Guam – Although some leaders disagree on the military buildup, all have the same goal for Guam in common—that’s the message Governor Eddie Baza Calvo delivered this afternoon to the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
“None of us should be too quick to dismiss what critics are saying. If you listen very closely to Speaker Won Pat, or We Are Guahan, or to Senator Guthertz—they want to make sure the most vulnerable among us have a voice. They want to see Guamanians prosper, buildup or not. They want to see our culture thrive. They want to lift people from poverty and give all an opportunity,” Governor Calvo said.
The chamber invited Governor Calvo to be their guest speaker for the first meeting of 2011. The group has long been a proponent of the buildup, and frequently finds itself at odds with lawmakers and activists. The governor urged the chamber to seek common ground with others in the community.
“Everyone in this room is saying the same thing as the critics,” Governor Calvo told the chamber. “We all share this Guamanian Dream of prosperity for all our people. The goals are the same. And I have to tell you, underneath all the vocal and, sometimes, emotional discourse is the same message about how we should approach this buildup.”
Governor Calvo also advised the group to support initiatives that provide sustained economic benefit beyond the buildup. A strategic plan that addresses short-, mid-, and long-range growth will minimize any negative financial impacts when the buildup ends.
“The military buildup is our big opportunity, yet we can’t look at it as the ‘be all, end all’ solution to our problems,” Governor Calvo said. “It is the impetus of our success. We have to be good leaders, and focused visionaries. We have to take advantage of the pending economic conditions, and plan for the future. Most importantly, everything we do must be in the long-term interest of the people.”