Guam – Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. spoke to the “Rotaract Club” of the Marianas on his bill to elect two individuals to represent the people of Guam in the United States Senate, Bill #2-31(COR). “First off, I was honored to be able to speak to a group of young professionals about the bill, but most importantly, that there was an enthusiastic appreciation for what the bill intends to provide, which is their meaningful voice in Washington, DC,” stated Blas.
Senator Blas was invited to speak to the Rotoract Club after his introduction of his Senate Representation bill was reported by the media. Blas says that since its introduction he’s received many inquiries from people who are interested in improved relationships with the United States and who see the legislation as a step to doing so.
In his presentation, Blas provided a brief history of how Guam attained its status as an unincorporated territory and the case laws used to define that status. “When I informed the group that the definition for what an unincorporated territory is was not contained in the U.S. Constitution, but in fact was defined in case law by a judicial panel that also believed that segregation was constitutional, they appeared greatly disturbed,” Blas said. During the open discussion that ensued after Blas’ presentation, a member of the audience stated that he found it perplexing that he as a naturalized citizen, being naturalized in a ceremony here on Guam, had more constitutional rights and protections than did his friends who were born and raised on Guam. Another individual found it disturbing that because of the island’s status as an unincorporated territory, the people of Guam have not been allowed to have representation in the U.S. Senate.
“I assured the club members that my bill is in no way intended to be anti-American. In fact, the bill simply asks that if we are part of the American family, that we be provided the same opportunities as such” Blas stated. Blas went on to say,”If our citizenship has value, and if we are a part of the American fabric, then what is wrong with wanting a meaningful place at the table when decisions are being made concerning our future?”
Blas says that he was encouraged and thankful for the response that he received, and again reiterated his gratitude for the members of the club for having interest and wanting to be a part of shaping the future of Guam. Blas lastly stated, “I must say that if any of my colleagues or anyone else for that matter is invited to speak before the Rotoracts, know your stuff, because those young professionals are a very sharp group. They knew the case laws I was referring to and they knew the history of our struggle for recognition as well as I did. To get their nod for this effort to get a voice in the Senate has strengthened my resolve to see this legislation to fruition.”