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Holland Redfield

Challenges we face in the Virgin Islands
We are witnessing the potential collapse of our social, political, and economic systems in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and we are now at a crossroad in our history.  Today’s choices will greatly affect tomorrow’s future.   As uplifting as our progress has been, it has come at a heavy price.  Many sacrifices have been made to bring us to this point, and we now face uncertainty.  A lack of courage among our leaders to do the right thing, a worldwide economy that has been trashed, and energy costs in the territory that cannot be sustained, the result being an escalating crime problem, depressed economy, and a great sense of helplessness and hopelessness. The ethics and principles of those we have put in power are being called into question.  Yet, in spite of this, we as Virgin Islanders have held on to our pride and self-respect, and we the people are ready for change.

Now the public demands accountability, transparency, and answers.  As uncomfortable as it may be, we must all look in the mirror and recognize that those in power are a direct reflection of the collective votes from the community in which they serve.  And I have taken a long hard look at myself, and acknowledge that it's easy to be a politician when things are going good, as opposed to being a statesman when things are going bad.  And I have made the difficult, yet necessary decision to step up to the plate and run for Congress knowing the challenges that we are all facing here and in Washington. I look at these challenges as opportunities rather than obstacles and maintain an optimistic outlook for our future. 

Challenges we face in Washington
With our current status as an unincorporated Territory we have been confronted with unique challenges that have affected the social, economic, and political way of life in the Territory. The net result has been reducing the territory to a second class citizen status compared to our U.S. counterparts. It is unacceptable that congress does not recognize the significant contributions that Virgin Islanders have made in the protection of our country, ideals, and way of life. As your congressman it would be incumbent upon me to educate and sensitize my colleagues to the Territory’s challenges. We have lost in U.S. military campaigns throughout the world more men and women per capita than any other state or territory under the American flag. We are further handicapped by a non-voting Delegate in congress coupled with our inability to vote for the President of the United States. “After all we are loyal Americans.”

As your congressman, I intend to move forward aggressively on issues that have adversely impacted the Virgin Islands. Part of my strategy would be to, interface directly with the other U.S. territories that have similar challenges, specifically Guam, American Samoa, Northern Marianas, and Puerto Rico. Our strength is in our numbers. Furthermore, to accomplish this I will work to create an island caucus in Congress to better address those issues common to the territories with one voice and one strategy, while at the same time maintaining our independence on issues that are not common to all. To enhance our leverage I will point out our ethnic diversity. ALL are loyal and proud AMERICANS!!

At home, to further bolster our strategy of parity with our U.S. counterparts, I intend to create positions to strengthen working relationships through my office. Specifically, a position created specifically to interact with the Virgin Islands Executive branch, and the Legislature to assist in the Territory’s efforts in Washington DC.

We are America
This initiative is based on the foundation that we are Americans. History has proven Americans to be innovative, industrious and positive in their approaches to difficult times. True to the founding principles of this great country, the United States Virgin Islands is a true melting pot of cultures, races, religions and backgrounds. When called to defend this great nation’s principles and honor the United States Virgin Islands has always been there with brave Virgin Island’s men and women voluntarily joining the United States military. Many of them making the ultimate sacrifice for the country they love. From all over the world visitors come to our shores to enjoy America’s Paradise and in times of troubled and dangerous travel abroad, many come because of the safety and protection afforded by the United States of America.

The red, white and blue proudly fly over our buildings and shout to the world: “We are America”. After all, we are America and we are proud and loyal Americans.

As your congressman, it will be my mission to turn anger into answers. As Virgin Islanders we have always proven that we have the strength and positive attitude to overcome whatever challenges we have faced in our past, and I look to our future with a great sense of optimism.