District: George Town West
Current profession: Entrepreneur
Interview with Ellio Solomon
Kayla Young: Hi, this is Kayla Young with the Cayman Compass. I’m here with independent candidate Ellio Solomon, running for the constituency of George Town West in the May 2017 elections.
Kayla Young: Welcome Mr. Solomon. Why don’t you introduce yourself and tell us why you are running for the Legislative Assembly.
Ellio Solomon: Thank you Kayla. My name is Ellio Solomon and I’m running for the district of George Town, specifically George Town West. The reason why I’m running for office is the people blessed me with an opportunity of serving in office between 2009 to 2013 and I’m looking to finish a lot of what I started. I think most persons know the things I’ve done, that they were innovative – things like the pension amendment, which I can proudly say I have helped over 966 families so far and put over $400 million of spending into the economy. I believe at this particular juncture, we need doers, we need persons with innovative ideas, and persons who are going to be tenacious enough to get it done. And that is part of the reason I’m running for office.
Kayla Young: What would you say is the most important issue facing your district?
Ellio Solomon: I think a lot of the issues that are facing my particular constituency, naturally, I believe that those are echoed in other areas. But speaking specifically to my area, I think there are a lot of elderly persons who are interested in and concerned about healthcare and the costs of that, so I think we need to work toward reducing some of those costs. We also have, on the other end, many persons asking “Am I even going to be able to retire?” They’re worried about unemployment; they’re worried about what’s being done for small businesses; so those are some of the concerns in my specific area.
Kayla Young: What would you say is the biggest issue facing the Cayman Islands as a whole?
Ellio Solomon: I would say, so far as issues facing the country as a whole, three things come to mind, and I’ll put those three umbrella terms out. Those are cost of living, in no particular order, diversifying the economy, and dealing with self-sufficiency. And when I say self-sufficiency, I mean even being able to develop ourselves a country so that, first of all, we can actually feed ourselves as it relates to agriculture. And so when I take those three main areas, then naturally there is a series of things underneath those that need to be addressed as well.
Kayla Young: What is something you would say Cayman is doing right and how would you help to continue that?
Ellio Solomon: When I look at consecutive governments, I think they have been very supportive of the major industries, the major pillars of our economy, primarily for example, tourism and financial services. I believe there’s always been a lot of support. Yes, we can always question, “Is that support being done correctly?” I definitely believe I have some ideas that I think could tweak and make those things a little bit better, but I believe we are doing it right in terms of support.
Kayla Young: And if elected, what’s your top priority on day one?
Ellio Solomon: I think some of the major things I just mentioned, cost of living, diversifying the economy, self-sufficiency. I am proposing, among other things, for example, that medical research is an opportunity in the Cayman Islands. I have done all of the research, I have done the drafting of the legislation over the last year, so I am actually prepared, if elected on May 24, 2017, to actually hit the ground running in terms of implementing medical research into this country. Medical research is a $36 billion market; if we can capture just a mere 1 percent of that, that would mean $360 million into the government coffers and, of course, tons of opportunities, both in terms of employment, as well as business opportunities. Amongst other things, I actually want to make a move where I left off, for example, on pensions. I gave those pensions abilities to the private sector. I also want to do the same for government employees as well. And a host of other things that I believe is going to help us lower cost of living, such as pushing for alternative energy, to be able to allow individual home owners to be able to reduce their electricity from what they are now paying to about 10 percent.
Kayla Young: Thank you, Mr. Solomon. This has been a great opportunity for voters to learn more about your issues. Once again, this is Kayla Young with the Cayman Compass. Thanks for watching.