Thad Hollis: ‘OBA Founded To Give Real Change’

October 20, 2013

thad_hollis[Updated] The One Bermuda Alliance was founded to “give the people of Bermuda real change” and as a party that was “tired of business as usual,” OBA Chairman Thad Hollis said last night.

Mr Hollis [pictured] was speaking to what the party said was an estimated 300 people, who gathered at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel last night [Oct 19] to participate in the OBA party conference, the second since the party’s formation in 2011.

The conference was opened by St George’s MP Nandi Outerbridge, and included presentations by several speakers, including the Premier Craig Cannonier, Deputy Premier Michael Dunkley, Finance Minister Bob Richards, Minister of Tourism and Transport Shawn Crockwell, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy and the Minister of Community, Culture and Sport Wayne Scott. Senator Jeff Baron was the evening’s MC.

In his speech, Party Chairman Thad Hollis said: “I joined the OBA for change. We, yes we, are doing that. Tonight you will hear from the Premier and some of his Cabinet Ministers, about the vision for Bermudians and our Party. Making accountability at every level not just a concept, but the way of doing business and governance.

“In here tonight, in this room and beyond, We are a team. We are cleaning up the mess, together. Opportunity. We are not satisfied with fixing the mess we’ve been left with, we are building a better Bermuda, not just for ourselves, but for all Bermudians and for our future. We will continue to look under the hood, we will ensure that there is a proper accounting of public expenses.

“The OBA is an optimistic, forward thinking party dedicated to making Bermuda work better for its people. We identify better standards of conduct, alternative approaches, new ideas and better policies. The OBA is about bringing to Bermuda a higher form of politics that is people-focused, not party-focused. It is a force for unity.

“When we formed the One Bermuda Alliance it was formed as a party that was tired of business as usual. The people of Bermuda were hurting with thousands unemployed and underemployed. Gang violence was at an all-time high, many people had no confidence in the PLP government to get us out of the mess we were in.

“The One Bermuda Alliance was founded to give the people of Bermuda real change. It was founded so that people could come together whether no matter your political affiliation and have a voice.

“It was founded so that young people would have voice. It was founded so that women could have a voice. It was founded so that people who wanted a better Bermuda where we learn from the past so that it can help guide our future.

“It was founded so that workers can have a voice. It was founded so that business owners can have a voice. It was founded so teachers could have a voice.

“It was founded to promote social and economic equity leaving no one behind. A good paying job, safe and secure neighborhoods, great schools for great kids, and good governance.

“It was founded to promote opportunity, inclusiveness, fairness, transparency, responsibility, integrity, and service.

“The people wanted a change. They wanted to know that when they woke up in the morning that the government was responsive to their needs. And so we embarked on a journey of service. We embarked on journey that said that business owners and workers can find common ground,” concluded Mr Hollis.

The OBA also provided live updates from the Conference via Twitter, which can be read here.

Update 4.41pm:  Mr Hollis’ full speech follows below:

Welcome.

Mr. Premier, Deputy Premier, Ministers, Parliamentarians, friends and Members.

25 months ago, I stood up here and gave a brief Maiden Speech on Unity, Service and Recovery. What a journey it has been!

In September, 2011 we were a new Party. A movement for Change. We ran a very successful campaign that culminated on 17th December, 2012 with us, we, all of you, winning the General Election.

Look at us now! We are the Party of Government. Look what you did – you worked hard, you gave your all, you believed in our vision of Opportunity, Responsibility, Integrity, Transparency, Fairness, Inclusiveness and Service

We became a team. We are a team.

My job tonight is to give you a report. A report on the State of the Party.

Tonight we would have had elections for the Officers of the Party. I am pleased to say that none of the Offices were contested. We do have vacancies in our Deputy Chairs positions however, this week we have received a number of applicants and we will be holding an SGM in the New Year to have those elections.

I would personally wish to thank all of the Regional Chairs who have supported me this year and nominated me to remain on as Chairman of this visionary movement we call the One Bermuda Alliance. – I didn’t seek unanimous support – and I thank them sincerely for doing so, but I see my role as your Chairman as one of Service, to you the Members of this Movement and to our Island Home of Bermuda.

I look forward to continuing to serve you as your Chair for another term and thank you for the privilege.

