New senator JW: I want to be the conduit for the 'grass roots man'

I SWEAR: Former radio talk show host Jason
I SWEAR: Former radio talk show host Jason "JW" Williams takes the oath as a Government Sentor at the start of the sitting of the Upper House on Tuesday. He is the PNM's general election candidate for San Juan/Barataria. PHOTO COURTESY OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENT - parliament

NEWLY appointed Government Senator Jason Williams said he wants to be a go-between for the "grass roots" and the power in Parliament.

He was speaking with Newsday during the lunch break at the Senate chamber Tuesday about the experience of being sworn-in.

He said being in entertainment for so many years he rarely gets nerves.

"But I felt an emotion. It felt really humbling. And when I sat down and you see all these personalities that you would see on TV, I was like 'wow, I'm in the Senate yes.'"

He said it was a watershed moment for him and he made an effort to internalise what he was saying in the oath. He said the reception has been very warm from all benches.

The senate seat of former Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte was declared vacant following his resignation and Williams was appointed in his place. Following his swearing-in heads of the Opposition and Independent benches, Wade Mark and Paul Richards respectively, clasped their hands and bowed to him, likely as part of covid19 physical distancing. Later in the sitting Finance Minister Colm Imbert also greeted him with a bow.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi welcomed Williams at the start of his contribution and also thanked Le Hunte for his contribution to the country and for the excellent work he had done. Opposition Senator Taharqa Obika also welcomed him in his contribution and noted that Williams was a "southerner" like him.

Asked what he brought to the role of a senator Williams cited his energy, adaptability, personality and chance to be the conduit between the "grass roots man" and the "ears of power and policy."

"Give it my own personal touch. I have offered myself to serve and I look forward to the journey, come what may."

Williams said he is also interested in inspiring the youth.

"Let young people know that there is hope. There is the opportunity to make things happen for yourself at home regardless of your circumstance, regardless of how hard things might be right now. There is potential for greatness."

Asked how he felt about stepping back from being involved in media Williams said it was very emotional.

"Nothing is promised in politics. Nothing is set in stone. So at the end of the day it's always a field that has been a part of me, a part of my foundation. I'll always have a vested interest in terms of giving back, contributing and using the microphone on a platform to uplift. So I will never say it's the end of my media days, it's just a transition."

Williams was also selected to contest the Barataria/San Juan seat for the PNM and he reported that he has been moving around and meeting people in the constituency, and doing a lot of listening to the people and their concerns. He added that he has been creating nice relationships with the councillors who he described as the unsung heroes and the "real stars".

"And you see how best you could provide change. You can never solve every single problem but you can give it a damn good try."

Asked about his chances of unseating the incumbent MP Dr Fuad Khan he replied: "It's in the hands of the Father. I'm just going to put my best foot forward. You go in it to win it, but at the same time how everything has been going so far and how I've been approaching it I think the sky's the limit. That would be such an amazing accomplishment not only for the PNM and in terms of shaping the outcome of the election but just a feel good story."

He continued: "What are the chances, eh? And that to me is what this is about. This is a journey of inspiration. Inspire. Dream big."

Williams said he was not scheduled to contribute during Tuesday's sitting but he took notes so if called upon he would be ready.

He explained that he has always been passionate about politics and would discuss it with friends.

"I think I really took a keen interest probably within the last five years I started to follow it on a serious level."

He also has an interest in international politics and paid key attention to campaign of now US president Donald Trump. He officially joined the PNM this year but he has been a supporter for a long time and comes from a "PNM family."


"New senator JW: I want to be the conduit for the 'grass roots man'"

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