As we begin 2013, there are many things Jamaicans would like to be changed in the society. Jamaica Observer North East asked people on the streets of Ocho Rios what they would like to see happen in the resort town and the wider Jamaica in this new year. Here are their views:
1. Kemar Riley, 25, bank teller, Ocho Rios
What I would like to see happen for the new year is a reduction in crime. I would like to see the Jamaican economy back on track in a very competitive way-overall just good living amongst my brothers and sisters in Jamaica.
2. Veronica Small-Warren, 55, businesswoman, Greenwich Acres, St Ann
I would love everybody in Jamaica to start serving God because that's the only way out right now. Nobody can solve anything; no government can solve anything. It's just God alone. I would love my parish to be free from violence, murder and all the killings.
3. Sandra Campbell, 37, sales clerk, Watt Town, St Ann
I would love to see more young people getting work. I would like for them to clean up Ocho Rios — too much mad people and too much harassment.
4. Clifford Clarke, 40, craft trader, Ocho Rios
I would like to see more activities, I mean more things for the tourist, more things for the likkle youth dem. Too many youths on the street na go school. Mi would like to see the government do more for them. Check their background and their parents and see what's going on. If the parents can't afford to send dem to school then their MPs and councillors should help the parents so that dem can go. And wa mi want see again is the harassment in Ocho Rios on the tourist to stop. Mi want the police dem do more patrolling fi ensure say the harassment control so we can get more visitors, more cruise ship for Ocho Rios.
5. Shameke Mason, 29, waitress/manager, St Andrew
I would like to see more employment, more businesses, more mad people off the streets. We need the parish councillors to do better fi the communities dem. We need garbage collection in the streets (Ocho Rios) more regular.
6. Dane Edwards, 49, sales representative, Ocho Rios
I would like to see the mad people removed from the streets by the authorities, the heads of government and whosoever responsible fi the mad people dem, not only Ocho Rios alone, right through the Corporate Area where tourist come to Jamaica because it's a shame to see the mad people dem in Ocho Rios and all over my beautiful country. They look a kind a way in the public amongst the tourist dem. I mean they are human like ourselves; they are our black brother and sisters, but to make the tourist business more stronger and the tourist dem come with more confidence in Jamaica, they need to take the mad people dem off the street.
Another thing the government need to step up on the Jamaican people pay. The salary that we getting in Jamaica it cannot work. They need to do something. The other thing is we are not independent when somebody independent they lend and they give. When you have to borrow and sponge on people for dem things, you are dependent not independent. Right now we are celebrating Jamaica 50 and say we are independent , but we are not independent. We are still slaves here, the only thing is that dem release the chains. We are not independent we are dependent and that mashing down the economy right now. If they want to be independent — the resources in Jamaica they have to step up on the price and stop sell out Jamaica resources for nothing.