Party Structure:

  • 2013 has seen the building of our active 9 Regions
  • 2 Regional Chairs rotating on the Party Executive. Playing active role in Executive Decisions.
  • Field committees in operation in 32 of 36 Constituencies. We are looking to build in the remaining 4.
  • Revised Constitution
  • Candidate Selection Committee
  • A Treasurer
  • Finance Committee (in progress)

Numerous events have taken place and are taking place:

  • KBB clean ups
  • Fish Fries
  • Dinner Bingos
  • FBA meetings on hot current topics of the day
  • Community Youth Gathering in St. Georges 30 October
  • Meet and Greets / Town Halls
  • Membership drives
  • The OBA also participated Fraternity and Sorority events promoting charity and Unity
  • Support of charities that support our most vulnerable
  • Further Plans to include…
  • Increased Neighbourhood Watch Groups
  • Updating of Party Data and improvements in our voter system
  • We held an early event for single mothers and have continued to participate and support the things that matter in the lives of Bermudians

Financials

  • In 2012 we ran a campaign.
  • We received your donations and applied them to a very successful formula.
  • We ran NO Debt. We didn’t borrow.
  • Some highlights:
  • Of our total expenditures –
  • 34% went to advertising
  • 22% to consulting (media, political and election)
  • 19% went to Constituency Campaigns
  • 13% on robo calls, data systems and voter systems
  • 6% was spent on Administration
  • 6% on Polling

In 2013:

  • We are lean. We need funding to runs polls and to prepare for the next campaign. Remember we have a two seat majority – we need to strengthen our margin and we need to always be ready so that we can ensure the social and economic equity for every Bermudian.
  • We have NO debt.
  • We run an efficient and effective office.
  • We do have monthly expenses. We do have administrative expenses, rent, utilities.
  • However, to be better, we need your financial support.

I joined the OBA for change. We, yes we, are doing that. Tonight you will hear from the Premier and some of his Cabinet Ministers, about the vision for Bermudians and our Party. Making accountability at every level not just a concept, but the way of doing business and governance. In here tonight, in this room and beyond, We are a team. We are cleaning up the mess, together. Opportunity. We are not satisfied with fixing the mess we’ve been left with, we are building a better Bermuda, not just for ourselves, but for all Bermudians and for our future. We will continue to look under the hood, we will ensure that there is a proper accounting of public expenses.

We are making progress. We have a vision for Bermuda.
Recovery, Reform, Renewal.
On Track, Moving Forward.
Building a Better Bermuda for You.

A typical email from a member reads:
We do sincerely wish you a most successful Conference. We so appreciate the tremendous work you are all doing for our Country, very few days go by without the comforting knowledge that you are at the helm, doing your very best to bring our beloved Bermuda back on an even keel.
We wish you continued success.

The OBA is an optimistic, forward thinking party dedicated to making Bermuda work better for its people.

We identify better standards of conduct, alternative approaches, new ideas and better policies.

The OBA is about bringing to Bermuda a higher form of politics that is people-focused, not party-focused. It is a force for unity.

When we formed the One Bermuda Alliance it was formed as a party that was tired of business as usual. The People of Bermuda were hurting with thousands unemployed and underemployed. Gang violence was at an all-time high, many people had no confidence in the PLP government to get us out of the mess we were in.

The One Bermuda Alliance was founded to give the people of Bermuda real change. It was founded so that people could come together whether no matter your political affiliation and have a voice.

It was founded so that young people would have voice

It was founded so that women could have a voice

It was founded so that people who wanted a better Bermuda where we learn from the past so that it can help guide our future

It was founded so that workers can have a voice

It was founded so that business owners can have a voice

It was founded so teachers could have a voice

It was founded to promote social and economic equity leaving no one behind. A good paying job, safe and secure neighborhoods, great schools for great kids, and good governance

It was founded to promote opportunity, inclusiveness, fairness, transparency, responsibility, integrity, and service

The people wanted a change. They wanted to know that when they woke up in the morning that the government was responsive to their needs. And so we embarked on a journey of service. We embarked on journey that said that business owners and workers can find common ground.

We embarked on a journey that said that our people deserved a Bermuda that is affordable so that people could afford to turn on the air conditioner in the summer

WE embarked on journey to push renewable resources for our people
WE embarked on a journey to give young men a chance to get out of gangs
We embarked on a journey to bring 2000 jobs in Bermuda
We embarked on a journey to ensure that every child gets the best education in the world
We embarked on a journey to ensure that our international business community felt welcomed and our tourism product was such that people want to visit our Island.

