16th Legislature

One of his first changes as a freshman Senator in the legislature was to skillfully create a position of direct contact between the White House and the Virgin Island Legislature. So Redfield moved for a rule change within the Senate and created a conduit between the two offices in a new position titled, "Legislative Liaison to the White House" and was the first to serve in that capacity. In this role, he sponsored a resolution calling on the Congress to grant the presidential vote to the Territory’s citizens. Recognizing that more men and women from the Virgin Islanders (per capita), have lost their lives fighting for the preservation of freedom for our country than any other state or territory in the nation, Redfield felt it was more than justified that we have the right to vote for the Commander In Chief. He has always maintained a strong stance, to this day, that the US Virgin Islands not be treated as second class citizens. Although, we have not yet been given the opportunity to vote for the President of the United States, Senator Redfield still considers it an important issue. He has always been committed to Virgin Islanders maintaining self-sufficiency and political autonomy as a US territory.

In this 16th Legislature, he also earned an early reputation for being proactive and confronting any form of injustice head on. He prodded federal officials to successfully secure bilingual personnel for local Social Security offices curing a long-time oversight for Hispanics to successfully integrate into the community. Understanding that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, Redfield fought to keep full-service Small Business Administration (SBA) offices remain in the territory instead of having control of them in Puerto Rico. He also was instrumental, and collaborated with the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, to establish a SBA branch office on St. Croix, and wanted to be sure it stayed open to aid Virgin Islanders. Additionally, a Redfield created a new category (Bill No. 16-0082)  in which it was codified for Small businesses in the EDC that had been previously denied participation in the tax benefit programs should be included the IDC.

Additionally on the issue of civil rights, Senator Redfield was appalled that South African Krugerrands were selling in the Virgin Islands. At the time, South Africa stood as a country with a long history of apartheid (racial segregation) and the unfortunate imprisonment of political activist Nelson Mandela much to the dismay of most of the world. As a strong statement for the disapproval of South Africa's apartheid system, Redfield was the prime sponsor of a Bill (No. 16-0274) prohibiting the sale of South African Krugerrands in the Virgin Islands. He wanted to make a clear statement of denunciation that support of apartheid in the Virgin Islands would not be tolerated in any way. In addition to this, as Republican National Committeeman for the Territory, Redfield reaffirmed to his Republican colleagues in the White House as well as the Republican Leadership in both Houses, his disapproval of the Reagan Administration’s passive posture to the Apartheid issue. He forwarded a copy of the new South African legislation to the Republican Administration to show the feelings of over 100,000 predominantly black American Virgin Islanders residing in the territory.

Redfield’s allegiance to the consumer has always been at the forefront. Recognizing that WAPA was unfairly charging only St. Croix consumers with a $100 water deposit and $5 service charge, he took WAPA to court and won. He was able to determine it was unconstitutional (equal protection provision of the 14th amendment) to charge one island differently from another. And when he became a Legislator, Redfield secured his past success with the WAPA lawsuit by implementing permanent legislation with a Bill (No. 16-0136, Act No. #5074) to eliminate the water deposit and the service charge completely for St. Croix residents. In addition, understanding that more people buy gas than sell gas, Redfield took on the large oil companies and franchises and single-handedly "broke the Cartel" to decrease gasoline prices by approximately 15 percent in St. Croix.

Always a strong believer in equal distribution of resources among the three islands, and specifically not allowing St. Croix (or any one Virgin Island) to play second fiddle to another, Redfield recognized that very limited resources were being made available to fix the roadways in St. Croix. Thus, he passed a Bill (No. 16-0324) to substantially increase funds for the upkeep of St. Croix roads, sticking to his fundamental premise that the islands are only as strong as their weakest link.

Another concern of Redfield’s in this first term, was the ecological sensitivity and historic preservation surrounding Salt River Bay. So in a marriage between local and federal governments, Redfield worked between the two to create the Columbus Landing Historic Site, otherwise known as Salt River Bay Historical Park.

In the mid-80’s, Redfield was also a prime sponsor of a Bill (No. 16-0070) that petitioned Congress for the Federal Maritime Commission to have exclusive jurisdiction over shipping to the VI, ultimately allowing the Virgin Islands to compete more economically and bring shipping rates down.