San Nicolas: Insular areas are ‘places to be reckoned with’

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Guam – Progress in America requires U.S. territories to engage,Guam Delegate to Congress  Michael San Nicolas said. “One that goes beyond just talking about our unique problems and asking for them to be fixed, but rather has us engaging Americas problems and demonstrating that territories are more than just places to be ruled, but rather places to be reckoned with,” he said.

San Nicolas on Monday placed his left-hand on the bible and raised his right hand before District Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood. He is now officially Guam’s  representative in Washington D.C.

The ceremony coincided with the opening of the Office of the Delegate’s Guam office in Hagatna.

“Many of my colleagues agree that territorial injustices are inconsistent with American values and hard work is what it takes to remedy these injustices,” San Nicolas said. “It is worth all the time and effort. Our mission is to undertake this hard work and to do so strategically to achieve tangible progress as opposed to symbolic gestures.”

Guam and other U.S. territories, San Nicolas said, “have done the difficult but necessary political legwork to secure a coveted exclusive committee appointment and succeeded in doing so on the Financial Services Committee.”

This platform, he added, “has enabled us to engage in a highly public dialogue that has seen us capture national attention on issues ranging from the federal reserve to consumer protection.”

“This heightened national spotlight has since expanded to issues of great magnitude like the dioxin exposure to over 50,000 veterans on Guam to lighthearted issues like cookies and a chocolate conspiracy,”he added.