Neville A. James, the ranking Democrat in the 31st Legislature, is a 5th term legislator from the District of St. Croix. Neville is poised to project an attitude that reflects growth, educational and professional achievements as well as a lifelong commitment of supporting contributions that Crucians have made to the rich history of the United States Virgin Islands.
Neville was born in New York, NY on March 10, 1964 to Gloria Carlos and the late former 4-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 for 15 years in the Department of Education’s Business Office and as STX District Director for the agency’s Property & Procurement division. 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, WTJX.
In 2004, having been a radio talk show host of “De Word” on WSTX AM, then candidate James sought public office for the first time and is forever grateful to the people of St. Croix for electing him as top vote getter in the Democratic primary and general elections that year. As a freshman senator, he chaired the Economic Development and Environmental Protection Committee and was the prime sponsor of Act 6836, the Sustainable Agriculture Industry Act of 2006.
After a successful re-election in 2006, throughout the 27th Legislature in 2007 and 2008, Senator James further solidified his reputation as the legislature’s resident “Numbers Cruncher”, analyzing government proposals and budgets with a keen eye on details, revenues, expenditures and changes in percentages. Another successful re-election in 2008 led to Neville being the legislature’s Majority Leader in the 28th Legislature as well as Chairman of the first and only Committee on Financial Services, Infrastructure and Consumer Affairs.
After serving a 4th term in the 29th Legislature Senator James was not successful in his 2012 senate bid, however, Neville is honored for this fifth opportunity to serve in the first branch of government and looks forward to exuding sound and straightforward leadership as the body’s president. “I want to give special thanks to former Senate President Lorraine Berry because she saw leadership skills in me early on and sent me to the first CSG/ERC Eastern Leadership Academy in 2005. Because of that, I was selected to serve on their Executive Committee on multiple occasions. That experience along with serving in this body for 8 years has played a critical role in where I am in this policy making institution today. I look forward to seeing that the support/votes I received in 2014 count in a positive and productive way for the people of St. Croix and the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.”