Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Face to face challenge

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM


The vibrancy of youth was released in the recent UWI town hall meeting with United States President Barack Obama. It was encouraging to see us the young people interested in the process and wanting to actively participate. However, this might have been a side effect of Obamamania that has infected the entire island from his first term in office till now.

After the event, I had heard some of our own youngish politicians along with other youth leaders say how "re-energised and refocused" they were - but these pronouncements must be taken with caution even as we wait for the manifestations that may bring about well-needed changes in governance.

Now the People's National Party has decided to hold a series of town hall meetings, dubbed 'Face2Face', across Jamaica, giving us - the people - an opportunity to question ministers and mayors. It is said to be the Government's efforts to encourage participation, accountability and responsibility - even if it doesn't stand up as an actual effort at reaching out to the ordinary/articulate Jamaican or just a political ploy to shore up their loyalist base for local elections. We must ensure that we capitalise on this moment as a people tired of mismanage-ment and demand real answers, especially after years of questionable performance.


This is a vital opportunity for those often sidelined during protest and demonstration for better governance and accountability are being held, because of distance - as the Government is in their backyard. The social media constituency must now decide to use this forum as transition from Twitter and Facebook to the town halls and prove themselves as not dismissible.

Local government has not received its proper share and has been left on its own. With Mayors being a central part of the town halls, hopefully, the community leaders and advocates can put them to task.

The town hall theme is 'We want to hear your voice'. The Jamaican people must oblige.

Mario Boothe

BSc Hospitality and

Tourism Management