by Donna Sealy
There’s a new face entering the election race.
Jonn Warde, a 30-year-old independent candidate, says it is change he wants to see.
He was out canvassing in Grazettes earlier this week when a Barbados TODAY team caught up with him.
Contesting his first election, the hometown boy, is in the race for the St. Michael West Central seat. For him, it was not a decision that came lightly.
“What really opened me up to get involved is when I started pursuing my Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in public management. The more and more I began to combine the studies with observing what was going on in the community, they went hand in hand and really gave me the confidence to know that not could I become involved in this initiative but I could truly make a difference. I’m confident that I’m qualified to do this,” he said.
Canvassing on the platform of a A Change From Within, Warde said he grew up in Grazettes and knew the days when neighbours looked out for each other.
“I grew up in Denton Road … before going off to study and then I was back and forth a lot. Now I’m here, this is home. You think about something like this and you always wonder what would be the perception, is it still little Jonn Ross, that’s what they used to call me. There is so much support, I’ve had people say ‘I’ve never voted in my life but this election you’ve definitely got my X’ and it makes me feel good,” he said.
“In the other parts of my constituency the guys who drive pass and see me, complete strangers, people with my posters saying this is the guy, it’s very humbling. Even in the Long Gap area it is positive.
“I’m positive that it can happen. A lot of people say it may be impossible but I make the case that if impossible and my opponents are possible, the possible isn’t working so we have to try the impossible. I’m taking it one day at a time, we’re working aggressively and intelligently,” he said.
Warde is putting a case for the social transformation of the constituency, he said he wants to restructure the culture and get back to setting certain standards among the youth.
“Growing up we had standards, for me although it was simple, I wanted to be the best football player and that propelled me into the different avenues but a lot of the youngsters now coming up with nothing to do, nothing to put their energy into, again the standard drops so you find them being involved and being influenced by all the negativity.
“People say and make reference to the type of music and say that has a strong influence on the youth and I agree but I believe to combat that its more than just banning the music its by creating smarter thinkers. That is what I’m working on within the culture. Surrounding them with the knowledge and information that they need to better themselves, Some people say ‘okay I’ll promise you a job but if you don’t have skills to maintain that job. That’s why it’s important to give them that structure,.” Warde contended.
Glenfield Cadogan, who ran around with the candidate in their younger days, has thrown his support behind him.
He said he felt that a home grown representative was a ” a good step”, “a step in the right direction” and would yield positive results. He does not “feel” that someone who lives outside the constituency understood the needs of the constituents well enough to make the change necessary.
The community worker said that Warde was a positive role model for the youngsters and would be able to represent them adequately in the House of Assembly.
Both men spoke about the lack of proper sporting facilities, the lack of programmes to improve the lives of residents. firstname.lastname@example.org