Now that the deed is done, we congratulate Rev. Cynthia “Mother” Pratt and the Hon. Algernon S. Allen as they take up their roles as Co-Chairmen of the Urban Renewal Commission.
We wish both of these fine citizens well as they embark on this aspect of their life’s work on behalf of the Bahamian people.
In time we hope they can make the kind of difference that would count as success in what is clearly a huge undertaking.
Prime Minister Perry Christie should be congratulated for choosing two popular former Cabinet Ministers of the PLP and the FNM and who were very effective Ministers.
In a sense, these two people are charged with helping take our people – especially some who are now hurting – further ahead and in sight of that goal where ‘forward, onward, upward and together’ remains the mantra.
This calls for work and sacrifice.
Things are made all the more difficult by the fact that even where a need is recognized it may not be filled precisely because we lack people with requisite skills and tool sets.
We need only cite the parlous conditions that prevail in so very many of this nation’s schools where problems piled upon problems conspire to keep some of this nation’s youth locked in a spiral of ignorance and the purest foolishness.
In very many instances, the school’s mandated curriculum is being devastated by popular culture; thus the street-level skills that students teach and share among themselves.
Thereafter, newly minted thugs, deviants and misfits become the new cadres of youth prepared to hustle dope, trade in guns – and otherwise waste their lives and those of some of their fellow Bahamians.
Then, there is that other morbid school-related phenomenon where thousands of the newest Bahamian troubled souls are culled from the ranks of the undocumented population living and working among us.
While a fairly significant minority of these people are – as to be expected – high achievers, there is an abundance of evidence that some of these youth are angry, bereft of skills and often are themselves abandoned by parents and other loved ones.
These are the people whose parents and other loved ones have made it to the United States.
Interestingly enough, very many of these people resonated to the Progressive Liberal Party’s message that they would be investing in the Bahamian people. It turned out that a significant number of these people did vote for that party.
Today we have on our collective hands a new captain at the helm and a crew that seems both qualified and focused.
There is also in this a scent and whisper of crisis especially as these emanate from the innermost precincts of some of our nation’s heartland communities.
This is precisely where Urban Renewal 2.0 is sorely needed.
We also hasten to add that this project should not be treated as if it was this or that party’s sole possession.
We look forward to that day when the redemption of lost souls and the resuscitation of our dead and dying communities becomes – as it should- the mission of all who would serve, build and help make the Bahamas a more beloved community.
This is why we also call on the Free National Movement to do all that it can to help make the venture a genuinely all-Bahamian project.
It should be remembered that this great party has a core of support that ripples and wends its way throughout Bahamian society.
Therefore, this party will retain support at all levels of both the public administration and in the country at large.
There is that other politically salient fact that lies dormant but real in the statistics that show them that tens of thousands of Bahamians did vote for them.
All who now govern should aspire to do so in a manner where they can – all things considered – arrive at remedies and solutions that do not insult the good sense and prouder sensibilities of their fellow-Bahamians.
We know and good sense also teaches many hands will make a burden light. In times like these we need all hands on deck.
Indeed, as the current administration goes about the business of putting its own unique stamp on the governance of this country as in their so-called Urban Renewal 2-0, they would be well-advised to remember that politics is all about the achievement of the possible.