dreams and to achieve their goals,” she told The Sunday Gleaner recently.

Morrison is taking up the mantle from fellow Labourite Leslie Campbell, the outgoing member of parliament who has called time on his stint in representational politics.

She is expected to face off with the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Oswest Senior-Smith.

In 2016, Campbell won the closely fought contest by staving off a challenge from the PNP’s Phyllis Mitchell with a 121-vote majority.

WELL POSITIONED TO WIN

Morrison, who has been serving in the Senate, believes she is well positioned to take home the seat come election night and extend the margin of victory this time around, having failed in the past to get the better of Natalie Neita in St Catherine North Central.

Residents of St Catherine North Eastern want a representative who is much more concerned with their everyday “bread-and-butter” issues than just winning the seat, she said.

“They want someone who is willing to come in here and to work with them, to engage them to ensure change, and to make that positive difference to their lives,” Morrison told The Sunday Gleaner.

“The people want someone who will walk with them, to wear that waterboot with them, and who will tell them their children will be better off and so vastly improved that they will not face the hurdles they now face, and I submit I am that person.”

The JLP has won the seat in 10 of the 14 elections held since universal adult suffrage in 1944, while the PNP has managed to pick up the other four.

A former educator at St Jago High School in Spanish Town, Morrison is promising to move St Catherine North Eastern forward.

“We know this will not happen in a year, maybe in five years, but we must have a long-term plan for the development of the constituency,” she told The Sunday Gleaner at an Independence Day flag-raising ceremony in the constituency on August 6.

Morrison said that Campbell was keen on emphasising that it will take a lot of resources to properly serve the constituents. It is a point not lost on her.

Pointing out that citizens deserve better access to water, improved roads and a superior quality of life, Morrison reasoned that “it won’t come by cheap or easy talk, but through a commitment to work with them and to generally ensure that the constituency steps up”.

She added: “We know the roads are a concern and we know about the water crisis here, and we are taking the necessary steps that can improve, in the short term, the experience of the people, while in the long term, remedy some of these problems.”

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com