I want to thank you – the members of this visionary, forward thinking Party for your continued support.

Now that’s enough out of me!
Let me introduce, a candidate that ran in the last election, that should have been successful, because he reached the hearts and minds of his constituents. They still reach out to him, even though he is not their MP. He is a man of integrity, committed to service and demonstrates the very principles that we are founded by. His commitment, his knowledge and his dedication led to him being appointed a Senator in December, 2012. Therefore, it is my honour, to introduce the Junior Minister for Public Safety, Senator Jeffery Baron.

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Comments (61)

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  1. Time Shall Tell says:

    So basically you’re saying the OBA have lost their direction…. OK, we knew this already..

    • Hmmm says:

      No they are not saying that, so basically you didn’t read it properly.

    • frank says:

      most people don’t want to hear this but anyone with a brain can clearly see that the oba is just another version of the ubp with a few more rasins in the mix simple it just makes one laugh how long you think they can keep the salt and pepper rasin out front before the milkman takes the wheel da

      • Mike Hind says:

        “A few more raisins in the mix”?
        That’s disgusting.
        Shame on you.

        • frank says:

          mike you may not want to believe it but it is the truth

          • Mike Hind says:

            Whether I believe it or not is moot.
            It’s that what you said is disgustingly racist, through and through.
            It’s not ok to use language like that. It’s just not.

            We all get that you’re mad that your party isn’t Government. We do.
            That doesn’t make it ok to say these things.

            • LOL (original TM*) says:

              Mike you know its just the PLP’s MO to make everyone else look like the racist it’s been the PLP’s MO for some time now.

              LOL

      • Mike Hind says:

        Most people don’t want to hear it because it’s just more ridiculous propaganda from a PLP demagogue.

  2. Media says:

    If that is what you understand from reading all of the above you must have flunked English Literature. The OBA is clearly on a mission to create a better Bermuda for everyone. Why don’t you become part of the solution? All it takes is a change of attitude.

    • Mazumbo says:

      OBA was not founded it was reborn.
      O-oligarchy B-born A-again LMAO
      OBA was no more founded then Christopher Columbus (discovered America) LMAO

      • Mike Hind says:

        There it is. His same old tired line, trying to make it a reality by repeating it over and over and over.

        So sad.

        • Mazumbo says:

          So your saying there is no reality in the existence of the Oligarchy/

          • Mike Hind says:

            Nope. Not at all. You’re making things up… as usual.

            If the truth is so bad, why do you have to constantly lie to make your point?

            • Impressive says:

              gosh Mike,, you really are in denial mate, or you are incredibly naive..

              Yeah the OBA was really founded to give all of us Bermudians a better alternative.. lol,, yeah right

              • Mike Hind says:

                Nope. Not even close.
                Never said that, never said anything like it.

                Why are you trying to pretend I said things I didn’t?

              • haha says:

                Yeah the PLP was really founded to give all of us Bermudians a better alternative.. lol,, yeah right

            • Mazumbo says:

              I think you need an 101 on Bermuda History or get the book Bermuda History for Dummies. LMAO

              • Mike Hind says:

                Nah… perhaps YOU should brush up on it, as you’ve obviously got either a skewed view of it… or you’re willfully ignoring it. Could it be for… oh, I don’t know… a political agenda?

                Yeah. That sounds about right.

  3. Chris Famous says:

    “It was founded so that workers can have a voice”

    Thad Hollis

    Perhaps we should ask the government workers where is their voice within the OBA. When seemingly most OBA supporters are gleefully calling for their heads to roll.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      Nonsense Chris, and you know it.

      Why have you stopped responding to comments on your op ed Chris?

      • Chris Famous says:

        Do you read the comments from OBA supporters about Government workers?

        • chilli peppa says:

          Chris, the public just demand government workers to WORK. When times are tough and people are out of work, it is disgusting to see some government workers flaunting the fact that they are getting paid to do nothing. Primarily W&E and Vector Services in my opinion. I find most other departments for the most part to be filled with good people and a handful of departments even understaffed.

