“News & Opinion

Note: Blogs are excluded from this list.


Carlson, Suzanne, Elections releases list of aspirants for 2024 election. Virgin Islands Daily News, May 23, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: Yet another newspaper article that reveals cluelessness about the constitutional convention delegate selection process and the problems posed by the limited number of candidates competing for the St. John-St. Thomas district.]

USVI Senate, Party Offices, and Constitutional Convention Contenders Unveiled, Virgin Islands Consortium, May 21, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: The article posts links to the successful nominees. The article is as clueless about the convention process as the St. Thomas Voice article below. But as it doesn’t imply it has done any type of thoughtful analysis of the results, I don’t find its cluelessness offensive as long as it follows up with a thoughtful analysis of the remarkable result for St. Thomas hidden in the reported result.]

Election 2024 Nomination Deadline Spurs Intense Race: Incumbents, Former Officials, and New Hopefuls Vie for Office. St. Thomas Source, May 21, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: The author of this article seems to be clueless about the constitutional convention process. But given that the legislature has done just about everything possible to pass its convention rules under the public radar, I suppose this is to be expected.]

Probasco, Mat, Senate Scrambles To Prevent Primary Election Pistarkle,  St. Thomas Voice, May 13, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: This elections mess also has relevance to the election of convention delegates.]

Akin, Bernetia, U.S. Civil Rights Commission Lends an Ear to V.I. Issues, St. Thomas Voice, May 12, 2024: “[W]ith the territory posed [sic] to hold its Sixth Constitutional Convention next year, that might also be a focus for the advisory committee.”

Silverman, David, Systemic disenfranchisement in the Virgin Islands, Virgin Island Daily News, May 10, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: The author seeks to use the upcoming convention process to implement one-person, one-vote in USVI ordinary elections. But he doesn’t extend the same democratic logic to ensuring that convention elections also follow the one-person, one-vote principle.]

Cobb, Sian, John Yob Elected Chairman of V.I. GOP in 12-1 Vote, Party Announces, St. Thomas Source, May 4, 2024.

First Day to Submit Nomination Petitions and Papers Is Tuesday, May 14, St. Thomas Source, April 28, 2024. [J.H. Snider note: this is a reprinted press release of the Election System of the Virgin Islands. The press release was subsequently published on the Election System’s website.]

Sarauw, Janelle K., Liberating Justice: The Imperative for an Elected Attorney General in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas Source, April 28, 2024.

Sekou, Malik, Constitutional delegates are welcomed, Virgin Island Daily News, April 12, 2024.

NOTICE: Sixth Constitutional Convention Nomination Papers Available, Press release of the Election System of the Virgin Islands, April 12, 2024. [J.H. Snider Note: This press release has many grammatical errors, lacks a date published, and may also have been posted on the web with the required computer code to prevent it from being indexed via Google and Bing (many PR offices don’t want their releases indexed, so this would be a fairly typical practice).]

Governor Signs Bills Creating Kidney Disease Registry, Appropriating Funds for Olympic Committee, St. Thomas Source, April 10, 2024. “Bryan recently also signed:… A bill amending Act 8681, establishing the Sixth Constitutional Convention, and its amendment Act 8788, to allow for an at-large delegate selection, and permit delegates to use accrued annual leave for absences. Those without accrued leave can take unpaid leave without impacting seniority or employment rights.”

Letter: Petersen, Verdel L., March is V.I. History Month, let’s add to it with successful constitutional convention, Virgin Island Daily News, March 22, 2024.

Petersen, Verdel L., Open forum: A USVI Constitution: Turning Possibility into Reality, St. Thomas Source, March 17, 2024.

Consider the Source with Adisha Penn: Former Senator Janette Millin Young sits down in studio to talk over the upcoming election for Sixth Constitutional Convention delegates, St. Thomas Voice, March 17, 2024. The relevant segment is from 15:30 to 24:30. [J.H. Snider note: There was no information provided here that hasn’t been said many times before.]

Op-ed: Young, Janette Millin, In search of a constitution – the V.I. needs delegates, St. Thomas Source, March 15, 2024. [J.H. Snider note: This is the same text as was published the previous day (see below) in The Virgin Island Daily News as a “letter.”]

Letter: Young, Janette Millin, In search of a constitution – the V.I. needs delegates, Virgin Island Daily News, March 14, 2024. A shorter version of this letter was originally published here.

