By Vinette K. Pryce
Tasked with the primary
responsibility of promoting and
safeguarding the interest of
Jamaican nationals residing in
33 United States, Bermuda and
Puerto Rico, Jamaica’s newest
Consul General Alsion Roach
Wilson recently announced
reforms she intends to implement
in order to improve relations
with diasporans during
her tenure at the New York consulate.
During her first official meeting
with select diaspora leaders
CG Roach Wilson said “I will be
CG on the beat.”
On her initial group engagement
with entrepreneurs, educators,
political and community
leaders she outlined several proposals
she decidedly declared
will prioritize an agenda to better
serve the largest Englishspeaking
in New York.
Surrounded by individuals
she described as “longtime
friends” from relationships that
“go way back” the informal gathering
seemed a reunion rather
than the previous meet and
greet introductions that often
present new consulars.
“I am a down to earth, humble
person…just don’t call me
Allison,” the newly sworn diplomat
joked with reference to her
moniker which is often misidentified.
All joking aside, she explained
how since taking office she
has often surprised callers by
answering the busy phones at
the East Side Manhattan offices.
While engaging in that process
she said she discovered that
many nationals are clueless
about the location of the offices,
while others are frustrated by
the disconnect caused by busy
or non-responsive phone outreach.
She said she means to
improve telephone access as well
as enlighten diasporans about
the role she is tasked to fulfill.
Throughout the informal
gathering, she referenced longtime
associates she said she
probably will rely on in order to
successfully execute reforms she
1 Caribbean Life, S 16 eptember 20-26, 2019 BQ
said were priorities.
One such is to connect with
Jamaicans residing in Staten
Although two boroughs —
Brooklyn and Queens — comprise
the largest concentration
of Jamaicans residing in the
USA, New York City and state,
the consular said she intended
to spend more time with Jamaicans
living on Staten Island
where only less than one percent
of the Black population
Popularly known as the ‘forgotten
borough,’ the borough
is distinct for being home to
the largest population of Italian
Americans of any county in
Perhaps appealing to a growing
number of Jamaican diasporans
who enjoy the game of
cricket, it is also home to the
oldest cricket club in the USA.
According to the last census
residing in the borough account
for less than 10 percent of the
“I was told that no one from
Jamaica’s Consul General to New York, Alsion Roach Wilson.
Jamaica Information Service
the consulate has visited prisons
in nine years,” she added.
With as many as 54 correctional
facilities in NYC alone,
she will have to carve out a huge
chunk of her time visiting incarcerated
Jamaicans at each facility
throughout the state.
State Senator Nick Perry
added to the dialogue saying
that due to his more than two
and half decades with the state
legislature, he maintains ‘all
access’ privileges to penitentiaries.
However, he did not state
where and when he made his
last visit to Jamaicans incarcerated
throughout the state.
Jamaica’s new consul proposes
reforms to better assist nationals
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