Veteran Reggae/Dancehall sound system selector Ricky Trooper is being urged to consider running for political office in order to become a key part of the decision-making, whenever policies surrounding Jamaica’s music industry are being debated or implemented.
The suggestion came from veteran entertainment journalist, Winford Williams, during a panel discussion on the popular Jamaican television program, Onstage recently, after the selector complained that politicians were stifling the industry, through stringent enforcement of the Noise Abatement Act.
Trooper has been at the forefront of the so-called ‘No Music, No Vote’ movement, which he said had caught the attention of politicians, who have been otherwise ignoring their pleas to allow for extensions to partying hours.
“I am pushing it a little bit more. I am saying, run for office. I am saying you should be part of the legislature. You should be a legislator. You should be in the Senate; you should be in the parish council or somewhere,” Williams told the entertainer.
“Run for office, Ricky Trooper. Run for a council seat or a MP, Senator; some seat, so that when laws are being made – because apart from Damian and Babsy, we no know nobody else who is at the table who are interested in Dancehall; who are defending and advocating for the forward movement of Dancehall, so I am calling for that,” he added.
Williams’ urgings to Trooper were similar to calls he made during a forum at the House of Dancehall on Cargill Avenue in Kingston last week.
“How are you gonna get these changes if you are not actively involved in the laws, in the lawmaking of the country? We are the people, and if we want Dancehall, we will have to work to where we want it. Become legislators,” he had said at the time, as he addressed the gathering.
He continued: “Be a part of lawmaking. So that when the laws are being made you are standing there; you are lobbying; you are making sure that Dancehall and what it is represented in those laws, and it is not by the way and eh fighting forever to move your industry forward.”
Williams also contended that the music fraternity was not short of persons who could ably represent the sector in the two Houses of the Jamaican Parliament, or at the local government level.
“Dancehall is old enough; educated enough, experienced enough, smart enough to be a big part of the decision-making in Jamaica. And many, many people in this room can get involved and stop voting in people and then leave them to be our enemies,” he said.