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Jearlean wants to inspire women, girls
Jearlean John, who has filed nomination papers for the post of deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC) in the November 26 internal elections, is hoping to make a difference for women and young girls aspiring to make their lives better.
John, asked if she will be playing a specific role on the crucial East-West corridor for the party, said, "I don't want to be pigeonholed into some East-West corridor narrative because I am of African descent. Along the East-West corridor there are many little girls named Jearlean. There was a time people respected me before people tried to smear my name."
John is hoping that her life and what she has accomplished "through hard work and long hours" will inspire those with whom she comes into contact.
She said, "The fact that I came from Charlotteville to Trinidad with one O'Level subject and now I have an MBA and I am a certified accountant says something. The fact that I am a single mother who raised a child and now she is an attorney-at-law because I was a very dedicated mother and ensured that she got an education, I hope that means something."
John said wherever she has worked "I treat people with respect and dignity and I hope that will mean something not only along the East-West corridor, but that it will resonate in every corridor in Trinidad and Tobago, quite frankly."
She recalled the relationship which former works minister in the Basdeo Panday administration Sadiq Baksh had with the people along the corridor. "Sadiq was successful because he took the same approach I have taken. That is we will not be limited by our race. We reach out to everybody and treat people with decency.
"I am just saying as part of the political narrative I really want to mean something to the young mother and father in Debe, in Sans Souci and in places I have never been and to people who did not have the same up bringing that I had in Charlotteville, but at least we connect at some level because of our hopes and aspirations."
John has been well received at cottage meetings which she has attended with UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar in the lead-up to next weekend's elections.