Caribbean Life, Mar. 31-Apr. 6, 2022
By Nelson A. King
The Office of Jamaica Prime Minister
Andrew Holness said on Tuesday that the
Jamaican leader was expected Tuesday
afternoon to depart for a “working visit
in Washington, D.C., United States.”
“During his visit, he is expected to
meet with high level officials within the
US government,” the statement said.
“He will also have discussions with the
The statement said Holness is expected
to return to Jamaica on April 3,
During his absence, Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of National Security
Dr. Horace Chang will be in charge
of government, the statement said.
News reports in the US said that Holness
is expected to meet with US Vice
President Kamala Harris, the daughter
of a Jamaican father.
According to the Miami Herald, Harris
will “host Jamaica’s prime minister at
the White House on Wednesday as part
of an effort to improve the United States’
relationship with Caribbean nations.”
Holness is the second Caribbean leader
to visit Harris in Washington, the
Herald said, adding that “the bilateral
meeting coincides with the 60th anniversary
year of the establishment of diplomatic
relations between Jamaica and
the United States.”
The paper said Prime Minister Holness
will be the first Jamaican leader
to visit the White House since a 1995
working visit by former Jamaican Prime
Minister P.J. Patterson.
By Ethan Stark-Miller and Stephen Witt
Despite all the noise from progressive
lawmakers, moderates in both the state
senate and assembly believe they will have
enough votes to roll back criminal justice
reforms that Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor
Eric Adams are requesting.
Among these are giving judges more
discretion to set bail, allowing prosecutors
some leeway in charging some youths 16
and 17 in adult criminal court, and addressing
recent discovery laws that some argue
favor rights of defendants over that of victims.
“I think something will be done on criminal
justice reforms before we leave session
this year,” said veteran Assemblyman Peter
Abbate (D-Brooklyn). “We had a number of
conferences with Assembly Speaker Carl
Heastie and one just the other night. It was
a good discussion. Some people were for
changes and some people didn’t want the
Abbate noted that even in progressive
Brooklyn there were a number of Assembly
members that will likely vote to roll back
criminal justice reforms including himself
and Assembly Members Helene Weinstein,
Steve Cymbrowitz, Jaimie Williams and Bill
There will likely be several assembly
members from Long Island, Westchester
and areas upstate also voting for reforms
as well as Republicans across the aisle, he
There also seems to be discussion on the
issues from the state Black, Puerto Rican,
Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus,
despite their releasing a 10-point criminal
justice plan over the weekend in opposition
to Hochul’s, which came out earlier this
Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages (D –
Long Island) – the caucus chair – said their
plan will focus on investing in underserved
communities rather than making roll backs
to bail, discovery and Raise the Age laws.
“We support making sure that we invest
into the community,” Solages told PoliticsNY.
“And we believe that we should end
perpetual punishment of underserved communities,
especially communities of color.”
The caucus’ 10-point-plan focuses on
making investments in initiatives like mental
healthcare services, youth programs,
improving access to education for underserved
communities and reducing homelessness.
Solages said the plan was a culmination
of several criminal justice initiatives
caucus members have strongly supported in
But Solages refused to say who signed
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her first State of the State address in the
Assembly Chamber at the state Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Albany, N.Y.
Hans Pennink/Pool via REUTERS POOL
onto the plan and said the 65-member caucus
never held a formal vote to approve what
was ultimately included in it. Instead, they
tasked a smaller group of Assembly members
and state Senators with drafting the
proposal, which is how the caucus works on
most of its initiatives.
While there’s going to be some disagreement
between such a large group of lawmakers,
Solages said, they’re mostly united
on the core ideas reflected in the 10-pointplan.
But at least one member, Sen. Roxanne
Persaud (D-Brooklyn), said she has long
spoken up for changes needed to the recent
criminal justice reforms.
“What I’ve said and continue to say is
no law, when it comes into place is perfect.
There’s sometimes unintended consequences,
and you have to address that. It’s not a
direct effect of bail reform, even though it’s
lumped into that. Bail reform is just a catch
phrase. We need to look at the criminal justice
reforms that we did and see what are the
unintended consequences because there are
things that need to be fixed,” said Persaud.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew
Holness. Jamaica Information Service /
Criminal Justice Rollbacks
Gain Traction in Albany
to meet with
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud. Assemblyman Peter Abbate Jr.