On January 16, 2011, I put myself forward and was nominated for the position of Chairman of the Progressive Young Liberals (PYL). Below is my agenda for the way forward in PYL.
PROGRESSIVE YOUTH AGENDA
■As elections are looming, it is important that PYL plays a substantial role in ensuring that all young Bahamians see the value of exercising their constitutional right to vote. We will dedicate our time and energy to make certain that the young people realize how crucial their vote is in this country.
■The bi-election in Elizabeth was a perfect example of significance of each vote. There was also cause for concern as there were a significant number of registered voters who chose not to vote. PYL will make it a priority to ensure that the voter turnout in the bi-election is NOT mirrored in the next general election.
■ In these challenging economic times for our country, it is pertinent that our youth, especially those who have just finished their schooling and have entered the working world, learn how to invest and save. PYL will commit itself to hosting non-political youth forums where economic experts will have the opportunity to impart their knowledge, provide experience and guidance on the youth in an effort to assist them in maximizing their financial resources.
■ It is important that Bahamians are made aware of all opportunities afforded to them in terms of scholarships and other means of educational advancement. Our forums will also be geared towards making this information available to our students.
■ Since the FNM became the Government in 2007, there were many initiatives cancelled and that have proven to NOT be in the best interest of the youth. This FNM Government has not deemed it a priority to establish policies and programs for the advancement of the youth. The youth are losing faith in the governance of the Bahamas. As such, the PYL will be committed to ensure that in a PLP Government the policies and the agenda of the youth are advanced and have a significant impact on the governance of the Bahamas.
Examples of poor policy decisions by this Government include:
■The YEAST programme in North Andros was cancelled because the government claimed it was not feasible; ■the government guaranteed educational loan program was suspended and later cancelled, leaving many students in a bind due to lack of sufficient notice; ■the national grade average in Math and English has steadily declined while the government sought to hide this by eradicating the yearly publication of the national grade average; ■schools have opened with renovations and repairs incomplete; ■ the urban renewal program was cancelled and the ‘community policing initiative’ proved to be ineffective;■ The list goes on but the PYL will NOT allow the government to be ineffective to the detriment of our young people without being heavily criticized.
Establishment of PYL Branches
■ The former PYL administration committed to the effort to establish PYL branches in all of the constituencies in the Bahamas. We will work tirelessly to ensure that every functioning PLP constituency branch will have a functioning PYL branch leading into the next general election. This is inclusive of the family island constituency branches.
■Functioning PYL constituency branches will also drastically increase membership in the organization.
■PYL constituency branches will not only be responsible for supporting the national organization, but they will be responsible for bringing the issues of the respective constituencies to light and creating policies to address them. Each PYL branch will be empowered with the responsibility of improving their respective areas.
■ PYL will not only be an organization of words, but also one of action. We will move into the various communities, working along with the PLP candidates and the established PYL branches to listen to the concerns of the young people in those areas.
■ PYL will also engage in community service. This will include lending a helping hand to those in need i.e. the Homes and other philanthropic efforts.
Partnering with other Youth Organizations
■As there are other youth organizations who are fighting for youth empowerment, it is incumbent upon PYL to reach out to these organizations in a joint effort to affect change amongst the youth in our country.
This progressive youth agenda is not exhaustive and is a blue print of the Progress required to prepare our Party for the next General Election and the youth for the future.
Please feel free to contact me at 327-0371 ext. 24 or 424.8151 if you have any queries.
I trust you will support my platform and candidacy.
Best Regards, Keenan S.P. Johnson Candidate for Chairmanship of PYL