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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Mar 13, 2017 - 11:09:14 AM


Marvin Dames Launches Constituency Plan for Mount Moriah
By Mount Moriah Constituency
Mar 13, 2017 - 10:05:55 AM

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A Vision for Mount Moriah...

I am a firm believer, that empowerment is a fundamental priority of good leadership. Throughout my adult life-- in which I have been privileged to serve in public office for more than two decades, I have understood this principle; that when you give people the tools they need to thrive, they will.

It is this same belief that has laid the foundation for my campaign, and has helped me design a five-year plan for the constituency of Mount Moriah that I believe will transform these communities for the better. From the beginning, I promised myself and the constituents of Mount Moriah that our plan will be doable, cost effective and impactful.

Our plan includes 5 pillars. These pillars are what will guide our initiatives and will help us best serve the people over the next five years.
  • Safety and Security
  • Education and Training
  • Employment and Entrepreneurship
  • Community Development
  • Environment and Pollution

I. SAFETY AND SECURITY

The safety and security of our residents in Mount Moriah is a priority we all have. As you know, the crime problem in these communities has escalated to a state of concern for all residents. We are losing our young people to gun violence, our homes are broken into all too often, and it seems like there is no end to this vexing problem. This is not the kind of community we want to live in. Neither is it the kind of environment that is conducive to raising a family.

Together, I believe we can restore law and order back to our communities. With the help of each resident, we can take the power away from the criminals and put it back into the hands of the peaceful, law abiding citizens of Mount Moriah. To achieve this end, our plan proposes to do the following:

a) Establish a constituency wide Crime Watch Program with an effective resident operated mobile control component.

b) Establish a multidisciplinary and coordinated Gun Violence and Anti-Gang Enrollment program for adolescents, ex-offenders and at-risk youth.

c) Partner with the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive community-wide drug prevention and educational program.

d) Partner with the Community Policing Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to introduce a constituency-wide Community Policing Program.

e) Explore cost effective ways to use technology (CCTV, Social Media) to aid in the deterrence and prevention of crime in hot spot areas.

f) Introduce a “Crime Prevention Through Design Program” to improve the layout of the community for the deterrence and prevention of crime.

i. Natural Surveillance – placing physical features, activities and people to maximize visibility in the community

ii. Natural Access Control – placement of entrances, exits, fencing, landscaping and lighting in hot spot crime areas

iii. Territorial reinforcement – using building and pavement signs to express ownership of private property.

g) Work closely with Law Enforcement to identify areas within the community with high tension, introduce educational programs that encourage conflict resolution and crime deterrence.

h) Introduce a comprehensive and community focused “Community Reintegration” program for ex-offenders.

II. EDUCATION AND SKILLS TRAINING

As a Bahamian who has been afforded numerous opportunities to further my education, I know firsthand the tremendous benefits access to a good education provides. It is my belief that providing access to educational opportunities is a proven and effective way to empower people; which ultimately enables them to better provide for themselves and their families.

In Mount Moriah, and in many other communities throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the unemployment rate is simply too high. Our young people are unable to find jobs either due to lack of opportunities or because they lack the skills required to seek gainful employment. I believe that every Bahamian should be given a fair chance at living their best life possible. Regardless of where they live or who their family is. It is important that we work together, as a community to ensure that our young people receive the tools they need to thrive. I am committed to this, and so I propose the following:

a) Partner with Ministry of Education, public and private schools within the area to introduce alternative education programs geared toward high school dropouts, teaching core subjects like Math, English and Science.

b) Introduce a “Our Community, Our Responsibility” skills program, managed in partnership with experts and skilled professionals within the community of Mount Moriah.

c) Create, through public and private partnerships a “Scholarship Fund” to aid deserving students in funding their tertiary education at the University of The Bahamas and other community colleges and training institutions in New Providence.

d) Continue to develop and strengthen the existing evening skills training for adult’s program currently offered to residents within the constituency.

e) Introduce, in partnership with the public schools in the area, a “No Student Left Behind” program that focuses on at risk students who are struggling in their studies.

f) Partner with the National Training Agency and BTVI to enroll persons into certification programs who meet the minimum criteria.

g) Establish, through public and private partnership, a life-long learning center that offers afterschool tutoring, computer and internet access, a mini-library and research.

h) Identify college graduates within the community to become mentors to students within the constituency.