Akin, Bernetia, Virgin Islands’ Concerns Sent to U.S. Civil Rights Commission, St. Thomas Voice, March 4, 2024. [J.H. Snider note: This newspaper article does not discuss a constitutional convention, but the report itself does.  The subject of the report is one that has traditionally been a central topic of a constitutional convention.] 

Supervisor of Elections Hosting Nomination Petition/Papers Training, Press release of the Election System of the Virgin Islands, March 1, 2024.

Eader, Tom, ESVI trains on constitutional convention but tweak to law still needed, Virgin Islands Public Broadcasting System, Feb. 8, 2024.

Elections System Schedules Sixth Constitutional Convention Nomination Papers Training, St. Thomas Voice, Jan. 31, 2024. [J.H. Snider note: This is the same article that was run Jan. 19, 2024 below.]

Election System to Offer Nomination Training for Sixth Constitutional Convention, Virgin Islands Consortium, Jan. 19, 2024.

Elections System Schedules Sixth Constitutional Convention Nomination Papers Training, St. John Tradewinds, Jan. 19, 2024.

Elections System Schedules Sixth Constitutional Convention Nomination Papers Training, St. Thomas Voice, Jan. 19, 2024.

Sixth Constitutional Convention Nomination Papers Training, Press release of the Election System of the Virgin Islands, Jan. 19, 2024.

Akin, Bernetia, What Happened Here in 2023: A New Year’s Retrospective Part: 4, St. Thomas Voice, Jan. 3, 2024: “The Elections System announces dates related to the Sixth Constitutional Convention. Fifteen delegates are to be chosen during the General Election Nov. 5, 2024, when voters go to the polls also to elect legislators and fill other offices. The Constitutional Convention is scheduled to convene in January 2025.”

Sarauw, Janelle, State of the Territory | Navigating the Path to Self-Determination in the U.S. Virgin Islands: Part 3, St. Thomas Voice, Jan. 3, 2024. J.H. Snider Comment: A nice conventional overview of the history leading up to the 6th constitutional convention. Not the factors I’d choose to emphasize concerning the first two constitutional conventions, but my account is not the conventional account told by USVI’s politicians.


Petersen, Verdel L., Open forum: Will Wisdom Prevail at the Sixth Constitutional Convention?, St. Thomas Source, Dec. 28, 2023. J.H. Snider Comment: Petersen has no sense of the democratic function of a U.S. territorial constitutional convention and has apparently staked out a position as an apologist for the legislature’s gross misuse of this institution.

Kutak Rock LLP, Dwyer Arce Completes Term as President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association, Press Release, Dec. 28, 2023: “Dwyer celebrated a year of unprecedented success…. These successes include: Appointing a member of the legal team that will advise the Sixth Constitutional Convention in 2025 as it drafts a constitution for the Virgin Islands.”

Probasco, Mat, Sixth Constitutional Convention Elections Dates Set, St. Thomas Voice, Dec. 12, 2023.

Wenner, Mark, Good governance is critical to public service delivery, economic growth, Virgin Island Daily News, Oct. 19, 2023.

Buchanan, Don, Opening Channel for Government Workers to Become Politicians Called Pandora’s Box, St. Thomas Voice, Sept. 29, 2023. J.H. Snider comment: the same political reasoning should also apply to favoring government employees who run or serve as convention delegates.

Bernetia Akin, Constitutional Convention Glides Under Radar Toward 2024 Election, St. Thomas Voice, August 13, 2023. Also published in St. Croix Voice and St. John Voice. “In a recent session of the 35th Legislature, crowded with honorarium bills, a non-descript amendment referring to some date changes in “Act 8681” was slipped onto a popular measure concerning veteran’s benefits, along with a couple of other unrelated items.It was so seemingly unimportant Act 8681’s name and purpose weren’t even included on the amendment.But this rider was anything but innocuous.”

Plaskett, Stacey, ADOPTING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS,  Congressional Record, May 11, 2023, p. H2254 (text version here). Excerpt: “Mr. Speaker, this week I was pleased to introduce legislation to adopt the Revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands and its amendments as the constitution of the Virgin Islands of the United States. My legislation provides for the adoption of the Revised Organic Act, as it has been approved by Congress, signed into law, and amended, as the constitution of our territory.”

