Resolution marks 50th anniversary of Guam Elective Governor Act

Senator Mary Camacho Torres (Guam Legislature photo)

In honor of Guam’s milestone toward greater self-governance, Senator Mary Camacho Torres introduced Resolution No. 286-35 (COR) today, a measure that commemorates the 50th year anniversary of the Guam Elective Governor Act.

The Act, which became effective in January 50 years ago, successfully provided for the popular election of the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor of Guam. Between 1950 and 1970, the island’s chief executives were appointed by U.S. Congress, answering to the President instead of the people.

Recognizing this arrangement as incomplete democracy, local leaders extensively lobbied for greater control over their own government. Their advocacy finally came to fruition through congressional passage of the Elective Governor Acts of 1968, a set of measures which provided for the popular election of the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, also known as U.S. Public Law 90-496, and the Governor of Guam, or U.S. Public Law 90-497.

“With elective governorship, the People of Guam regained the ability to choose their own leaders,” said Senator Torres. “This Act signified a new era—one where residents could more fully participate in their government, as the island strove for political and economic self-sufficiency.”

In addition to commemorating the 50th Anniversary, Resolution 286 further recognizes members of the First Cabinet who built Guam’s government during its newly acquired autonomy. The names of each member and the agency they faithfully served can be found on the resolution.

“These men and women were critical in steering our ship of state through the uncertain waters of that first administration,” said Senator Torres. “With faith and foresight, they carved a path that future leaders could not only follow but build upon, in the hopes of one day realizing our political destiny. Their legacy is one their families should be proud to be a part of.”

The presentation date for Resolution No. 286 is tentatively scheduled for January 28, 2020, in the public hearing room of the Guam Congress Building.