TO MY FAMILY AND FELLOW RESIDENTS,
I would like the honour of continuing to represent you; I understand this is about partnership and trust. So let me begin by sharing about myself, my life, my family, my career, my experiences, and the convictions that guide me as your Parliamentary Representative. It is my desire to continue working with you to transform St. George into a model community.
LIFE & FAMILY
My roots are very deep in the community. I am a member of the Jonas family from Freemans Village (Jonas Estate), Potters, Pigotts and Barnes Hill with thousands of cousins and close family relatives throughout the St George community. My mother Irene (Smith) Jonas worked as a teacher at the New Winthorpes Primary, formerly the Judges Hill School and lived in the Barnes Hill/Blizzard community for many years and my father Colin William Jonas was an entrepreneur. I grew up with my parents in the Potters community and lived for some time with my step grandmother, Ruby (Henry)Jonas in the Pigotts community. I am married to Anne Jonas and live with my wife and children in Potters Village. The Lord willing; I will continue to live in this community permanently.
EDUCATION & CAREER
The first school I attended was the Judges Hill School (New Winthorpes Primary School). I completed my elementary education at the Potters Primary School, then pursued my secondary education at the Sunnyside Tutorial and Antigua Grammar Schools. My post-secondary education was received at the University of Essex England in the areas of Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering. I also had the opportunity to pursue executive training in Marketing, Finance, Management, and Public Relations at Cornell University in New York.
When you gave me the opportunity to represent the largest electoral constituency, I immediately began the process of community transformation alongside my responsibilities as Deputy Speaker of the House of Parliament, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Transport Board and Chairman of the Development Control Authority. As I continued to serve, I took up the ministerial portfolio of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs. I am now honoured to meet the needs of our people as the Minister of Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, and the Blue Economy.
I am committed to serving St. George so that together, we can live more of our personal and community dreams.
The ‘TeamDeanJonas’ Agenda for Living Your Dream is a community-based movement
I have remained grounded in this community and deeply involved at many levels. The real needs of our community and what must be done to meet those needs have consumed me. Let me share just a few areas in which I have been attempting to better our beloved St. George.
Education: I have worked at opening and equipping a volunteer learning centre to serve our community; This provides additional teaching, computer literacy, and even adult instruction to students and residents of St. George. Additionally we have completed work on the Sir Novelle Richards Academy. We will be upgrading the Technical and Vocational school in Potters (ABICE) and plans are also in place to construct a new early childhood development school in Potters.
Sports: Our youth remind me so much of fun times I had growing up in Potters and Pigotts; but we did not have organized sports to teach discipline and groom character. For many years I have been involved in sporting initiatives that shape attitudes and influence the lives of young people across St. George. This includes organizing leagues and sponsoring teams in football, basketball and netball. In this way I have helped to ensure we reward youth that demonstrate organized teamwork, respect, and self control.
Responding to Disasters and the Needs of the Vulnerable: At the beginning of my tenure as your representative, floods plagued this constituency more so than other places. Peoples’ homes and belongings were ravaged by water damage, particularly in the Pigotts area. TeamDeanJonas and I came up with some solutions which have been working well to to avert any more flood damage and give the people relief and freedom from fear whenever there are heavy rains.
The care of the elderly, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable persons have been top priority on my agenda over the years, particularly during the critical periods of the COVID 19 pandemic when many suddenly found themselves without jobs or failing businesses. In response, the members of TeamDeanJonas, as part of a caring Government administration, continue to identify the needs of the vulnerable and are still working to provide support whether by food packages, aides, school supplies, personal care items, a helping hand and advice.
Convictions & Values
My campaign bears the slogan- ‘Live Your Dream’ along with four watchwords to guide mePresence, Passion, Action, Results. These are more than cute phrases and catchy words. They accurately capture what representing St. George means to me.
Live Your Dream: Today politics is perceived as a dirty word. It’s seen as the art of tricking people to vote for you; abandoning them for 5 years; then returning to buy them out to vote for you again. That politics has not helped to better our lives or change our living conditions. Live Your Dream says that I have spent time with you to understand your goals and aspirations in life and I am now ready to work with you to make these dreams a reality. With your constant support and advice, I will advocate in Cabinet, Parliament and with other key stakeholders to fulfil your dreams.
Presence, Passion, Action, Results:
I will continue to be:
An ever-present representative who lives among you;
Passionate in my love and zeal for you, the people; Always actively at work in your best interests; A representative who delivers results.
Our slogan and watchwords are a covenant that specifies the type of representative I will continue to be. Besides slogan and watchwords however, there are some personal values that further describe who I am and what I hold dear. I am not perfect; but I am God fearing; and cherish family values. Our young people are dear to me; and I feel strongly that it is our duty to create the best conditions for them to achieve their greatest good. This includes being a good role model that encourages them toward upright lives and successful futures.
Thanks for taking time to discover or re-discover who I am. I look forward to seeing you in person again. I also count on your support and your vote. Remember, it’s You and Me Together Living Your Dream.