Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Letter of the Day: By helicopter or donkey, I'm here to serve

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to Kimesha Brown, whose letter to the editor titled 'Juliet Holness is real and practical' was published Thursday, January 22, 2016.

I was saddened to hear about your difficulties in getting a job after you and your parents had done the hard work of ensuring you got a tertiary education. Your frustration is real and completely understandable. The issue of jobs is the theme I keep hearing from young people like yourself as I have been walking through the 46 communities spanning all five divisions from Bull Bay to Harbour Heights to Kintyre.

As soon as I found out in November 2015 that East Rural St Andrew was the constituency I would have the privilege to lead, I immediately hit the streets to try to meet as many people as possible from all avenues of life. I continue to do this as an ongoing and deliberate part of getting to know the people I intend to serve.

When I read the line about me helicoptering around the constituency, I burst out into a big belly laugh, as the soles that have fallen off my shoe heels from wear and tear tell another story. The truth is even on January 17, 2016, when that fictional story of my helicopter life was being told, I was in the middle of some walks and community football and netball competitions in Harbour View and Shooters Hill.

So what is the real story with the helicopter? The bottom line is that I have started to lay the groundwork to address some of the issues in the constituency with the full expectation that I will be your member of parliament. On January 6, 2016, I had invited engineers and international investors to the constituency to explore the possibilities of bringing a sustainable solution to persistent infrastructural challenges that have plagued the Westphalia, David's Hill, Resource, Mount Hybla, Hall's Delight and Mavis Bank communities for decades. The engineers had said that the best way for them to get a comprehensive overview of what was needed was from an aerial view. I sought out a favour from a company that owns a helicopter to facilitate that. It's not my helicopter, my dear!


Appropriate solutions


I am continuing to invite other foreign investors and engineers to the area to try to develop appropriate solutions. Often, these foreign companies, I invite will fly into Jamaica for the day and tell me that they have two hours to see the constituency, and as a practical matter, I will facilitate them as long as I can get a sponsor to make it happen.

So I will walk my walks and continue to build my understanding and relationships with the people I serve, even if it means I have to ride a donkey, parachute out of a plane, or take a space ship to the moon.

Indeed, we are starting a clean-up on Sunday in Bull Bay to help prepare the constituency to fight ZIKV. It would be great for you to join us.