A total of 100 people came together at the Minachom Atdao pavilion in Susupe yesterday for the first meeting of a group that calls itself “Citizens for Good Governance” that wants to address CNMI-wide issues.
One of its founders, Ambrosio Ogumoro, said the organization is a non-political group that welcomes anyone to its fold. He said that yesterday’s meeting was a “fine example” of unity so they can address common issues in the CNMI.
Ogumoro, who said that a lot of people have been discouraged by recent actions of the CNMI’s current leaders, said this group was formed to send a strong message to the government to address corruption in order to create a better government for the CNMI.
“We must fight for what is right, and take action on all that is good for us, the children, and their future. Let us all unite and be strong together,” said Ogumoro, adding that the strong message has to be clear enough that the leadership has to start “putting the people first.”
“We must not give up, with one voice we will achieve our mission,” Ogumoro said. The organizers said that the group will also advocate for changes through raising awareness.
Also present at the meeting were senator-elect Edith Deleon Guerrero, representative-elect Vicente Camacho, former Office of Personnel Management executive director Isidro Seman, and Marianas Public Land Trust board member Pedro Deleon Guerrero, among others.
Rep. Tina Sablan (D-Saipan) and former representative Edwin Propst also gave brief remarks.
Sablan said that citizens are “truly the heart of any advocacy.” She added that solving the many problems within the community requires everyone. “Participate, care, speak up, get organized, one person cannot do it all, the government cannot do it all,” said Sablan.
Being a citizen means being a part of the community where there is a sense of shared responsibility for all as fellow citizens, neighbors, and for the people, Sablan said. There is a lot of things for citizens to do, whether it’s fighting corruption, fighting waste and abuse of public funds, or advocating for better health care, better schools, or better management of public lands, she added.
Propst reiterated that he will always put people first. “And that is always what it is about. Good governance requires putting people first.”