Elections ‘Great Debate’ on ratifying V.I. Constitution ends in 50-50 draw, The Daily Herald, May 10, 2023. J.H. Snider Comment: hardly a “great” debate.

Macavoy, Kit, Elections ‘Great Debate’ on ratifying V.I. constitution ends in 50-50 draw, Virgin Islands Daily News, May 6, 2023.

Macavoy, Kit, Plaskett: Bill to pave way to V.I. Constitution, Virgin Islands Daily News, May 5, 2023.

Probasco, Mat, Plaskett Pushes Congress for USVI Constitution, St. Thomas Voice, May 3, 2023.

PLASKETT INTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO ADOPT THE REVISED ORGANIC ACT AND ITS AMENDMENTS AS THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CONSTITUTION, Press Release, May 3, 2023. The accompanying statements can be found here. This press released was re-posted in Pasquines, which covers the five U.S. territories, and ConstitutionNet, which covers constitutional developments worldwide.

Election System to Host ‘The Great Debate’, St. Thomas Source, May 2, 2023. “Two teams will sound off on the topic: Is it time for our own constitution or to become an independent country, commonwealth or state? What’s best for Virgin Islanders?” Snider note: The actual debate topic was different: “The Virgin Islands needs to ratify a constitution before defining its continued relationship with the United States of America.”

Alvarez, Julisa, Transfer Day Great Debate At UVI, St. Thomas Voice, March 31, 2023.

Pate, Russell, Open Forum: How to Save $900,000 in Constructing a Constitution, St. Croix Voice, Feb. 13, 2023.

Carlson, Suzanne, Bryan OKs 19 bills, vetoes seven others including a controversial rezoning in Beeston Hill,

Bryan Signs 19 Bills into Law from 34th Legislature, Vetoes 7, St. Thomas Voice, Feb. 2, 2023.

Jaeger, Kyle, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Would Be ‘Foolish’ Not To Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill, Senate Sponsor Says, Marijuana Moment, Jan. 17, 2023. Sen. Janelle Sarauw: we do need a constitution that will give us some level of political maturity.”

Elections Board Deadlocked Over Leadership Vote,

Frett-Gregory, Donna, Legislature Corner: The 35th Senate Will Continue to Pass Meaningful Legislation,


USVI Legislators Approve Establishing a 6th Constitutional Convention, Virgin Islands Consortium, Dec. 31, 2022.

Governor Bryan Signs Order Establishing Committee to Plan 175th Anniversary Celebrations of Emancipation Proclamation, Official Site of the United States Virgin Islands government, July 1, 2022. Press conference here.

Deputy Elections Supervisor Terrell Alexandre… acknowledged the absence of filings for candidates to the Sixth Constitutional Convention. A slate of candidates is supposed to be presented to the voters as part of the Nov. 8 General Election, he said, but preparations for that vote can only be made after the 34th Legislature Committee of the Whole approves a bill establishing the sixth convention.”

This Week’s Senate Calendar: May 9 – 13, St. Thomas Source, May 9, 2022. “The 34th Legislature will convene in Committee of the Whole on to receive testimony on… Bill No. 34-0155 — An Act establishing the Sixth Constitutional Convention of the Virgin Islands and providing for an appropriation to cover convention-related expenses.”

Gutierrez, Carl T.C., Of course Guam should have its own constitution!, Pacific Daily News, April 30, 2022. “So here we stand, four and a half decades after obtaining federal approval of our draft constitution, and we are still asking, “Should Guam have its own constitution?” My position is that, instead of starting from scratch, we dust off that constitution and ask I Liheslatura to call for a ratification of that document.”

Shimel, Judi, Elections Board Approves 2022 Seasonal Calendar, St. Thomas Source, April 6, 2022. “Election Systems Supervisor Caroline Fawkes circulated two proposed calendars for 2022 – one for the Nov. 8 General Election and one for a separate ballot to choose delegates for the Sixth Constitutional Convention…. A draft calendar for the convention was more of a sketch than a plan, Fawkes said. Lawmakers are still working out the language on a bill to establish the convention, the rules delegates will have to observe and other related matters…. Fawkes told board members her staff wants to start advising potential candidates when they can pick up nomination petitions, how long they have to collect signatures and when to turn them in.”

Shimel, Judi, Doc Petersen Crosses the Finish Line Unexpectedly at 73, St. Thomas Source, April 6, 2022. “In 2007 Petersen ran for and won the election to serve on the Fifth Constitutional Convention.”

