Guam, CNMI youth congresses take first step toward collaboration

Posted on Aug 19 2021

Screen grab of Guam Youth Congress members and 18th CNMI Youth Congress members during a virtual meeting.

Members of the 33rd Guam Youth Congress met virtually with members of the 18th CNMI Youth Congress last Saturday, Aug. 14, for an introductory meeting. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

Members of the 33rd Guam Youth Congress met virtually with members of the 18th CNMI Youth Congress last Saturday, Aug. 14, for an introductory meeting. The two youth policy-making bodies, each varying in structure and composition, discussed collaborating on legislation, planning a regional youth conference, and creating a long-term working relationship to benefit the youth of Guam and the CNMI.

“This historic meeting between the Guam and CNMI Youth Congress has been years in the making, and is a sign of a new collaboration that we hope will persist throughout the years,” said Guam Youth Congress speaker Stephanie Lorenzo. “With both Guam and CNMI’s Youth Congress having a female speaker, it is our intent to continue our efforts of cooperation through dialogue and, in doing so, build a better connection between Guam and the CNMI.”

CNMI Youth Congress Speaker Cielo Long described the meeting as the first of many meetings both the CNMI and Guam youth congresses will hold throughout this term. “It was an honor to witness the collaborative efforts between all members, and I am ecstatic to serve as an example of teamwork beyond differences. Working relationships between two separate bodies is definitely possible,” she added.

Representative Nolan Flores said the introductory meeting showcased the as yet untapped potential of working closely with the CNMI’s regional neighbors. “As youth, we must take the lead in combining our individual strengths and turning them into collective, meaningful action for all of the Marianas and the Pacific,” Flores said.

Guam Youth Congress vice speaker Al Edrich Labang said he is grateful for the productive bilateral conversation with the CNMI Youth Congress, adding that there are many issues concerning the youth that both the Guam Youth Congress and the CNMI Youth Congress can tackle together. “Additionally, I commend speaker Stephanie Lorenzo of the Guam Youth Congress and speaker Cielo Long of the CNMI Youth Congress for their commitment to strengthening our islands’ relationship. As we further our relationship regionally, I look forward to connecting with our other neighbors in Micronesia.”

As Guam’s youth legislative body, the 33rd Youth Congress is composed of elected representatives from each of the island’s villages and high schools. Representatives create, discuss, and pass bills, which are then introduced in the Guam Legislature. (PR)

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