III. EMPLOYMENT AND ENTREPRENUERSHIP

As of 2015, the unemployment rate among Bahamian youth (15-24 years) remains at an alarming rate of 30%, and 14.8% for the country. In my view, these statistics are unacceptable. It is my belief that if we are to improve our communities, we must ensure that the people can afford a decent living. With the cost of living rising continually, it is imperative that we make available opportunities that can help reduce the dependency on government, which will in turn put the power back in the hands of the people. I am committed to tackling unemployment in Mount Moriah, hence I propose the following:

a) Create, through public and private partnerships, a fast track apprenticeship program for unemployed persons within the community, which will include a conditional employment offer upon completion.

b) Create, through public and private partnerships, a “Venture Capital Fund” to provide seed funding to individuals who want to start their own business.

c) Introduce a “Small Business Mentorship Program” geared toward providing educational training and business management mentorship to small business owners.

d) Launch a Mount Moriah “Monthly Newsletter” that will provide regular updates to residents via email and social media.

e) Increase job opportunities for residents by launching a constituency-wide “Online Employment Center Portal”, to register all skilled professionals within the constituency, posting job vacancies throughout New Providence and rest of the Bahamas.

f) Promote and patronize local startups, homebased and existing businesses in Mount Moriah with the establishment of a monthly “Mount Moriah Marketplace”.

g) Through public and private partnerships, invite small industry experts in the areas farming, arts and crafts and light manufacturing from both locally and abroad to host entrepreneurial workshops

IV. COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

As I walk through the communities of Mount Moriah, I see the potential for livable spaces that serve the residents in a modern and sustainable way. I have met people who have lived in these communities all their lives, and have expressed to me their wish to see their communities improve for the better. I share their wishes, and believe that collectively we can transform Mount Moriah into the most innovative, sustainable and self-sufficient constituency within The Bahamas. To achieve this, I propose the following:

a) Establish a Community Council and Advisory Board comprised of representatives from the various communities within Mount Moriah. This consultative group will work closely with the member of Parliament to assist with the execution of initiatives within the constituency plan, and to serve as the voices of their respective communities.

b) Collaborate with residents within the community to design a “Sustainable Community Development Initiative” of these four pillars: Parks and Recreation, Education and Culture, Environment Sustainability and Crime and Safety.

c) Launch a quarterly “Mount Moriah Cultural Festival” to give craft makers, artists and skilled professionals in the constituency a platform to display and sell their work (see employment and entrepreneurship).

d) Establish through public and private involvement, a multifunctional community center, centrally located, to act as resource center for events and constituency related initiatives.

e) Provide 24/7 Wi-Fi hotspot access to residents on parks and other designated areas within the Mount Moriah communities.

f) Introduce a bi-annually constituency-wide meeting calendar where residents can receive updates on national issues, parliamentary proceedings, progress reports on constituency related initiatives and meet with their MP.

g) Address issues with excessive speeding within residential areas with the placement of proper signage, and installation of speed bumps and other safety measures in designated areas.

h) Address the problem of noise pollution throughout the Mount Moriah constituency, with particular emphasis on nearby race track.

V. ENVIRONMENT AND POLLUTION

To ensure our communities are safe, clean and free from pollution, we must have a plan to safeguard our environment. Air, water and soil pollution is on the rise in the country due to negligence and improper management of our waste products. In Mount Moriah, hundreds of residents complain on a consistent basis about their garbage not being collected regularly. Also, the surge of illegal dump sites throughout the communities are becoming more prevalent, which have become breeding grounds for rodents and dangerous mosquitos.

I am committed to working with the residents of Mount Moriah to ensure that our environment is clean, safe and free from pollution. Together, with the support of public and private partnerships, I believe we can transform our communities for the better. To accomplish this, I propose the following:

a) Establish a constituency-wide environmental consultative committee, comprised of residents and environmental professionals who will be responsible for developing an “Environmental Protection Plan” for Mount Moriah.

b) Partner with hired garbage disposal companies to create a monthly garbage collection schedule

c) Introduce, in partnership with private waste companies and other stakeholders, a community recycling program

d) Establish a “Park Cleaning Day” once per month throughout all communities within Mount Moriah

e) Restrict the uncontrolled illegal dumping of waste, derelict vehicles, furniture and tires on neighboring vacant lots and in public spaces

f) Restrict the excess storage of unused vehicles and other machinery in residential areas

g) Promote, through public and private partnerships, environmental awareness through community workshops and educational forums.

h) Advocate for relocation of the Harold Road dump

i) Work with the government and residents to find a solution to the ongoing odor issues stemming from the Yellow Elder sewer plant

j) Promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficient lightbulbs and solar in homes to reduce energy cost




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