Why celebrate Transfer Day?, Virgin Islands Daily News, March 31, 2022. “Momentum is building for a Constitutional Convention, which could restructure our government and free us from Congressional supervision as we currently are via the Revised Organic Act of 1954. We seek government that genuinely is of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Petersen, Verdel L., The Virgin Islands Must Plan for the 6th Constitutional Convention, St. Thomas Source, March 28, 2022. “The main difference between an organic act and a constitution is an organic act is written by Congress whereas a constitution is written by the people…. the ROA can be adopted by a constitutional convention and later amendments could be ratified by the electorate. 

CHARLES WESLEY TURNBULL (1935- ), Black Past, March 27, 2022. “Turnbull… served as an elected delegate to all five Constitutional Conventions held between 1964 and 2009. He was the Secretary of the Second Convention in 1972.”

Sekou, Malik, A new V.I constitution: A step towards greater self determination, Virgin Islands Daily News, March 24, 2022. “…the creation of a written constitution that places increasing responsibility, accountability, and power in the hands of the people or as some say — the masses — by definition is inherently progressive….” A later, more extended version of his written legislative testimony was published in New V.I. Constitution is Step Towards Greater Self Determination, Virgin Islands Consortium, April 6, 2022.

This Week’s Senate Calendar: March 21-25, St. Thomas Source, March 20, 2022.

Kirkpatrick, Sara, UVI Office works to educate territory on constitutional development, Virgin Islands Daily News, Jan. 26, 2022.

Akin, Bernetia, Thorny Issues Line the Path to Possible Constitutional Convention, St. John Source, Jan. 24, 2022.

Sraker, Linda, Bill to Establish Sixth Constitutional Convention Crosses First Hurdle; Frett-Gregory Plans Committee of the Whole Government, The Virgin Islands Consortium, January 20, 2022

Kirkpatrick, Sara, V.I. Legislators vet bill on sixth constitutional convention, Virgin Islands Daily News, Jan. 20, 2022.

Kirkpatrick, Sara, Senate committee to hear bill on 6th constitutional convention, Virgin Islands Daily News, Jan. 19, 2022.

Lee, Bethany, Committee Advances Bill Assembling the Sixth Constitutional Convention, St. Thomas Source, Jan. 19, 2022.


Petersen, Verdel L., Letter: Referendum makes voters choice clear are on Revised Organic Act; why take new gamble?, The Virgin Island Daily News, Dec. 27, 2021.*

Petersen, Verdel L., Letter: Open forum: Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel?, The St. John Source, Dec. 22, 2021.*

Historical Society to resume monthly meetings, Virgin Islands Daily News, Nov. 11, 2021.

UVI Publishes Simplified Revised Organic Act eBook, St. Thomas Source, Nov. 5, 2021.

UVI Receives $250K Grant to Advance Constitutional Development, Self Determination, Press Release, St. Thomas  Source, Sept. 14, 2021.

USVI Self Determination and Constitutional Development to Make Progress With $250,000 Insular Affairs Grant, The Virgin Islands Consortium, Sept. 8, 2021.

Kirkpatrick, Sara, Elections supervisor urges bigger budget, pay hikes, Virgin Islands Daily News, Aug. 19, 2021. Describes the legislature’s extraordinary and unexplained delay in proposing an enabling act for the approved constitutional convention.

Cobb, Sian, Plaskett Touts Legislative Strides at League of Women Voters Meeting, St. John’s Source, April 25, 2021.


The Year in Review: October to December, Virgin Island Daily News, Dec. 31, 2020.

Pate, Russell, Letter: Don’t repeat failed constitutional convention; push for voting rights, virginislandsdailynews.com, Dec. 15, 2020.

Russell, Ronald (former senator), Letter: Dear Editor, Here are Some Ideas for the Upcoming Sixth Constitutional Convention, Virgin Islands Consortium, Nov. 24, 2020.

Russell, Ronald (former senator), Letter: Planning guide for Constitutional Convention, Virgin Island Daily News, Nov 23, 2020.

Russell,Ronald, Letter: Dear Editor, Here are Some Ideas for the Upcoming Sixth Constitutional Convention, The Virgin Islands Consortium, Nov 24, 2020. A variation In Nov. 23 Virgin Islands Daily News.

Cohen, Stephen K., Letter: How do we guarantee against mistakes of past constitutional conventions?, Virgin Island Daily News, Nov. 21, 2020.

