Virgin Islands’ Plaskett reflects on historic early days of new term

President Joe Biden has just passed his 100th day in office.

Locally, Virgin Islands Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett has experienced a historic last 100 days herself.

When asked what she makes of the history she has made in the last couple of months, “It’s a little overwhelming,” Plaskett admits.

In February, one month into the new term, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Plaskett, 54, one of the nine impeachment managers tasked with prosecuting the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump. Plaskett, a former prosecutor in the Bronx, became the first member of Congress from a U.S. territory to serve as a manager in any impeachment trial.

That exposure, she said, put the Virgin Islands on the map.

“People are constantly now inquiring about the status of the Virgin Islands, why are we not a state? Why are we not treated more fairly?” Plaskett said.

At the same time, Plaskett was making history in the legislature. Pelosi assigned the fourth-term Democrat to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax policy. She is the first person from the territories – and just the fourth Black woman – to serve on the committee.

“The Virgin Islands Government is now finally going to be reimbursed for the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that they give, that was in the American Rescue Plan, which gives the Virgin Islands annually about $40 million a year going forward indefinitely,” Plaskett explained about some of the changes she helped to make while on the committee.

The sudden rise of the Virgin Islands delegate appears to show an increasingly trusting and growing relationship with Pelosi.

“We have a really respectful relationship,” Plaskett said. “I’m someone who’s really trying to get the work done, and I think she finds that much more endearing than those who always want to stand next to her or try and garner favors with her.”

Moving forward, Plaskett hopes to influence policy for the Virgin Islands in her new committee role. During our interview, she picked up a one-page sheet listing top issues and legislation she is working on that she shares with her House and Senate colleagues.

“I walk around with these sheets of paper that talk about bills that I have and handing them to other members and asking them to co-sponsor,” she said.

The goal of handing out those papers: to get those colleagues on-board and advance the Virgin Islands’ agenda during the times Plaskett isn’t thrust into the national spotlight.