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Feb 1, 2018

U.D.P. CitCo Slate Unveil “People’s” Manifesto

The homestretch of the municipal elections race has arrived. As the calendar turns to February, the ruling United Democratic Party is first off the mark with its production of promises and plans should it be voted in for another three-year term. Some believe that the U.D.P. in the Old Capital has little left to accomplish whether on the streets or in City Hall. But voters know better, and first-time mayoral candidate Dion Leslie and his team say they have listened and heeded. News Five’s Aaron Humes has the results from U.D.P. headquarters.

 

Dion Leslie

Dion Leslie, U.D.P. Mayoral Aspirant, Belize City

“I can speak on behalf of myself and my U.D.P.-eleven team when I say that we are honored to present this manifesto today. It is a true representation of the vision of our residents. This plan was not put together by a committee – of course they helped put the pictures together, [but not] ideas – or even the candidates, we just helped – but rather from the ideas and the positive contributions that the residents of Belize City shared with us while on the campaign trail. It is because of this that I can proudly say, Prime Minister, D.P.M. and everybody in the room: this is your manifesto! This is your vision! (Applause) And it is our job to make sure we fulfill what you have requested.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

The eleven men and women representing the United Democratic Party, in a bid to continue at City Hall, say they have heard the popular concerns about infrastructure, sanitation, and economic and social reform. This is their response: a four-panel, eight-page document tackling five broad areas that form the bedrock of the party’s plans for the Old Capital for the next three years, beginning after March seventh. Here are some of the specifics.

 

Dean Samuels

Dean Samuels, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belize City

“We have acquired a brand-new bitumen truck under the Flood Mitigation Project and we plan to pave all these upgraded streets that we have to pre-paved status.”

 

Philip Willoughby

Philip Willoughby, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belize City

“As we prepare for Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project two, building a climate-resilient city, we will see shortly flood gates within our city canals: by the Conch Shell Bay area behind us in the Albert constituency; we’ll see one by Mike’s Club on Regent Street West; one along Kut Avenue, corner South Creek, and a pumping station down by the Yabra Bridge.”

 

Bernard Q. Pitts

Bernard Q. Pitts, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belize City

“We will continue to be transparent and accountable. Our current Mayor has been one of the hardest-hand[ed] persons on accountability and transparency. (Applause) Every single thing he has questioned, and received the answer he has required to get it done; no hanky-panky.”

 

Judith Enriquez

Judith Enriquez, U.D.P. Councilor Candidate, Belize City

“Your new U.D.P. City Council, once elected, will partner with the police, business community and you the residents of Belize City, to build and create a safety net of security cameras for the safety of the residents of Belize City.”

 

And there is much more. Mayoral aspirant Leslie tells us it all ties together the core mandate of the Council’s work with the “softer social side”.

 

Dion Leslie

“We have to stick to our core mandate of the Council, which is streets, drains, garbage/sanitation, traffic, CEMO; we have to stick to those. But we do know and its evident that we have to acknowledge that there is a softer side. We have to take care of the people; we have to take care of the residents of Belize City.  We realize that we can’t solve all the problems; we are not central government, we don’t have the budget to. But there are things within the power and mandate of the Council that we can help, that we can assist in. Such things as the overgrown lots for example – we have over four thousand overgrown lots in the city and we have a comprehensive plan to make use of those overgrown lots, to incentivize land owners to build [and] if not to sign an MOU with them to turn it into a public space for residents of that neighborhood.”

 

Dean Barrow

And with the backing of their mentor Darrell Bradley and party leader and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the city eleven look to continue the U.D.P.’s streak in charge.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, U.D.P. Leader

“I can feel absolutely and unreservedly comfortable and happy to endorse this team and this manifesto, the motto, the theme of which, I believe, says it all: “Improving Lives: Development You Can See, Transformation You Can Feel.”

 

Darrell Bradley

Darrell Bradley, Outgoing Mayor, Belize City

“On March seventh, I will be there; my wife will be there; my mother will be there; my brothers and sisters will be there, if my son could vote, he mi wa deh de too! I encourage all of you: bring yu daag, bring yu cat, bring whoever you want, but let us come out as a mass political party to really champion the continuing of this great work of this United Democratic Party.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

 

The manifesto is available at U.D.P. headquarters on Youth for the Future Drive and will be posted online at the party’s website.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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