Jefferson James
Jefferson James

A Cuban-trained engineer, 34 year-old Jefferson James says he is ready to sacrifice his life as he embarks on the journey as the United Workers Party (UWP) candidate for the Portsmouth constituency for the upcoming general elections.

Speaking at a meeting in Portsmouth during the UWP "Coast to Coast 25 in 21 days" campaign, James said: "I am willing and ready to sacrifice myself, sacrifice my time, my talent, my intelligence and even my life, if it may, to bring forward that change that we need here in Portsmouth…it is high time that we stand up and take the bull by the horn and not follow the deeds of our forefathers when they say we born 'Laybar' we die 'laybar'".

Change, James said, is a must, not an option.

"We stand for change. I am here to lead you to that change. I offer myself to be your servant," he stated.

The town of Portsmouth, he said, has been neglected for too long and it was time for action.

"We have been neglected in education, there have been only two secondary schools in Portsmouth and thank God for the Catholic secondary school at present. PSS (Portsmouth Secondary School) has to been over-populated and because of that overpopulation we have the restlessness of the children," he noted.

According to him, given the situation in Portsmouth, young girls have had to turn to "prostitution" and have to be abused to get help to go to school.

"We have been neglected in health care. If you go to the hospital now what you will see is a shame. Since its renovation it's been bad; we need to stand up and stop making them trample on us. We need to make that change. Our children are being classified as "political prostitute" we need to put an end to that situation," he stated. Speaking to the SUN, James said he was born in Glavillia, a small but very active village in Portsmouth. He attended the St. John's Primary School from 1985 to 1992, the Portsmouth Secondary School from 1992 to 1997 and the University of Santiago de Cuba from 1999 to 2005.

On completion of his studies he worked as a teacher at the Portsmouth Secondary School for one year and a quarter before being employed as an engineer with a private engineering company for the past seven years.

"I have been involved in a number of community groups and activities such as the PTA of the St. John's primary where I am the vice chair, a member of the Glanvillia improvement Committee, Portsmouth Catholic Church Building committee where I served as vice chair and was directly responsible for the building of the Borne chapel. I am also directly involved in the design of a number of projects for the development of the town like the Benjamin Park, the Borough Square area and the Guess Park. On a national level, I was involved in the direct construction of the Petro Caribe Filling station at Jimmit, the expansion and lighting of the Melville Hall airport , the construction of the Pointe Michel sea defense wall and the intake, treatment plant and supply line of the West Coast water supply project at Picard," he said.

He is also an executive member of the board of the Dominica Association of Professional Engineers (DAPE) and says he is ready to take his talent and skills to a different level in order to develop his constituency and his country.