People’s National Movement (PNM) candidate for Plymouth/Golden Lane Melissa James-Guy has revealed that the party helped her to emerge from a life of stigmatisation and uncertainty.
And she intends to use her platform, if elected as the representative for the area, after the January 25 THA election, to develop policies and programmes to enable residents to attain their fullest potential.
In an emotional address at the Bethesda Multipurpose Facility on Friday night, James-Guy, 30, disclosed personal details of her life, including being once told she would never be successful.
“I am the product of a teenage pregnancy who was once advised that I would amount to nothing but another statistic,” she told supporters in her maiden political address.
“But, I stand before you, today, as a success story, as a testament of good choices coupled with policies and programmes that I took advantage of provided under the PNM.”
Referring to a young, expectant mother in the electoral district, James-Guy said she intends to support such women through several initiatives.
“It is not simply because it is the expected thing for me to do as a good area representative but because I see so many fragments of myself in you.”
James-Guy, who dedicated her maiden speech to her late grandmother, also revealed she made many sacrifices to enter electoral politics.
She said also had the good fortune of being mentored by several people along the way.
The candidate said although she is a young woman, her experiences in life, thus far, has made her wise beyond her years.
“Life and our fortunes rise and fall based on the choices that we make.”
She said her position as Assistant Director, YES (Youth Energised for Success) Programme, Division of Finance and the Economy, has also prepared her for electoral politics.
In the programme, James-Guy said she is responsible for the operationalisation and supervision of programmes and initiatives that support a culture of excellence innovation and creativity in the areas of youth, professional and scholarship development and youth entrepreneurship.
Saying she plans to build on the gains of previous representatives, James-Guy said much of her focus will be on residents, who were “not born with a gold, silver or even a bronze spoon in their mouths.”
In his address, Black Rock/Whim/Spring Garden candidate Kelvon Morris said a new PNM-led THA will place heavy emphasis on arts and culture in the primary school curriculum.
Morris said in his electoral district, he also plans to introduce what he called a weekly “street beat” festival at the Courland Heritage Park.
“It will highlight the cultural excellence of the district, including the world-renowned Black Rock Katzenjammers (steel orchestra), Les Coteaux Folk Performers and other cultural groups,” he said of the festival.
Morris said he also plans to implement a strategic infrastructural development plan that will ensure there is an equitable and sustainable implementation of work as it pertains to the maintenance and upgrade of roads, bridges, recreational facilities, schools and other public buildings in the district.
He also praised outgoing representative Kelvin Charles for his contribution to the development of the electoral district.