Friday, August 29, 2008

A Man Who Gets the Job Done

In the CNMI education is always said to be an issue of genuine concern to our government. Yet year after year the fiscal budget for our school system continually dwindles down the drain. While schools attempt to make do with the funds they are appropriated, they are also left with the task of innovating ways to compensate their drastically slashed budgets. It is left to the schools to practically beg their students, whose families are also coping with stagnant wages and the skyrocketing price inflation of goods, for such basic fundamentals as toilet tissue!

Nine candidates currently stand before the CNMI claiming that they will be the cause of long lasting change in the Commonwealth. I am sure that among these nine candidates, the majority are familiar to the public, because most of these nine people have served in some capacity in our government. I am therefore equally sure that most people are familiar with just how these prominent politicians have impacted the CNMI.

For years the same people have been elected to serve our government, and for years these same people have reaped the same old results for the Commonwealth. It’s time we consider a new path for our islands by considering those among the nine candidates who are not endowed with household names. Given what we’ve gotten in the past, electing a fresh figure to serve the Commonwealth is a risk worth taking. In the pit hole we’re presently buried, what else have we got to lose? It’s time for change, CNMI.

Most of you have probably heard the popular phrase: “Today’s generation is tomorrow’s future.” This suggests a good place to start changing things: today’s generation. I am personally acquainted with one of the nine candidates battling to represent our islands, Marianas High School’s AP Government and Politics and AP Language Arts instructor, John H. Davis Jr. – a man who has already begun to generate change.

John H. Davis Jr.’s AP Government class represented the CNMI in the We, The People mock congressional hearing contest this past May. The competition was held in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., and I was fortunate to have been part of the class. Along with the rest of my classmates, I found the experience exceptionally worthwhile. However, before actually going on the trip, we encountered and had to overcome a fair share of obstacles: several people initially did not want to participate; when the majority of the class voted to compete, the class, as a whole, rarely attended the practice sessions; and even as the competitions neared, many in the class were nowhere near as competent in their specific areas of constitutional study as they needed to be successful in the regional and national competitions. Mr. Davis succeeded in the challenging task of motivating the class to work as a team. He pushed us to succeed, ensuring that we went on the trip and that we got the job done well.

In 2002, 2003, and 2004 Mr. Davis taught middle school students at the Northern Marianas College Lab School. In each of these three years, our class went on educational field trips to Cairns, Australia. In each of these years it was Mr. Davis’s students who raised a notable amount of money to go on these trips. In each of these years it was his students who hosted dinner buffets, solicited for contributions, put up a student store, and organized yard sales to raise enough money for plane tickets, hotel accommodations, and tour packages.

Having been part of the groups that traveled to Australia in 2003 and 2004, I witnessed firsthand how Mr. Davis encouraged his students to take on virtually full responsibility for fundraising for the trips. That he was able to motivate 12, 13, and 14-year old students for three consecutive years is a feat both impressive and admirable.

These accounts of travel by students stress what boundless commitment can achieve in the long run. None of these accomplishments would have been possible if it weren’t for the perseverance of John H. Davis Jr., Candidate for CNMI Congressional Delegate. It was John H. Davis Jr. who was responsible for educating and guiding the middle and high school students that successfully made it to Australia and Washington D.C.

The delegate we elect to represent us must be someone who can persuade others to understand our positions and needs. Since he won’t be able to vote, the change he generates will depend entirely on how well he can convince the voting members of Congress to pass resolutions that will benefit the CNMI. It is not an easy task to motivate large groups of people, but Mr. Davis has proven himself capable of doing so.

This November I will not be physically present in the CNMI. Regardless, I will exercise my right to vote.

Four years ago, I doubted whether I would have cared much about the state of the CNMI today. Four years ago I figured, “Since I’m going to be thousands of miles away from Saipan, I won’t need to vote here. I’ll just vote in the U.S.” But Mr. Davis made me understand that if I know anything about politics, I know about politics in the CNMI. Why should I cast my vote somewhere else? It would only make sense for me to vote for the betterment of my home.

John H. Davis Jr. has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, that he regards helping today’s generation being tomorrow’s future of utmost importance. He has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, that he is genuinely concerned about generating positive and effective change. More importantly, he has demonstrated, and continues to demonstrate, that he has the CNMI’s best interests at heart.

So come this November, if you hope to see a better CNMI in the next two years, then you might want to consider voting new people into office. That’s the only way anything is going to change.

Agnes Constante
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do It Now!

As a former student of Mr. Davis, I do know what it is like to work with him. He definitely sticks to his word and sets goals that are realistic and for the best for everyone and not just for himself.

Put simply I believe he is the only real candidate. All these other people that are running don't seem that great of candidates. I bet they're just gonna end up being like the other people running this government and screw us all over again. If you believe it is time for change, vote for Mr. Davis in the upcoming election.

He has shown me that your word is what makes you. And if you don't stick to it, then you're just another son-of-a-gun liar. So don't be a fool! Register to vote [if you are eligible] and vote for Mr. Davis.

Josefa Untalan
Chalan Kanoa, Saipan

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

No More

No more. If you are a resident of the CNMI, you have probably heard this phrase many times recently. No more money, no more gas, no more power. Thanks to the wonderful abilities of certain people in the CNMI to outstandingly mismanage funds where we need it most, we have almost no more of anything. We are like that kingdom in the Bible, which in its good years did not save anything for the drought to follow, and had to beg food from the kingdom that did. Nearly depleted funds have led to us having very little fuel and not having enough money to fix our outdated power plant, which in turn led to constant, frequent power outages. One might say it will all be over around mid-September, right? The only problem with that is the Agrekko deal only lasts 52 weeks. Leave it to the Governor to leave the Business Development Independence Bank's offer of a 15-megawatt power plant hanging, while here we are on Saipan with a temporary lease on a plant, which we would pay for more monthly! And I thought that no one with the CNMI's true interests in mind could refuse that offer! Oh well.

I recently learned that my teacher, Mr. John Davis of Marianas High School, was running for the congressional delegate position, and I will tell you, if you want a man with knowledge of the U.S. government and its many affairs, laws, and regulations, he is your man. After all, he is an Advanced Placement U.S. Government teacher. He teaches about the U.S. government for a living! He also teaches Advanced Placement Language Arts, therefore you can be sure he knows how to write and speak very proficiently. Another plus is that he has been residing in the CNMI for 22 years to date, and is very familiar with all of the hardships and issues the CNMI has had to face, not just from talking with his students about issues, but from experiencing them himself.

If you are one of those people who is tired of how politicians win by promising jobs, making and taking bribes, and favoring their relatives, I am confident that you would be glad to vote for John Davis, who is also tired of that and wants to “bring integrity into the federal office” and who wants “someone to fight for the CNMI, not for their own pocketbooks or prestige or glory.” So, for all the people who oppose the current way of our politicians, you know what to do; it's not up to the Governor this time.

Kalani Reyes
MHS student