PNM candidate for Barataria/San Juan Jason Williams said visibility is the key to successful constituent relationships. He said once he is elected as MP for the area, he will continue to be visible and accessible to his constituents.
Speaking at a PNM virtual town hall meeting on Monday, he said one of the most frequent complaints he heard while walking in the constituency for the last two weeks was that MPs were not seen in the communi
ty after they were elected.
He said there was also a lot of disenchantment among young people about the behaviour of office holders in the run-up to elections.
“When I walk with young people, the motivation and disenchantment is because of divisions within divisions where you see that kind of game being played, entities wanting to win a seat, not getting through and then walking away, leaving certain projects to rot, which impacts directly the young people of the area.
"So now you have to appease and let them understand that is not my particular mode of operation, that is not the PNM’s mode of operation. That face-to-face interaction, at least on my walks and interacting with the young people of Barataria and San Juan, it’s been really good feedback thus far.”
Williams said he had begun a project in his constituency called the Helping Hands Drive. He said the first part of the project was to help fix the house of an elderly person in the area, including repairing the roof, painting the house, and clearing the backyard, with the expertise and time of volunteers from the area.
“When we saw the tears of joy – because we’re so accustomed to tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of sorrow – but tears of joy to me is the true expression of happiness, and she was truly grateful for the effort, I’m glad we were able to start something that was to me infectious and it’s something I’m sure will spread to other constituencies and by extension the nation.”
He said he sees his candidacy as a chance to be part of the political machinery to truly effect change.
“I’ve used my voice and used my presence in the past to truly identify the problems. Now I’m in a unique place where I can put mechanisms in place to actually be and impact that change and see it in real time.
"What I’ve done for many years and continued to do is listen and direct young people in path of their true potential. I let them know they have a purpose. Many young people feel because of the circumstance that it’s not their particular moment or time, and I let them know to get out of that. Plenty of it is counselling, being able to lend a shoulder, show them my example and journey, let them know their journey might be a different one but we’re going in the same direction of success.”
Williams said he wants to help young people to fulfil their limitless potential through being able to express their talents, whether through music or sport.
“Education is the original key, and that is a foundation we have never underestimated.It’s just to ensure that the facilities and opportunity are there for them to truly let their potential shine. I also believe its important to give them knowledge of the technology, as they can use it to become financially viable and entrepreneurs through technology. It’s just about listening and making them aware, because sometimes they don’t have access to the information. And information is knowledge, knowledge is true power.”