Monday, July 20, 2015

NYC Electeds and Labor Leaders Meet With US Virgin Islands Governor In St. Thomas About Economy

NYC Electeds and Labor Leaders Meet With US Virgin Islands Governor In St. Thomas About Economy, Social Services
On July 9, a delegation of NYC elected officials and labor leaders from around the city met with US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp on the island of St. Thomas, where topics included economic realities and the need for a stronger voice in the continental United States for the islands.  The trip was organized by New York Council Member Andy King, co-chair of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus in the Council, who was joined at the Governor's Offices by Bronx Deputy Borough President Aurelia Greene, Bronx County Democratic Party Chair Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, and Bronx Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, and Council Members Darlene Mealy (Brooklyn) and Vanessa Gibson (Bronx).  

"With large constituencies with strong ties to the Caribbean and particularly the Virgin Islands, it was an important discussion with Governor Mapp for us Bronx elected officials not only to see comparative government in action, but also to understand the realities of so many families with relatives in our districts," said Council Member Andy King, who represents the North East Bronx communities of Wakefield, Baychester, Edenwald and Co-op City. 
With the story of the Puerto Rican debt crisis prominently featured in New York City over the past weeks, a takeaway from the meeting was the economic similarities both in infrastructure and social service needs for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  both municipalities owned by the United States with residents enjoying many basic rights of United States citizens but not all, not limited to not having a vote for the Presidency and having Congressional representation without full voting rights. 
In addition to the reception with the Governor, the delegation had the opportunity to meet with administrators at Schneider Regional Medical Center about health care staffing needs on the island and tour the facility.  The membership of Locals 371 & 372, as well as 1199 SEIU and the  Council of School Supervisors, were also present.