          If you want us to look the other way and pretend that these men are not stealing from the public purse, and taking money that could be better used elsewhere, then I’m sorry I don’t know what else to say.

          • bermy girl says:

            Let’s not put all government workers in the same boat…. I am very dedicated to my job….I hardly take a lunch break. I arrive 1 hour early for work and worked through pain last year until I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. It is alit of dedicated worker out here. Srio with or propaganda. Now my pay is less than $800.00 and still working hard.

            • Chit Chat says:

              Chilli Pepper- does not say all government workers Bermy Girl.

      • Chris Famous says:

        Sandy Bottom says:

        October 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

        Why set up the sage commission Betty? So that we stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars. I know you like wasting and spending other people’s money Betty, like all your halfwitted PLP mates, but the rest of us can’t see the point any more. That’s what Sage is for Betty. Easy enough for you?

        Sandy Bottom says:

        October 20, 2013 at 11:34 am

        The Sage commission is to stop us wasting money Betty. You and your PLP halfwits love wasting money. Nobody else does. Those days are gone Betty.

        • jt says:

          Nowhere in those posts did SB make a gleeful call for the heads of gov’t workers. However, some posters on here certainly have Mr. Famous, that is true. But it is a disengenous and speculative leap for you to say this is what “most” OBA supporters say, but you know this, so what is the purpoe of your post?

        • Sandy Bottom says:

          What about my reply directly to you Chris? It was on a different subject. You didn’t cut and paste that. Unless you’re also Betty, which is possible.

          • Andros Townsend says:

            That makes every sense. They share the same absurd, ego driven view on life.

    • Mike Hind says:

      When did they do that? I didn’t see ANY glee in the comment, nor did I see them call for heads to roll.

      You’re losing your mind, Mr. Famouss.

    • Hmmm says:

      Perhaps some people realize that the number of staff is unsustainable financially. That’s common sense, not an OBA thing. PLP created this problem and had no solutions, but pie in the sky fantasies that would take a huge investment with potentially no reward. this billion dollar resource on the sea bed….what % do you think the Government and people of Bermuda get ????????
      the PLP pretended it wasn’t happening. Chris, quit playing chess for your own gain and start working for others.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    Nonsense is a favourite word used by certain OBA Ministers and members!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Nonsense is a favorite THING used by… well… you and yours.

  5. bluebird says:

    OH DEAR SOUR GRAPES.you can always tell,no brain,no pain.

  6. Time Shall Tell says:

    “It was founded so that workers can have a voice”, maybe but you still aren’t listening.

    “It was founded so that young people would have voice”, Oh Really. Please do explain then why so many feel there’s no place for them in their own homeland?

    “It was founded to promote social and economic equity leaving no one behind”, you seriously are going to expect us to believe this after what you’ve already done thus far?

    “The OBA is an optimistic, forward thinking party dedicated to making Bermuda work better for its people. We identify better standards of conduct, alternative approaches, new ideas and better policies. The OBA is about bringing to Bermuda a higher form of politics that is people-focused, not party-focused. It is a force for unity.” Don’t even know where to start but I know & need to upgrade to knee high boots…

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      How about a voice for the none workers that are still waiting on those 2,000 jobs?

      How about the solution to the gang violence that you claimed to already had ready to set into motion just days before the last election?

      How about putting proper focus on the education system by raising the bar so that Bermudian children have a chance in their own homeland in the future.

      How about stop playing the blame game almost a year in & actually delivering on results.

      • Hmmm says:

        How about that education thing…14 years PLP did what….Give this lot 14 years then start complaining…hell why not give them 4 years.

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          So you’re saying waste the next generation coming along then start complaining about it??

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            No. He’s saying give them the full first term to show some improvement. Nobody promised an instant turnaround to anything. That’s just a PLP myth.

          • Hmmmm says:

            No, where were your complaints at the PLP. This lot have started the ball rolling on change. Personally I’d have performance testing of teachers, only external independent examinations. I won’t be happy if it’s not improved, but understand that we are unlikely to see any if many changes until the start of the next or the next but one school year.

        • Hmmme, we all thank you for speaking the truth…The One Bermuda Alliance Govt never said within one year they’ll have 2000 people back to work, nor the cure for all gang violence,(that takes a community effort)Now, as far us “raising the bar” in education, they are doing it but like all things in life, it takes time…And as for the blame game as you call it, well here is a bit of advice “you can never understand one language until you under- stand at least two”-Ronald Searle(1920-2011)

      • Mike Hind says:

        How about giving more time to try to fix the last 14 years?

