Williams Says Legislative Apportionment Initiative Unconstitutional

(October 17, 2018) — The initiative changing the composition of the territory’s unicameral Legislature would disenfranchise voters and violate the principle of one-person, one-vote that has formed the basis of apportioning legislatures since a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the early 1960s.

“I applaud citizens of all political backgrounds stepping up and getting involved in their government, but the initiative as presented is deeply flawed and for that reason I cannot support it,” said V.I. Board of Elections member Jevon O.A. Williams of St. Croix, the Republican caucus leader. “As drafted it arbitrarily allocates, or apportions, the number of senators between our island communities without any regard for the actual population of each community, as determined when the census is taken every 10 years.”

Numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings require state and local governments to use the population, as determined by census, in creating legislative districts and apportioning seats. As a result, a federal court challenge would likely determine that allocating a seat to the island of St. John disenfranchises voters on the much larger islands of St. Croix and St. Thomas. It is also constitutionally problematic to divide both St. Croix and St. Thomas into vague “east” and “west” legislative districts without precise boundaries based on the census and amended every 10 years when new official population numbers are released.

“I support the creation of single-senator legislative districts drawn by an independent commission to avoid gerrymandering with geographic boundaries determined by what the census has found to be the actual population of each community within each island,” said Williams. “Instead, this initiative arbitrarily creates legislative districts and assigns seats to these districts without any consideration of actual population, which as we all know has declined on each island since the 2010 census was released in 2011.”

If the initiative moves forward, Williams, in his official capacity as a member of the V.I. Board of Elections, will formally request a review by the U.S. attorney and the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice to protect voters in the territory. He will also work with the congressional committees that oversee the territories in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to see if this would be better handled through an amendment to the Revised Organic Act.

Williams is also the V.I. national committeeman for the Republican Party. Republicans controls majorities in both houses of Congress.

 

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Posted on 17 Oct 2018, 17:09 - Category: Press Releases

 

Resolution Supporting President Trumpís Decision Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

Resolution Supporting President Trump’s Decision Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel was  sponsored by Virgin Islands GOP National Committeeman Jevon Williams was passed by the Republican National Committee today. This resolution sends a clear message to the nation and the world, that the Republican National Committee supports President Donald J. Trump's presidential proclamation recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the directive given to the Department of State to prepare to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The point must be further driven home, as a sovereign country, the United States will NOT be dictated to, and we are well within our right to determine where to establish our embassies and the exercise
of this right is also in the national interests and the security of the United States.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

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Posted on 02 Feb 2018, 13:01 - Category: Resolutions

 

National Committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams recaps 2017 | A Year In Review

 Greetings!

As we usher in 2018, I would like to take this time to offer you a recap of 2017. In January 2018, it will be a year since I have been elected to proudly represent the U.S. Virgin Islands as National Committeeman on the Republican National Committee (RNC). I am happy to report that significant strides have been made to build and strengthen our party on both the local and national levels.

As a fairly new member of the Republican National Committee (RNC), I have focused all my energy on establishing and developing working relationships with the 165 members of the RNC.

After the U.S. Virgin Islands were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both category five storms, I have traveled to Washington to appeal to the President of the United States, members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in order to stress that the Virgin Islands deserves every dollar they are due in federal hurricane recovery funding.

I recently returned to the territory after spending a week in Washington, where President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence received me. I was invited by President Trump and Vice President Pence to attend Christmas receptions at the White House and Naval Observatory, which serve as their respective official residences. I also attended a reception for national Republican leaders hosted by the French ambassador to the United States.

It was a distinct honor to bring Christmas greetings from the Virgin Islands to President Trump and Vice President Pence, I used the opportunity to thank the President and Vice President for their unwavering support and commitment to Virgin Islanders. While in the nation’s capital, I had well over a dozen meetings on Capitol Hill.

I met with senators and congressmen from across the country, including chairmen of various committees, to stress that the Virgin Islands deserves every dollar they are due in federal hurricane recovery funding.

I also updated members of Congress on my many concerns and will continue to stress that our territory’s recovery will require significant oversight and accountability to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

My work on the Republican National Committee has been going very well, as a result of my efforts I was able to join forces with Dr. Ada M. Fisher, North Carolina's Republican National Committeewoman and put forth "RESOLUTION of RECOGNITION for the FIRST USA BLACK CONGRESSMEN".

The resolution honors Congressmen Robert B. Elliott, Robert C. De Large, Benjamin S. Turner, Jefferson F. Long, Joseph H. Rainey, and Josh T. Walls and Senator Hiram R. Revels—all of whom were elected from the Southern states after the Civil War. The resolution, which has been adopted, requires the RNC to call upon Congress to call on the U.S. Postal Service to issue a Black Heritage series postage stamp in their honor.

