by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Youngest senator in Grenadian history, 20-year-old Kerryne James, hails from St John
- Other youth senators include 26-year-old Ron Livingston Redhead and 23-year-old Judd Cadet
The Upper Houses of Parliament is now filled with youthful energy as 3 of the youngest minds in Grenada are among the 7 new senators that have been sworn in to join seasoned legislators in the senate. They are 26-year-old Senator the Honourable Ron Livingston Redhead; 23-year-old Judd Cadet and 20-year-old Kerryne James. The other newly appointed senators are Kim George, Catisha Williams, Glynis Roberts and Dr Dunstan Campbell.
During the ceremonial state opening of the 1st session of the 10th Parliament, NOW Grenada heard their concerns and their plans to utilise their positions to articulate the plight of young people.
The youngest senator in Grenadian history, 20-year-old Kerryne James, a former Anglican High School student, hails from St John. She believes her appointment stands as a testament to the level of youth involvement in the democratic process of the country.
“It is about time that young people be a part of the decision-making process and that they are involved in the policy-making decision that will ultimately affect young people. I am honoured to be of service. By participating in my first-ever political campaign this year was purely to motivate young people and for my party to entrust me with such a responsibility, I am extremely proud”.
Another first-time senator Ron Livingston Redhead says this moment is bittersweet, but he is ready and able to tackle some of the pressing issues affecting young people. “Some of the issues I want to tackle is first the Imani programme and enhancing it. Secondly the question of young men involved in drugs and the other issue is related to consumer affairs and human rights protections.”
Senator the Honourable Kim George and Senator the Honourable Catisha Williams has described their appointments as timely, as more young people than ever before are being given positions of power and influence. Both have expressed interest in using their platform in the senate to articulate the empowerment of women.
George said, “I am looking forward to issues relating to gender and youth development and continuing the economic growth. You will notice that within the Throne Speech particular emphasis was placed on cementing the gains we were able to achieve as a country, and so I expected that generally these are the issues that I will be able to focus on.”
Williams said, “There exist a strong presence of youths and women in the senate which is commendable, and I hope that is a reflection of the type of legislative impact that this parliament will have. As was mentioned in the Throne Speech, I know that the national pension issues and the implementation of national health insurance will be debated, but as a youth myself I will be interested in issues affecting young people in terms of access to scholarships and employment, and as a woman I will be championing women’s issues.”
Being among the younger cadre of senators 23-year-old Judd Cadet is no stranger when it comes to representing young people, as he was previously the president of the New National Party Youth Arm.
Cadet is now looking forward to making his contribution to the upper house. “The issues for me remains the same in terms of job creation, and the opportunity for young people in the area of sustainable employment and education. We must be able to bring unemployment down to single digits as much as possible, and more investment in youth training.”
Veterans senator Christopher De Allie was reinstated as the private sector representative. André Lewis will continue as labour representative, while ministers of government Simon Stiell, Norland Cox, Dr Winston Garraway, and President of the Senate Chester Humphrey will continue to serve.