        • Concerned Citizen says:

          Thus speaks the the master propagandist, Mike Hind. And I bet you still will claim that you are non-bias. How well did you do over the last 14 years? I bet you even blame the BNTB “bailout” on the PLP right Mike? Not the board of directors that contained the like of the Sage Chairman right Mike? Biggest mistake Dr Brown did was to allow Paula Cox to bailout the Bank.

          • jt says:

            Concerned Citizen – so you are saying you support firing a significant number of civil servants, correct?

          • Mike Hind says:

            *sigh* here we go with more ad hominems and strawmen from “Concerned Citizen”, accusing ME of propaganda (a completely ridiculous and baseless accusation) and then, speaking of ridiculous and baseless, attributing me with motives and positions that I have never spoken to, for or against.

            Why can’t you at least TRY honesty for once? Why does it always have to be an attack?

            Can’t you see that your constant offensive defense is giving the OBA free reign?
            My biggest hope with an OBA win was that we’d have REAL scrutiny of the Government, with people like me, who don’t support either party, and people that support the Opposition coming together to ACTUALLY critique and keep them in line… coming together for accountability.
            The fact that you constantly use dishonest smear tactics, complain about EVERYTHING they do, make a mountain out of every molehill makes it impossible for this to happen.

            It only appears that I support the OBA because propagandists like you are constantly on the attack!

            Try honesty. PLEASE! I’m begging you.

  7. Hawaii 5 0 says:

    what a bunch of ****** If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. This directed to Frank and C (in)Famous and BT who will undoubtably have something to say.

    • frank says:

      you can fool people sometimes but not all the time a rat is a rat no matter what color it is

  8. Supporter of right says:

    The OBA is a political entity we can trust.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Let’s not go TOO far. They’re still a bunch of politicians!
      A healthy grain of salt is a good thing.

      This is exactly the problem.

      With Mr. Famouss and Mazumbo and the rest of the propagandists out there making a mountain out of every molehill, it’s really easy to get complacent and think that the OBA is faultless, ‘cuz “WOLF” is being cried every time.

  9. GOD1ST says:

    To promote inclusiveness
    an OBA Government will:

    • Give voters the right of recall over MPs.

    Why hasn’t this promise been fulfilled? Maybe it isn’t priority.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Or maybe ‘cuz it’s been less than a year and there are more important things to deal with… like the economy… and our debt… and tourism…

      you know… stuff that makes a difference in people’s day to day and not political stuff that can be dealt with when things are on a more even keel.

    • Chit Chat says:

      Exactly, not a priority. Would you like to take a look at the list of the PLP campaign promises. Pretty sure that not all were kept in 14 years!

      How could they be, they were “having to deceive” us. His words , not mine.

  10. Will says:

    was there any mention of real change? you know, the stuff theyve talked about and promised..ie decriminalisation/legalisation of cannabis, the ending of conscription..these are REAL issues which affect far more Bermudians then a change in hotel policy or whatever they think will make a select few people lots of money???

    • Mike Hind says:

      What about the amendment to the HRA? That was a pretty big change!
      What about term limits? Again… pretty important.

      It hasn’t been a year yet. These things take time.

    • media says:

      As someone that attended, the answer is that both those issues were talked about. The end of conscription is on the agenda and cannabis was discussed by the Youth members in a prior meeting as mentioned by Min Dunkely. I don’t think the later will happen any time soon but conscription will probably come to end in the next few years.

      Inward investment in the likes of a hotel being built would generate an enormous amount of economic activity in Bermuda, as it would stimulate the whole sector, far more than decrimalising cannabis.

      • Concerned Citizen says:

        @media, even if that new Hotel is built by the young man McLean? Hmmmmmm

    • Hmmm says:

      Huh where did they say they would legalize ???????

  11. GOD1ST says:

    @ Mike Hind

    I had to Higlight that very important matter,seeing that the
    O.B.A is a transparent all inclusive government.

    Lastly on another note the PLP isn’t any better.Politicians on both sides promote propaganda.

  12. Supporter says:

    Keep up the good work OBA!

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