After complaining about the island’s lack of representation in government affairs, one St. John resident is stepping up to the plate to make a difference.
Bonny Corbeil, a board member of Crime Stoppers USVI and the Coral Bay Community Council, has long been a community activist urging inter-island unity and a stronger government voice for the island of St. John.
In her new position as Senate President Louis Patrick Hill’s St. John liaison, Corbeil is poised to make St. John heard like never before.
After penning a letter detailing some of her concerns to St. John Tradewinds in December — which she also sent to several senators — Corbeil was contacted by V.I. Senate President Louis Patrick Hill.
“This really came about from my first letter that I sent to a few senators, who I believe in and know, asking them to please seriously look at the true lack of representation that St. John has in our current legislative body,” said Corbeil. “Senator Hill came over to have lunch with me and during that time he ‘fully owned’ that the Senator at Large position — running around trying to work for the people of St. John — does not leave St. John with much representation.”
“This is the reason for so many of our frustrations in getting resolutions and forward movement for our issues,” Corbeil said.
Corbeil was at first hesitant to accept the position, but after deep reflection decided she really had no choice.
“I thought long and hard about it,” said Corbeil. “However, how can one love this island, see that our basic issues are not being met, then be asked to help get St. John a stronger voice, and say no.”
Since accepting her new job, Corbeil is clear about what she wants to accomplish.
“As I see it, this job is much more about St. John than it is about me,” she said. “We are being given an opportunity to really rally ourselves as one St. John and get help from our legislative president to move a consensus of issues forward.”
Corbeil will formally start as Hill’s St. John liaison on Monday, February 1. She will be based out of the Cruz Bay Legislature building and will publish her hours and initiatives soon.
With election season looming, Corbeil hopes to see real change on St. John through her work over the next year.
“I am purely motivated by my commitment for the good of St. John and in helping to restore hope for the change we all seek,” said Corbeil. “I am not entirely sure how that can be translated into action, however I am willing to give it my best. It is my sincere hope that we can be instrumental in the positive change that we so desperately need.”