Thursday, March 03, 2011

Taya Comment-hu

It is always interesting how things can change in such a short period of time. Last week the Guam First Commission, something authored years ago in the hopes of creating a unified front for Guam on how it deals with the US Government and the military buildup, was allegedly on the verge of being empaneled by the Governor. All that remained was for one final member, a representative from the Chamorro Rights Groups to be selected and then the Commission could begin its work, whatever that may end up being (sa' achokka' un taitai i lai, ti klaru hafa ayu).
The process by which this last member would be selected was a bit confusing. Close to two dozen groups were recognized as having the right to nominate someone for the position. I was nominated by 8 organizations and three other people, Trini Torres, Frank Schacher and Antonio Artero Sablan were each nominated by one group. Unfortunately, many groups thought each group gets to vote for someone and whoever has the most nominations from groups will be chosen. Instead, every person who has a nomination gets one vote, and all people who are nominated will meet to vote on which among them will be the representative. Because of the confusion, even though it was clear that I had a large number of people amongst the Chamorro groups supporting me, the eight groups didn't count for eight votes and so many people were disappointed.

Last week, the issue of who was going to be chosen was something many people were talking about. It was surreal to see how so many people who don't know anything about Chamorro rights groups and wouldn't otherwise care about them and their choice were suddenly interested in who would be chosen to be on the Commission. This week, since the release of the AG's opinion that the Commission if empaneled would be inorganic or violate the Organic Act, the discussion has naturally moved away from the Chamorro rights groups and onto the commission itself.

Myself and the three other nominees met over the weekend. We debated, we discussed, and eventually we came to a consensus on how to proceed. We agreed not to talk about what we agreed upon or what exactly our discussion was, but we eventually agreed on a plan of action. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday I got many calls from local radio, TV and newspapers about what we had decided upon and who was the pick. At our meeting we had agreed to say very little about what we decided until the right moment, when the Governor returns on island and when we share with him our plan.

So for those of you who are interested, I can type here our official public comment, and sometime next week you can learn my full comment:
"We, the four nominees from the Chamorro Rights Groups, met last weekend and we came to an agreement on our plan moving forward. Before we share what we agreed upon with the public we would like to present our plan to the Governor and the Speaker of the Legislature who are the two people most responsible for the Guam First Commission."

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