District: George Town West
Affiliation: Cayman Democratic Party
Current profession: Businessman
Interview with Jonathan Piercy
Matt Lamers: Hi, this is Matt Lamers with the Cayman Compass. I’m here with Jonathan Piercy, who is running with the CDP in the constituency of George Town West. Thank you for joining us.
Jonathan Piercy: Thank you Matt for having me. I grew up in George Town West. The Piercy history is very deep in George Town West. The Piercy square was located off of Goring Avenue in a little hamlet and I’ve always been in the George Town West area. I am from Pond Road, which is off of Smith Road. In addition to that I think that I have something to offer George Town West because that is a very strong working middle class constituency and there are a lot of issues facing the middle class generally in the Cayman Islands. And I do believe that when elected I will have something to offer, not just the people of George Town West, but the people of Grand Cayman.
Matt Lamers: What are the most important issues facing your constituency?
Jonathan Piercy: The most important issue right now facing my constituency are issues surrounding the aging population in George Town West. There are now more elderly persons who are having difficulty finding food, keeping a roof over their head and taking care of prescription medication. I think there is another issue among our youth as well. Many of our kids are going to school hungry. Some of them are not performing well. There is no technical and vocational program in place, and I think that what is very discouraging is that in many instances, when they do come back home from abroad receiving their education, there is still not enough opportunity for gainful employment. So there’s two challenges. The youth and the elderly. I’m hoping to pay attention to those specific areas.
Matt Lamers: Thank you. What are the most important issues facing Cayman as a whole?
Jonathan Piercy: I think the most pressing issue right now facing Cayman is the whole issue of foreclosures among Caymanians. I do believe that in both 2015 and 2016 we have seen some of the highest numbers of foreclosures amongst Caymanians. I also believe that is an indication of the state of the economy. If we look at what happened in 2008, for example, in the United States of America was that the housing crisis is what really shook their economy. I’m afraid that what we are seeing in Cayman is a precursor to a worsening economy, especially amongst the working middle class.
Matt Lamers: What’s something that’s going right in Cayman and what would you do to continue it?
Jonathan Piercy: I think what’s going right in Cayman is what we are seeing happening by and large in our tourism industry. If you look at the numbers for stay-over tourism, you can see that those numbers have increased significantly over the last several years. I am quick to say, however, that much of the plans that resulted in these positive numbers as growth were plans that were put in place when the UDP administration was there. I would certainly continue to support those plans and grow [the] industry with the caveat that more Caymanians need to participate in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Matt Lamers: If elected, what’s your top priority on day one?
Jonathan Piercy: I think the number on priority on day one is to take care of all of those issues. We need to figure out a way, certainly, to take care of our elderly. They have to be able to find food for themselves, provide for themselves. We have to provide as a society some sort of affordable housing for our elderly. In addition to that, we definitely need to make sure that prescription drugs are going to be accessible and available to our elderly. With respect to the youth, we definitely need to have a technical and vocational school in place. We need to make sure we have more apprenticeship programs in place, and we need to make sure there is more involvement and inclusion with Caymanians in the economy. If we do that, then we no longer have to ask the question, “who are we developing for?” The right answer would be that we are developing for our people. So I believe that is a top priority, and simultaneously, we must address the high numbers of foreclosures amongst Caymanians.
Matt Lamers: Thank you, Mr. Piercy.
Jonathan Piercy: Thank you very much for having me. I want those of you who are watching to know that you can find more information on me at my web page jonathanpiercy.org or on Facebook, JonathanpiercyGT, or you can call me on my telephone number, which is 926-1663. Thank you once again.
Matt Lamers: Thank you. Once again this is Matt Lamers with the Cayman Compass. Thank you for watching.