Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on the Interior, Energy, and Environment released the following statement concerning her letter to the Virgin Islands Legislature and the Board of Elections encouraging the formal process for self-determination of the Virgin Islands:
“I have sent a letter to Senator Myron Jackson of the Virgin Islands Legislature and Arturo Watlington and Barbara McIntosh of the Board of Elections regarding my full support for the right of our people to self-determination. I want to applaud Puerto Rico in moving forward in taking the next steps for statehood. I believe it is appropriate for the Virgin Islands to move forward to a more mature relationship with the United States and I have expressed my support and desire to support our legislature and Board of Election to begin our process.
“I believe that the will of Virgin Islands residents, however, is paramount in ordering our next steps. I think it is time for a renewed discourse on whether the people of the Virgin Islands are satisfied with the political status of the territory – thus the reason for my letter.
“The people of the Virgin Islands have a right to determine their political future, whether they choose to maintain the current status or different political status of the territory. We must begin public discourse, education and finally a public referendum on this matter.”