Shirley Hilaire has joined the United People’s UP Party to contest the 2024 Parliamentary Elections on St. Maarten after serving for several years as executive assistant to Member of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams and running as a United Democrat candidate.
Hilaire cited irreconcilable differences with “new blood” entering the Democratic Party whose approach and policies do not align with her beliefs as the main reason for leaving. While not naming any individual, Hilaire said it has become a toxic environment where the interest of St.Maarten has taken second place to personal desires to return to power.
Hilaire, a native of Sint Maarten, issued a press release in which she shares her inspiring journey
from humble beginnings to her mission of driving positive change for the people of her homeland. Raised in Sucker Garden by immigrant parents who sought a better life on the island, Shirley’s upbringing instilled in her the values of hard work and a commitment to invest in her beloved Sint Maarten, just as her parents did. She says these values have been shown in the leadership of the United People’s Party with the hard work and dedication of Deputy Leader and Minister of VSA Omar Ottley and party leader and Member of Parliament the Honorable Rolando Brison over the past four years and the UPP was the obvious choice for an aspiring politician with St. Maarten at heart.
Shirley’s path to education was both local and international. She pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in
Business Administration, earning her diploma in Florida. Armed with her academic achievements, she returned to Sint Maarten in 2015, setting her sights on a political career.
Her vision is to mentor and motivate young adults, conveying the belief that with consistency, dedication, and hard work, anything is possible. As a single mother of two boys, she aspires to not only support her children but to extend that care to the broader community. Shirley is dedicated to passing on the support, guidance, love, and determination that her parents once provided for her.
Her ultimate goal is to envision a nation free of corruption, where government, politics, business, civil society, and everyday life align to empower its citizens. She advocates for preparing future generations, aiding the vulnerable, and empowering her people.
Returning to her homeland after her studies, Shirley Hilaire was fortunate to secure professional positions, contributing to her understanding of critical roles and aspects of Sint Maarten’s economy. From her work in tourism and cargo at Maduro & Sons to her extensive experience in civil service and government during six years in parliament and finance, Shirley’s journey has transformed her into an informed and passionate politician.
Her impressive journey is enriched by the wisdom and guidance she received under the mentorship of MP Wescot-Williams, where she mastered the virtues of grace, determination, vision, and integrity. Shirley is dedicated to upholding and nurturing these values.
Driven by her passion for serving, she has dedicated 12 years to community work, associations, and foundations, aiming to inspire young adults with the belief that consistency and hard work can yield remarkable results.
Shirley Hilaire believes that the time has come for the nation to actively fight and stand up for its country, children, and the rights of Sint Maarteners, whether born on the island or coming here to build their future.
Her campaign revolves around a set of policies designed to reshape the economy, reduce inequality, and create opportunities that empower people in their daily lives. Hilaire’s vision includes a School Breakfast Program, advocating for sustainable agriculture, supporting young single parents, exploring a Medicaid-like healthcare program tailored to the community, and launching a Youth Development Program rooted in mentorship.
Her mission is also dedicated to ensuring welfare benefits for seniors, acknowledging the challenges of living on a fixed income in the face of rising living costs. Her vision involves providing access to quality healthcare services, including affordable home and community-based services, dental, hearing, vision care, mental health services, and family caregiver support.
Shirley Hilaire’s journey reflects her commitment to making Sint Maarten a better place for its people through hard work, compassion, and unity.