Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) candidate Zorisha Hackett is hoping to break the PNM stranglehold in Plymouth/Golden Lane in the January 25 THA election. The last non-PNM candidate to have won the Plymouth/ Golden Lane electoral district was Hochoy Charles in 2001 on a NAR ticket.
Hackett is an English teacher, mother of two and resident of the area. She is facing PNM’s Melissa James-Guy.
Hackett made her maiden speech to the constituents in within the area.
Although a political newcomer, she said serving people runs in her blood adding that she was inspired by the contributions of her grandfather, Bernard Romeo, more commonly known as King Bolt and Kiddie.
She said, “The age-old adage, it takes a village to raise a child never had more meaning than in my formative years here in Plymouth. Without Plymouth there is no Zorisha, and so I owe Plymouth my life – my heart and soul is here – and so Plymouth, you have a choice."
Hackett urged people to put aside party politics and choose someone who would represent them.
“I want next week, the 25th of January, you see this thing called party line and division, not in a village that came together to raise me. I want allyuh to throw the black and red outside and come together to put your own as the next area representative of Plymouth/ Golden Lane.”
She added: “If you do not have the passion, desire and will to serve people, they cannot groom you. You could go in how much youth league, you could be how much who on whatever party executive, but if you don’t have this (pounding her chest), you cannot genuinely lead a people, you have to be a servant leader and that means even without the title you would have been serving the people.
"And if your track record only started on the day you became the prospective candidate, you’re wasting your time – not in a village like Plymouth.”
Wearing a construction hat, Hackett said it was time to get to work, as she outlined her plans for the electoral district which includes Plymouth, Bethesda, Golden Lane, Les Coteaux and Woodlands.
“We would upgrade the fishing facilities in Plymouth, but I cannot leave out Colluden; what good for the goose, good for the gander, both of them developing together. We will establish an aquaculture farm for the cultivation of both fresh and salt-water populations under controlled conditions.
“We would identify and distribute state lands in an effort to empower residents to engage in modern and sustainable agricultural practices, to promote both food security and sovereignty. Every village is going to contribute towards making Tobago the breadbasket of Trinidad and Tobago once more.”
Residents, she said can look forward to the provision of skills, knowledge and technology for plant propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value and resistance to diseases, pests and environmental stresses.
“There would also be an establishment of agro-processing cottages. We don’t really want to just plant the thing, we have to process the thing too—we have to move it from the farmer to the end user, that is the responsibility of the THA, so you plant, and we sell it for you,” she said.
With regards sports and recreation, she said the area has produced so many world class athletes, naming a few, she questioned where the sporting hall of fame is.
“As you enter this village, there should be some ways and means declaring who our sporting greats are. My four-year-old daughter must walk in here and feel proud, students doing little projects must walk in there and get all the information."
She also outlined plans of tourism, housing healthcare, infrastructure and education for the residents of the area.