Immigration specialist Sabrina Turner is running for election for the Prospect constituency at the specific request of her community.
“The Prospect and Red Bay community have been asking me to run for office for the past seven to eight years, as they seek more female representation in Government,” she confirmed.
Ms Turner said she believed that females in Government offer a softer and more nurturing approach to dealing with the issues of the day.
“At the moment, it’s all about the ego,” she said. “Females have that natural mothering instinct that makes them seek peaceful ways of communication, of being diplomatic rather than disrespectful.”
A wide range of issues would benefit from a feminine approach, she said, and legislation was “grossly lacking” on many fronts. These issues ranged from dealing with the cost of living, which included concerns such as reducing duties on the cost of feminine and baby products, as well as the inequality of pay that many women faced. She also felt that legislation was required to force all Government boards to have female representation, as is the case elsewhere in the world. The issue of maternity leave would also be one that she would take on, ensuring a fairer period of time for women to have with their baby before they go back to work, while ensuring a more inclusive situation for men also, with the aim of introducing better paternity leave for fathers.
“I believe that a strong female voice is needed in Government to advocate for such changes to be made,” she confirmed.
Community and gender affairs would be the area of Government in which she felt most suited to serve, with culture an intrinsic part of the equation to ensure young people had a better start in life.
“Our young people could have the best education there is, but if they then have to go back to a broken home, where there is lack of access to parents with a calm head, then it is evident we need to stabalise the situation. We must ensure that there are not huge peaks and troughs in a young person’s life,” she said.
Education and the well-being of young people started at the zero to five age group, and that would be another area that she would give her focus, should she become elected. In particular, she would ensure easier access to quality early learning for all.
“We must ensure that all early learning centres are held to the same standards and, most importantly, we should ensure that such access is free for parents,” she said. “At the moment, there is a serious gap between different early learning centres and they must be singing out of the same book.”
Looking at education a little further down the line, Ms Turner felt that trade schools for young people at was very costly if students could not be sponsored or obtain scholarships. Using resources within the community (The Prospect & Red Bay Schools) these facilities could be used to offer free training/courses to retool and upskill youths and people in the evenings and incentivise facilitators, which would be more feasible for the those who could not afford to pay/unable to get sponsorship.
As a strong advocate for her local community, Ms Turner was a founder of the Prospect and Red Bay Community Group, a non-profit organisation that brings the local community together on a social level and helps the community bind together when there are issues to be addressed. As someone who has been so closely bound to the local community, and who has seen the successes of living in such a tight-knit community, she believed she was well placed to deal with issues in a broader context. With her campaign headquarters recently opened, she is already planning to use the location as a central spot for the community, a place in which young and old can get together and learn from each other, another important step in the bonding of the entire community.
“I want to use the space as a think tank, bringing young people in with their knowledge of Facebook and social media and then use that knowledge to educate our older persons,” she stated. “In this way, it’s a win/win for the entire community, with the elderly gaining knowledge from our digitally-savvy young people.”
Other projects that she sees working in her local community, first as a pilot scheme, and then successfully rolling out island-wide, include recycling drives and also providing a better pick up and collection service for children travelling to and from school “so the parents don’t get stressed and the children don’t have to stand out in the rain to catch a bus,” she furthered.
“Through instigating and running the Prospect/Red Bay Community Group, I have proven my love for my local community, and, based upon our successes with this group, I believe this could be an easy transition that could be rolled out to the wider community,” she added.