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… voter education outreach begins in earnestBy Suraj NarineAs the ball leading up to Local Government Elections (LGE) continues to roll and gather momentum,Dr. Dawn Stewart, candidate for Constituency Number 8 – Newburg/ Stabroek/ Werk-en-Rust/ Wortmanvilleseveral persons attached to various political and non-political parties have raised their hands signalling their intention to represent their respective constituencies, and by all means, do right by their fellow citizens.LGE in Guyana has been absent for more than two decades, and with its return on March 18 this year, it has been hailed as a momentous occasion – “the return of democracy”.As the day draws near,Air Max Shop Italia, Campaign Managers, Public Relations Officers and supporters are currently in work overload mode as strategies are being planned; outreaches being arranged, along with rallies and the distribution of brochures etc.Over the last few weeks we have seen campaigns being intensified, even some pound for pound on various forms of media. While some parties and groups have begun to unleash, some have decided to stand back and watch,Cheap Jordan Shoes Australia, waiting for the appropriate time to unload their arsenals – strategy is key.EDUCATING THE VOTERSFor one contestant, Dr. Dawn Stewart, it is all about educating the residents but more specifically, the youths about LGE.Dr. Stewart is of the opinion that with the long absence of LGE in Guyana, the youths are the ones that require eye-opening,Air Jordan Outlet Online, so that they can be better informed about the LGE and the impact it plays on the development of their constituency and ultimately their country.She will be contesting for Councillor in Constituency Number 8 – Newburg/ Stabroek/Werk-en-Rust/Wortmanville. Her group, “A Nation Building Corps” (ANBC), falls under the Guyana National Civil Society Council Inc. (GNCSC).Dr. Stewart stated that many persons in that constituency asked her to contest, and she thought it best to contest under civil society,Wholesale Adidas Shoes China, since her allegiance is always to the people first.“ I felt that if I was under a (political) party, then my allegiance will have to be first to my party leader, and that to me, would compromise what I am capable of doing and how much I can do and how much I can advocate independently”.She continued that local governance has to do directly with the “governance closest to the citizens” and therefore, no issue should be compromised.“It should be that I would have to answer to the citizens and the citizens should be able to meet me, where we will collaborate to find solutions to problems plaguing them”.Feubia Jarvis-Monfort, Candidate for Constituency Number 13 – East and West Ruimveldt/Laing Avenue.Dr. Stewart holds a doctorate in Environmental Science and teaches at the University of Guyana (UG). She served as an Air Force Nurse in the United States Air Force, was employed as an Occupational and Safety Director, an Environmentalist, and has been a member of various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) both locally and abroad. She currently runs an NGO, Monique’s Helping Hands and is also a member of the Guyana Women Roundtable (GWR).Through the GWR, Dr. Stewart empowers women to become more involved in the political arena, and the LGEs she pointed out, present the perfect stepping stone for young women to familiarise themselves with the policies, legislation etc. so that they can gain promotion.In preparation for the elections, she stated that they have begun door-to-door canvassing; educating and informing the public about local governance and at the same time, rapping with residents and obtaining feedback on the issues and problems that need to be addressed.Indeed, Dr. Stewart noted that the majority of persons do not realise the importance of local governance, and primarily, a significant portion of their work involves voter education on the systems, policies and impact of local governance. The majority of the problems, she revealed,Cheap China Shoes Wholesale, related to safety, education and health concerns within the constituency.She continued that her team has also embarked on a project to sensitize the public about better health practices which are instrumental in maintaining at the familial level to ensuring healthy persons. This then translates to a healthy and productive environment and constituency.It is her opinion that measures should also be implemented to ensure that the sick, differently-able, the old and the needy, have access to get modern conveniences.Dr. Stewart also emphasised the importance of having facilities to deal with issues affecting youths including, suicide and teenage pregnancy.While she did not reveal what she would contribute to the constituency if elected, she pointed out that they are currently collecting data and based on this, if elected, issues being face by residents will have to be prioritised based on their importance and the funds being made available.She then gave an example, “People have been complaining about crime in the area, where persons have been saying that they don’t come out after dark. Now we will look at this strategically,Liverpool FC Jersey 18/19, I would need to find out from the police; is it a perception or is it real crime in our community? What is the crime log in our community? Where is the crime occurring? What types of crime are occurring in that area? And after analysing all of that, we come up with a strategy as to how we address it”.KNOWLEDGE OF CONSTITUENCYContesting in LGE for Councillor and also Independent Candidate of A Guyana Nation Building Corps (AGNBC), is Feubia Jarvis-Monfort for Constituency Number 13 – East and West Ruimveldt/Laing Avenue.Jarvis-Monfort said that she was encouraged by the Guyana Women Roundtable (GWR) to contest for the elections. She continued that, what prompted her more to contest was her knowledge of her constituency, since she was involved in various projects with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and other agencies that conducted infrastructural works in the communities.Jarvis-Monfort stated that she is committed to ensuring that various issues are addressed such as flooding, squatting, littering, crime and social-related issues.Like Dr. Stewart, Jarvis-Monfort has already begun her walkabouts, interacting with residents and sensitising them about the LGE and at the same time, raising public health awareness and best practices.She pointed out that with the long absence of the LGE, the residents have settled into unhealthy practices which not only results in self harm but also harms the environment.While admitting that the task of breaking that outlook by residents would be a difficult one, Jarvis-Monfort said that she is prepared, with the help of AGNBC, to inspire her fellow residents, and armed with the guidance and support she received from the GWR, she will in turn, use her knowledge to educate youths, especially the “many young mothers and single mothers” in her Constituency.
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