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Is the USVI Ready to Determine its Future, Including its Status as Part of the United States? Self-Determination Discussion Starts Tonight.

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The discussion on whether the U.S. Virgin Islands is ready to determine its status as part of the United States will take center stage tonight on the Consortium’s Facebook platform and website. Tonight’s panel is the first of six productions presented by the University of the Virgin Islands and facilitated through a U.S. Dept. of Interior grant.

The program’s aim is to spread awareness as the territory gets ready for the pending Sixth Constitutional Convention, with the goal of proposing a Virgin Islands Constitution that is accepted by the U.S. Congress after five rejections.

The Fifth Constitutional Convention was rejected by Congress because of controversial portions of the document, including language that says ancestral Virgin Islanders, more pointedly those who had family in the territory in or before 1932, would be exempt from paying property taxes. The failed document also says only native-born Virgin Islanders can run for the office of governor or lieutenant governor. The fifth document was proposed in May 2009.

The panel for tonight’s discussion, which starts at 8:00 p.m. and lasts for an hour, includes moderator former senator Janelle Millin Young, former senator and current St. Croix Administrator Sammuel Sanes, along with Jose Julio Martinez, owner of Radio 91.9 FM, known as Pappi Love, and hailing from neighboring island Puerto Rico, former Puerto Rico Senate President Eduardo Bhatia.

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