The 27th Guam Youth Congress was in the news last week after their passage of a bill supporting the legalization of same sex civil unions on Guam. For those of you who don't know, the Guam Youth Congress is a legislative body made up of Guam's youth, who are elected every two years and actually operate as a part of Guam's Legislature. They establish their own rules, can form committees, pass resolutions, and can even pass bills which are then transmitted to the Rules Committee for the Guam Legislature.
The Youth Congress is like any other democratic body or community, it is whatever the people, those in it and those that it is meant to serve, make of it. It can be useless, it can be effective, it can just be a platform for higher office, or it can be a true vehicle for positive or necessary change. On the subject of same sex civil unions, I for one am glad to see this body taking the lead on progressive and social issues.
This coming week, on April 15th, the Guam Youth Congress is taking the lead on another important issue for Guam, the military buildup. The Vice Speaker of the Guam Youth Congress, Derek Sablan is inviting any and all to come and give testimony at a Public Hearing on "the potential impact on the Youthof Guam with regards to the Military Buildup." The hearing will take place this Wednesday, April 15th, at 9:30 am in the Legislature's Public Hearing room.
Unfortunately this is taking place in the middle of a school week, during school hours, and so not alot of youth will probably be able to make it. But still, for anyone who can make it, this will be an important opportunity to address aspects of the military buildup that the media and most of our leaders aren't acknowledging. And so many of these unacknowledged aspects are the environmental, economic, social and political legacies that the island's young people of today will inherit in the near future.