Neville A. James, the ranking Democrat in the 32nd Legislature will serve his 6th term as a senator from the District of St. Croix. Neville, having recently served as the Senate President in the 31st Legislature, is looking forward to transitioning to the position of Majority Leader as the institution strives to provide the leadership and commitment to the people of the U. S. Virgin Islands that they expect and deserve.
Neville was born in New York, NY on March 10, 1964 to Gloria Carlos and the late former four term Senator Randall N. "Doc" James. Having moved to St. Croix at the age of 6 months, he has lived on the "Big Virgin" ever since. Neville graduated from the St, Dunstan's Episcopal School class of 1982. While at St. Dunstan's, Neville found out who he is and what he liked. "I wasn't what you'd call a meticulous student, but I always had this thing for reading and remembering facts, dates and statistics." The highlight of his grade school years, in addition to graduating, was being the senior member of the 1982 STX district Quiz Bowl championship team.
After earning a B.A. in History from the University of Miami in May of 1987, Neville returned home and worked in the Department of Education's Business Office and was STX District Director for the agency's Property & Procurement division for 5 1/2 years. He also worked in the office of a mentor, Senate President Vargrave Richards during the first year of the 23rd Legislature. He owned/managed Cru-Tote, the family created pari-mutuel system on the island of St. Croix. Neville, a sports aficionado beyond compare, has coached basketball in various local leagues and even had the distinction of covering the Kentucky Derby for our very own public television station, YVTJX.
Neville's political career began in 2004 with a successful bid to the 26th Legislature and he's grateful to have been elected to 6 of the 7 most recent legislatures, viewing this as a testament to the collective Crucian confidence in how he legislates and represents the residents of the "Big Island." His legislative resumé includes chairmanship of the Economic Development Committee as a freshman in the 26th, Majority Leader and Chairman of the Financial Services Committee in the 28th Legislature, as well as Chairman of the Committee of the Whole, a responsibility inherent with being the Senate President in the 31st Legislature throughout 2015 and 2016. His strengths are in the areas of financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting revenues and expenditures and as we all know, the ability to articulate and justify any position taken on any measure brought before the body for consideration.
Senator James is a proud Executive Committee Member of both the Council of State Governments/Eastem Regional Conference(CSG/ERC) and the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL). Being a member of leadership organizations as these allow for the territory to always have a voice in the development of jurisdictions at the state level. Being a member of the first CSG/ERC Eastern Leadership Academy class in 2005, along with Senator Positive T.A. Nelson, has served as an unquestioned foundation in his development as an elected official over the last decade. "I'll always be thankful to former Senate Presidents Vargrave Richards (23rd) and Lorraine L. Berry (22nd & 26th) for seeing qualities in me that made them confident to give me opportunities to mature in the political arena."
As for the prospects for St. Croix, the Virgin Islands and the 32nd Legislature, Neville is confident that his island, the territory and the first branch of government will experience a fruitful 2017 and 2018. "There are numerous non-performing/under-performing assets throughout the Virgin Islands that I anticipate will reach their potential in the next 2 years. I like the makeup of our Majority Caucus and I look forward to being a part of the expected resurgence in our economic development and growth as a people. To say that I am elated that I can play a part in making this desire a reality would be the understatement of the term."