 

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

 

My fellow Virgin Islanders, as we all know so very well, Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not receive full enjoyment of their citizenship. In addition to being denied both a vote for president and full congressional representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been extended to the territories.

Back in early August, I introduced my resolution titled, "RESOLUTION AFFIRMING EQUAL CITIZENSHIP FOR ALL AMERICANS" to my fellow Republican National Committee members, which received numerous co-sponsors due to the relationships I've built since being elected. My resolution, which has been adopted, requires the RNC to call upon Congress to ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have the unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship, including but not limited to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

 

A copy of the resolution can be found here.

 

Friends let me assure you that I remain committed to the growth of our party, and the fight to ensure that we receive the same rights as our brothers and sisters on the mainland.

 

Should you ever have need of me, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

I wish you all a joyous and prosperous new year!

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Jevon O.A. Williams

National Committeeman

Republican Party of the United States Virgin Islands

 

For more information and to stay connected, please like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JevonWilliamsVI, follow us on Instagram @jevonwilliamsvi,​ Twitter @JevonWilliamsVI, and visit our website at www.jevonwilliams.com.

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Posted on 31 Dec 2017, 11:32 - Category: Year In Review

 

National GOP calls for equal citizenship for U.S. territories

AUGUST 25, 2017 — In major news, national GOP leaders repudiated the unequal citizenship of Americans living in the country’s territories during a meeting of the Republican National Committee on Friday in Nashville.

The Republican National Committee did so with the passage of a resolution entitled “Affirming the Equal Citizenship for All Americans.” The resolution’s sponsor was the Virgin Islands’ national committeeman, Jevon Williams.

“The Republican National Committee calls upon Congress to ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship, including the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” stated the resolution.

“All Americans must be able to enjoy the full benefits of their citizenship,” said Williams, who serves in the Virgin Islands Army National Guard. “For too long, Washington has ignored Americans in the territories, a disproportionate number of whom wear the uniform defending the freedoms and liberties that define us as Americans, including basic constitutional rights that are wrongly denied to them.”

The resolution will now be sent to President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not receive full enjoyment of their citizenship. 

* In addition to being denied both a vote for president and full congressional representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been extended to the territories. The legal basis for two classes of U.S. citizenship derives the Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating to the late 1890s when some of the territories were first acquired.

The principal author of the Insular Cases legal doctrine was Justice Henry Brown, who also authored the high court’s notorious racist and pro-segregationist ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.
All 56 states and territories are represented on the 168-member Republican National Committee
by the party chairman, committeewoman, and committeeman.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.
 

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* Editor’s note: American Samoa is the fifth territory, but American Samoans are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

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Posted on 01 Sep 2017, 18:10 - Category: Press Releases

 

National GOP calls for equal citizenship for U.S. territories

AUGUST 25, 2017 — In major news, national GOP leaders repudiated the unequal citizenship of Americans living in the country’s territories during a meeting of the Republican National Committee on Friday in Nashville.

The Republican National Committee did so with the passage of a resolution entitled “Affirming the Equal Citizenship for All Americans.” The resolution’s sponsor was the Virgin Islands’ national committeeman, Jevon Williams.

“The Republican National Committee calls upon Congress to ensure that American citizens residing in the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have unfettered enjoyment of their American citizenship, including the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” stated the resolution.

“All Americans must be able to enjoy the full benefits of their citizenship,” said Williams, who serves in the Virgin Islands Army National Guard. “For too long, Washington has ignored Americans in the territories, a disproportionate number of whom wear the uniform defending the freedoms and liberties that define us as Americans, including basic constitutional rights that are wrongly denied to them.”

The resolution will now be sent to President Donald J. Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Americans in the territories are U.S. citizens, but they do not receive full enjoyment of their citizenship. 

* In addition to being denied both a vote for president and full congressional representation, not all provisions of the Constitution have been extended to the territories. The legal basis for two classes of U.S. citizenship derives the Insular Cases, a series of Supreme Court rulings dating to the late 1890s when some of the territories were first acquired.

The principal author of the Insular Cases legal doctrine was Justice Henry Brown, who also authored the high court’s notorious racist and pro-segregationist ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson.

All 56 states and territories are represented on the 168-member Republican National Committee by the party chairman, committeewoman, and committeeman.

A copy of the resolution can be found here.
 

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* Editor’s note: American Samoa is the fifth territory, but American Samoans are U.S. nationals, not citizens.

 

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Posted on 25 Aug 2017, 12:05 - Category: Resolutions

 

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