Round two of the island’s community public safety meetings and once again residents filled the community center, this time in Tamuning, alongside public officials, including Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, several senators, mayors, representatives from the FSM leadership, and the men and women in blue.
All with the intent to build upon the existing list of recommendations produced from the last community meeting in Mangilao, residents and leaders alike encouraged a “One Micronesia” approach.
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said she has always believed in the importance of communication.
“If we communicate better with each other, if we can recognize the diversity of our cultures with each other, if we can recognize and understand the different cultural practices with each other, maybe we can be a little bit much more together in finding a solution so that we can help create an environment or sustain an environment that’s safe for everyone,” the governor said.
Vicente Taijeron, the Guam Youth Congress representative for Tamuning, said we cannot just see each other as different races with different beliefs.
“We need to come together and find what we have in common — our values as islanders our values as people as human beings to make this a better place,” he said.
Gregorio Calvo, a local resident said: “We’re Micronesian too and we need to just understand that we need to come together and we need to reason together … we’re not perfect.”
And how do they suggest we do that? Through educating the community.
“We need to start educating people like me and other students like me around our island in Guam’s public and private schools, if possible, to know that we can work together, that we can be unified and we can make Guam better,” Taijeron said.
Javier Atalig, a local resident said: “Do something about teaching these kids at the school. From the beginning, teach them. Teach these kids when they’re young. You know, when you go to school and you learn ABC you’re gonna know.”
Atalig added: “ I heard on the radio the other day people talking about oh we should just get a handgun and shoot, is that what we wanna teach our kids? Jesus Christ let’s wake up people!”
A unified front to educate was the underlying premise of Wednesday night’s community meeting. However, there were several social ills, apart from the common notion of issues with immigration, that residents also threw into the conversation, namely, the island’s drug epidemic.
And local resident Matt Cruz said the drug problem is not a uniquely Chuukese or FAS or FSM problem. “Drugs are within our own homes within our communities and we’re not effectively addressing the effects of drugs in our homes, in our schools and in our communities.”
Local resident Robert Camacho thinks the problem has to do with social adjustment too.
“We need to look at those things and fix it, maybe at DOC as the starting point also,” Camacho said.
Wednesday night’s meeting was only the second of a series of public safety town hall meetings that will be held throughout various villages, all with the hopes of creating a safer home for all, on Guam.
The next meeting has been slated for next Wednesday, July 3, at the Dededo Community Center at 6 p.m.