Delegate to Congress Stacey E. Plaskett released the following statement regarding her letter to Senate President Kenneth L. Gittens about starting a dialogue with the people of the Virgin Islands regarding its political status:
“Recently I sent a letter (attached) to Senate President Kenneth L. Gittens and Joint Board of Elections Chairman Arturo Watlington in reference to starting a dialogue with the people of the Virgin Islands as to the political status of the Territory. With Transfer Day approaching it is time to recognize the considerable progress our Virgin Islands have made through our history under Danish Rule and with the United States of America. Through the arts, sports, politics, military service, and intellectual discourse, the Virgin Islands of the United States continue to contribute to the rich fabric of the United States while keeping our unique Caribbean history and culture.
“Americans have seen and Virgin Islanders (and others living in the territories feel) the impact of limited electoral participation. For example, federal legislation often has unintended consequences to the territories or are passed with deficiencies in treatment to the territories and residents of the territories serve in the armed forces in disproportional numbers but cannot vote for their Commander in Chief. I am pleased to announce that an Amendment to create a Congressional Task Force on Territorial Voting Rights that my office proposed with the support of the territorial members on both sides of the aisle (along with many of our colleagues) has been incorporated into H.R. 1, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives. With such an amendment being accepted to such an important bill I think it is time the Virgin Islands begin a structured discourse related to the ways we here in the territory can discuss our political status with the United States.”