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Feb 8, 2012

On the Campaign Trail with P.U.P.’s Lake I

Long before this week, Yolanda Schakron had become a household name. She is a founding member of Belizeans for Justice, an NGO that was birthed by grieving mothers and families affected by the crime wave. Schakron gained name recognition as a fearless advocate. She briefly put her name up as a mayoral candidate and on Monday she replaced Cordel Hyde in Lake Independence on the P.U.P. ticket for what is considered a safe seat. She joined the race almost at the starting gate, but that doesn’t intimidate her because she has inherited Hyde’s committee members. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Standard bearers for most constituencies have been hitting the pavement for weeks and some for months with General Elections now less than a month away. But in Lake I, the P.U.P.’s Yolanda Schakron is off to a late start, taking over from Area Representative, Cordel Hyde, who dropped out of the race. Schakron says she has been welcomed by the residents and she has already identified priority areas.

Yolanda Schakron, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Lake I

Yolanda Schakron

“Well, I’ve been out there fighting against injustices and fighting for the poor people. I believe that I can make a difference in their lives. Going out yesterday, I saw a lot of people asking for jobs; the unemployment rate is high, high. They don’t want hand outs, they want to work. Not because you’re poor, you don’t have self esteem. I think people are asking for education and I believe that if I am elected, will bring that to them. I will make sure that these people are educated, the young ones. We have a lot of youths in the area and I want to give them hope and I believe you know I’ve been out there as a female, I’ve worked out there with the people of these areas and I believe that’s what I can offer to them.”

But after publically proclaiming that she has no political aspirations, we asked Schakron what changed her mind.

Yolanda Schakron

“Well, I’ve been praying about it and I have heard the cry of the people. When Mr. Hyde stepped down, I did get a lot of calls from people in the neighborhood who were asking me to step in. I spoke to my family and I thought let me take on this mantle. I believe if you’re elected, you can do more for the people and I think that Mr. Hyde is someone who should be respected. Cordel did a lot for these people. Cordel is a giant and I think he was one of the best representatives for this area we ever had and I will continue that trend. I will continue that trend of caring for the people and love. That’s all the people are asking for, hope.”

Delahnie Bain

“You have very big shoes to fill, following Cordel. Do you think you can garner the kind of support that he had in the past few elections?”

Yolanda Schakron

“I believe I can. The response I’ve gotten has been very positive and I have the committee of Cordel working with me so it’s just like a transition and it’s pretty smooth.”

The well known activist turned politician is one of only four women contesting the general elections, but she says she is not intimated by the dirty game of politics.

Yolanda Schakron

“I believe—I am running under the People’s United Party, but for me it’s you serve the people and it doesn’t matter what color you belong; red, blue, yellow. Through my organization, I never cared what party you belong to and as a politician, I believe that I will serve the people first.”

Delahnie Bain

“I’m sure you’ve heard the talks about you being selected because you’re someone with money. How do you respond to that?”

Yolanda Schakron

“I think that is just something people will always say. They will talk about money but to be honest with you I grew up very poor, I managed to get an education and to work and become successful. To me, I think that is something people will always say. You do need money to run a campaign but I think also you need to show people that you care and that you love them and you have to bring hope to them. I think it’s just propaganda so I really don’t pay that any mind.”

Delahnie Bain

“So do you think you’re ready—I mean politics can be really dirty, there’s gonna be a lot of mudslinging in this campaign? Do you think you’re ready for that?”

Yolanda Schakron

“Yes, I’m ready. I don’t believe in dirty politics. I will not do that with my opponent; I wish him the best. If they want to do that with me, I cannot stop them, that’s them.”

The short time to campaign is also a non-factor for Schakron who is confident that she can keep the Lake I residents on the blue team.

Yolanda Schakron

“I think that this is a P.U.P. stronghold and I think my record speaks for itself and I am known in the area, I grew up in the Conch Shell Bay area on the south side of Belize and I believe that I offer to the people hope and that’s what I am—I know I will be elected, I have no fear. I believe that God has put me here and God will make this successful for us, the people of Lake I. I just would like to say thank you to the people of Lake I, I want to thank them for opening up their homes to me and for the love they have shown me. I think it’s tremendous and you know our slogan will be “The Love Continues in Lake I” alright. [Cheering… “Yolanda Schakron for Lake I! Yolanda Schakron for Lake I! That’s Right! ”]”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Mark King, a former councilor, is on the U.D.P. ticket. He told us he was too busy for an interview.

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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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2 Responses for “On the Campaign Trail with P.U.P.’s Lake I”

  1. Mosh says:

    We stand Behind you Ms. Schakron……..keep working hard… Adelante.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    Yolanda…YOU SOLD OUT THE PEOPLE… YOU SHOULD NOT JOIN THOSE AGAINST WHOM YOU FIGHT. THEY WILL TAKE THE FIGHT OUT/AWAY FROM YOU.

    YOLANDA… YOU LET US DOWN!!!

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