Speaker calls for unity with tough times ahead
By Sabrina Salas Matanane
Published Jan 5, 2009
Monday was Inauguration Day on Guam, as several of the island's recently-elected leaders took their oath of office this morning at the Antonio R. Unpingco Session Hall. The head of the Democrat supermajority, Speaker Judi Won Pat placed the 30th Guam Legislature in Condition 1 - to batten down the hatches and prepare for the worst typhoon.
Using the analogy of a storm, Won Pat warned that Guam is in the proverbial calm before the storm when the wind blows in slow motion and the ocean has a quiet anger. "There are troubling times ahead of us, challenging times," she described.
The speaker added that the community should make no mistake: a typhoon is brewing, packing a punch that will devastate Guam like it's never seen before, delivering a blow to Guam's already fragile state. Won Pat said, "The global economic crisis has reached our shores, we have seen foreclosures on our neighbor's homes, families pushed into poverty and unable to make ends meet. There are many ill members of our community unable to afford adequate healthcare.
"The hospital is busting at the seams, our educational system is failing our children, and we have a loss of confidence in our elected leaders. The Ordot Landfill is overflowing as we speak and over 40,000 people are migrating to our island. This typhoon has the strength to decimate our island life as we know it."
Preparedness for adversity is key to weather this storm, she surmised. Guam's leaders, she says, must resolve to stop the party politics and instead work together and for the entire island community. The blame games and senseless bickering, Won Pat said, must come to an end in order for Guam to survive.
"During times of crisis we need leadership and people willing to be selfless leaders - that embodies the true spirit of family. Leadership that will take act on behalf of special interest entire community and not interest of special groups," she continued. "The challenges we are facing have placed us in the survival of the fittest, and we must have leaders fit to lead. Party differences must be put aside, self-interest must be shelved, and integrity must be restored."