Governor Eddie Calvo vows action on political status vote. "I would love to see 2012. The sooner the better."
Calvo Vows Action on Political Status Vote
Gov. Eddie Calvo wants to see Guam vote on its political status -- and its destiny -- as soon as 2012. "I would love to see 2012. The sooner the better," Calvo said yesterday, during the first in a series of community forums.
Masako Watanabe/Pacific Daily News
The nearly three-hour community meeting took place instead of the Guam First Commission, which was intended to present a "team Guam" approach in dealings with Congress and the Department of Defense.
The Office of the Attorney General found that the commission violated the Organic Act of Guam.
While the meetings will include topics ranging from military buildup to war reparations and federal reimbursements for hosting regional immigrants, yesterday's meeting focused squarely on the long-delayed vote on Guam's political status.
The event was attended by several senators, including Sens. Rory Respicio and Judith Guthertz, as well as Speaker Judith Won Pat, along with many community members who have been involved in the question of self-determination.
Won Pat said she liked the idea of seeing the plebiscite happening as soon as 2012, but was concerned about funding. She said the most critical thing is to get the question of political status resolved before the military buildup.
"It has to be early, before the military buildup takes place," she said. "It's very critical that we decide our political status before the military buildup takes place. And if 2012 is it, then we have to make the commitment."
Sen. Judith Guthertz presented a proposal for a "fast track" to a self-determination vote, which would include registering voters during the 2012 or 2014 elections, creating an on-site registration place for the plebiscite, and skipping the determined percent of voters needed to register ahead of the plebiscite date.
The 23rd Legislature created the Commission on Decolonization, and made it responsible for the implementation and exercise of Chamorro self-determination. The commission set a date for a plebiscite in which Chamorros could vote on a preference for political status -- statehood, independence or free association, according to the Pacific Daily News files. The commission also is tasked with collecting a registry of people who meet the definition of Chamorro -- those who were made U.S. citizens by the Organic Act of Guam in 1950 and their descendants.
DETERMINING GUAM'S POLITICAL STATUS
• Who can register: Registrants must meet the definition of Chamorro -- those who were made U.S. citizens by the Organic Act of Guam in 1950 and their descendants -- and be at least 16 years of age.
• How to register: Registrants should bring a valid photo identification, and will be asked questions about family lineage.
• Where to register: The Guam Election Commission or the Office of Sen. Ben Pangelinan at Suite 101, Quan Building, 324 W. Soledad Ave., Hagåtña, Guam, 96910.