In this newsletter: conversation on roads with Commissioner Kroon, conversation board Unkobon with the president of the Rental Committee, spring meeting, progress lawsuit social minimum, mini-credits building your own home, contribution, 10 years Unkobon.
Much has happened in recent months. You can read about it in this extensive summer edition of the newsletter.
Working group roads
As everyone could see, the repair of roads in the second half of 2021 is well underway. But Unkobon’s working group roads sees that much more is needed than the revised schedule published in June 2021. The working group spoke about this in mid-June this year with Commissioner James Kroon and project manager Joselito Statia. Statia told the group that 70% of the planning had been accomplished and that work had begun on the other 30% of the planned roads. Priority has been given to the application of a first layer of asphalt on the most dangerous roads and this has produced visible results. Unkobon complimented Kroon and Statia on the result achieved.
The communication of OLB to the population will be improved. In the planning for this year: in 2022 a parking lot on the site of the temporary prison, then a blue zone in the center. The Gobernador Debrot gets a first layer of asphalt, the road to Rincon also. And for the longer term: bicycle routes on the parallel roads, and a traffic survey to achieve a future-proof road network. It was also reported that residential streets will be paved and access roads will be asphalted. For the mud flat near the Comprehensive School, the Ministry was asked for a solution.
Unkobon wanted to send out a press release about this. To check the facts, the working group sent the planning file to the project manager with the request to indicate the most recent situation in the last column. So far, despite a reminder e-mail, there has been no response.
Conversation with the rental Committee
In the second half of June Unkobon met with Mrs. Eveline Jacquemijns, the chairperson of the Rent Commission of Bonaire. Incoming Unkobon chairman Herbert Piar gave her information about the construction during his time at the Fundashon Kas Bonairiano. Ms. Jacquemijns reported that tenants approach the Rent Commission much less frequently than landlords. Education in the bario’s can help with this. We also talked about preventing problems between tenants and landlords. Unkobon is willing to participate in information sessions. Rent Commission Secretary Charlon Carlo will take the initiative in this.
Spring meeting Union Council
On June 1, Hòfi Kultural was again the atmospheric place where the spring meeting of the Federal Council was held. Lydia Duijn took part in the meeting for the first time as a member of the Union Council. Andy Lepelaars was appointed as board member, treasurer. The Evaluation Report 20212021 and the Annual plan 2022 were adopted, but the 2021 Annual Accounts were not yet ready due to circumstances. It was decided to deal with them in the fall meeting.
Afterwards there was the pleasant drink, where the members present talked informally with the board and with each other.
Progress court case social minimum
For years Unkobon has been trying in vain to get politicians and ministers to do something substantial about poverty on Bonaire. In desperation it was decided to force the Dutch state through a lawsuit to guarantee the population of Bonaire and therefore also of Saba and Statia a dignified existence that is equivalent to that of the European Netherlands. A working group of Unkobon is working on this.
After Unkobon had made an appeal for cooperation in the local press, there was a meeting with a delegation from the Central Dialogue in early July. A fruitful conversation in which misunderstandings were cleared up. The members of the Central Dialogue also want the State to take the fight against poverty seriously. The intention was expressed to keep each other informed of developments.
a letter (Dutch only) to the members of the kingdom relations committee in early June, and the campaigner arranged for a motion to be tabled calling on the cabinet to adopt a cost-based social minimum by 2023. The motion was dissuaded and then rejected by parties that had passed a similar motion – but without a time limit – in 2016.
The campaigner also ensured that the lawyer’s letter to the minister for Poverty received considerable publicity in the Netherlands in early July. An extensive article in the NRC, an article in internet newspaper De Kanttekening, a column in the Volkskrant and even an item in the radio news of NPO1. The local press also gave it a lot of attention. A separate page was created on the Unkobon website and Unkobon also publishes regular updates on Facebook.
The lawsuit only has a chance of succeeding with a professional approach, and that costs money. The working group therefore set up a fundraising campaign to raise the required $150,000 as quickly as possible. In the first instance, the working group’s network approached well-to-do business contacts in order to make a substantial contribution to the cause and to justice for the population. This approach was successful. With subsequent help from smaller donors, after two months more than half of the required amount was deposited in the fund.
Members who can and want to contribute can transfer their donation to MCB Bonaire # 400356702 t.n.v. Union di Konsumidó Boneiru, Kaya Korona 30, Bonaire stating their email address and ‘lawsuit’. Please note that this is a separate account number for fundraising.
Mini-credit for building own home
Island Deputies were already in favor in August 2021 of a joint OLB-Unkobon committee that would explore the possibilities of providing credits to people with lower incomes for the construction of and own home.
The first meeting of that committee took place in early May 2022. It was agreed that the committee would hold a meeting with the Financial Markets Authority in the near future and write an initial recommendation to the BC shortly thereafter in preparation for applying for funds. After this promising start, things remained quiet. Unkobon did not manage to get a response from the committee members of OLB.
In February, members received their contribution bills. A significant number of our members did not respond to the payment request. Unfortunately, this is not unusual, people often forget. Because almost half a year passed before we found a new treasurer, the payment reminder was not sent until June. Unfortunately, it turned out that a number of members who had paid also mistakenly received a reminder email. The management offers its sincere apologies for this.
10 years of Unkobon
In November Unkobon exists 10 years! We want to celebrate it. The board is asking members for their ideas on how to celebrate this anniversary appropriately. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org