Above: St Thomas (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Kenneth Mapp has officially been sworn in as the new Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, and he’s vowing to “reenergize America’s paradise.”
In a wide-ranging inaugural address this week, Mapp said voters had bestowed on him “to chart a new course for generations to come; a course to restore, to revitalize, to renovate, and to reenergize America’s Paradise.”
In a speech with an overarching theme of “new beginning,” Mapp also pointed to problems plaguing not just the US Virgin Islands, but the wider region, led by extremely high energy costs and a generally high cost of living.
“This inauguration—a new beginning—offers us again, new choices,” Mapp said. “Do we remain on a self-destructive path and continue the behavior that has brought us despair and hopelessness, or do we turn and see the opportunities in the challenges facing us? Are we ready to work hard, be disciplined, be compassionate to others, and be honest with ourselves and accept our responsibilities so we can truly build a better quality of life for all?”
Mapp said his administration was “off to a place to invest in our people, to hire, to create opportunities by growing our economy and providing our youth with the skills and trades to do the jobs and to own and operate the businesses.”
“We’re off to a place to build roads and invest in our infrastructure, and a place where businesses can thrive and prosper because we will work with our business partners fairly, with rules and laws that make sense, that are clear, and that can be relied upon,” he said.
And now for Mapp, the territory’s seventh elected governor, that work has begun.