Read the Full Revised Organic Act of 1954 (U.S. Virgin Islands), State of the Territories—Virgin Island, Nov. 14, 2020.

Halos & Pitchforks, virginislandsdailynews.com, virginislandsdailynews.com, Nov 11, 2020.

Gilbert, Ernice, Virgin Islanders Overwhelmingly Support Referendum Calling for Constitutional Convention, The Virgin Islands Consortium, Nov. 5, 2020.*

Voters overwhelming push for sixth constitutional convention, virginislandsdailynews.com, Nov 4, 2020.

Kossler, Bill, Election 2020: Referendum is a Possible Road to USVI Constitution, The Saint John Source, Oct. 28, 2020.*

Petersen, Verdel, Letter: V.I. residents should seize the moment and change how they’re governed, virginislandsdailynews.com, Sept. 26, 2020.

Petersen, Verdel, Letter: Open forum: It is Time to Amend the Revised Organic Act, St. John Tradewinds, Sept. 26, 2020.

Should another constitutional convention be called? Referendum vote on the issue on November ballots, virginislandsdailynews.com, May 27, 2020.

Letter: Moolenaar, Gwen-Marie, It is Necessary to Educate the Public on Adopting a V.I. Constitution, St. John’s Source, May 27, 2020.

Buchanen, Dawn, Prospect of Another Constitutional Convention Raises Concerns for Former Delegate, The St. John Source, May 21, 2020.*

Voters might consider V.I. constitution on November ballot, virginislandsdailynews.com, May 18, 2020.

After Five Failed Attempts at a VI Constitution, New Bill Seeks Placement of Question on November Ballot, The Virgin Islands Consortium, May 17, 2020.


Forging a vision for the territory’s future: Concerns and recommendations, virginislandsdailynews.com, Aug. 29, 2019.

The Reapportionment Initiative: Look at the cup as half full, instead of half empty, Virgin Islands Daily News, Apr 8, 2019.

Plaskett repeats call for debate over statehood, Virgin Islands Daily News, Apr 2, 2019.

After nearly 10 years, Constitutional Convention still owes the V.I. public a report of all its spending, Virgin Islands Daily News, Aug 12, 2017.

Undercurrents: Hey, Virgin Islands, What Do You Want to Be Now That You’ve Grown Up?, St. Thomas Source, March 20, 2017.

Corbin, Carlyle G., Choose or Lose: U.S. Virgin Islands in 2017, Pacific Island Times, Jan. 5, 2017.

V.I. Answer Desk: What Is the Status of a V.I. Constitution?, St. Thomas Source, Aug. 29, 2013.


USVI League of Women Voters, Referendum 2020: Know Before You Vote Fall 2020.



The Referendum: A Constitution for the USVI


Date: Streamed live on Sep 20, 2020.
Description: The Referendum: A Constitution for the USVI is a League of Women Voters educational program, produced by WTJX Channel 12. A group of esteemed panelists gathered together to discuss whether to adopt The Revised Organic Act of 1954, or portions of it, as the Constitution for the USVI. Leading this Town Hall discussion is Dr. Gwen-Marie Moolenaar, President of the League of Women Voters of the VI. The panelists include Senator Myron Jackson, who authored the Referendum Bill and Senator Alicia Barnes who co-sponsored the Bill. Joining them are Mr. Sele Adeyemi, Dr. Lois Habtes, Dr. Carlyle Corbin, Professor Gerard Emanuel, Dr. Malik Sekou and Dr. Hadiya Sewer.
Panelist Credentials:
  • Four of the speakers were delegates to the 5th constitutional convention.
  • Senator Myron Jackson introduced the bill to call the 6th constitutional convention.
  • Senator Alicia Barnes co-sponsored the bill.
  • Several USVI political scientists.

News & Opinion–Other Territories

Dupraz-Dobias, Paula, Puerto Rico prepares to possibly become new US state, swissinfo.ch, Jan. 3, 2023.

Rampe, William, British Virgin Islands Report Reveals The Insidiousness Of Modern Colonialism, The Organization for World Peace, June 26, 2022.

Letter: Notes on Guam’s second Constitutional Convention, Pacific Daily News, May 12, 2022.  See also Taitano II, Joe, Leaders mourn the passing of former Sen. Pilar Lujan, Pacific Daily News, June 13, 2022.