Sarah Sookdeo encouraged by the youth to make LGE bid

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

UNC candidate Sarah Sookdeo speaks to the media as she is about to file nomination papers for the June 17 by-election at the EBC’s Penal/Debe registration area sub-office Erin Road, Penal, on May 24. – Photo by Venessa Mohammed

ROCK ROAD, Penal, businesswoman Sarah Sookdeo, 35, is hoping to retain the Quinam/Morne Diablo seat for the UNC in the June 17 by-election.

Organising community events, like religious celebrations, and engaging in activism over the last 20 years, she said she was encouraged by the community’s youth to run for the position.

“I have been approached by the younger ones, whom I worked with closely. They said they think I am an ideal role model to fit in the position. So I decided to give it a try.”

“What people need is somebody they can relate to, somebody that can go and visit them. I may not be able to do all the infrastructural developments at one time, but people need a listening ear, they need somebody who they can relate to, and I think I can fill that shoes pretty well.”

Sookdeo said she decided to run on a UNC ticket because she believes the party is the future of TT.

“For the past nine years we have been neglected in this area. We haven’t seen any major infrastructural developments. All the projects that was left in 2015 (when the UNC lost the general election) remain the same way. There’s a fire station that does not have a firetruck in it, and we have been plagued by over four fires.”

If elected, she intends to focus on improving the water supply, tackling flooding and improving infrastructure to reduce its occurrence like clearing watercourses.

Sookdeo wants to also tackle education and employment for the youths by partnering with institutions to create programmes tailored to her district’s demographics.

Over the years, the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation has complained that the central government is not releasing funding for necessary work in its burgess. To combat this and carry out her plans, Sookdeo intends to create a specialised team of experts.

“Professionals came forward, engineers in the area, surveyors. They are registered with foreign boards. They are willing to work with me and even work with the party to see how we can change the dynamic, go beyond the level. There are so many facilities where we can get foreign investment. It’s not just about depending on resources, but trying to make a way to make that change and drive that change.”

The Quinam/Morne Diablo seat became vacant when its councillor, PDRC chairman Diptee Ramnath, died in December.