Editor’s Note: The following is the text of the speech the author delivered at the presentation of the Torres-Palacios administration’s plan for the CNMI’s share of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds at the Hibiscus Hall of the Crown Plaza (formerly Fiesta Resort & spa Saipan) last week.
Our intention for today’s presentation was to give you the details on how your government will be investing the funds from the American Rescue Plan in our islands, but also, to provide you the vision of where our Commonwealth can be following this global pandemic.
Every once and a while, throughout the course of human history, there have been events that have reshaped the world. Many people believe we are living through one of these transformational moments today.
What the world will look like after is unknown, but I know that through the work we are putting into the proper, diligent, and thoughtful investment of these funds, the CNMI will be in a new position to tackle whatever challenges await us.
This is our moment. I have been around long enough to know of the difficulties our islands face in providing the best possible opportunities for our people. We have been given the chance to recover and thrive in the post-pandemic world, and this is not something any of us here today are going to miss.
The past year has one full of anxiety and worry. Your government has done all it could to keep you safe. And now it is our opportunity to do right by you and get us back on track.
You deserve it. You elected us to provide you and your families a better life here at home. And we will continue to do the work to make that happen.
You have heard where we will be placing these resources to bring us to where we want to be, but this is not the end of the discussion. We need to continue to talk, identify needs, and fill the potholes on our road to recovery together.
So, let’s do that.
Bring your thoughts, your concerns to us, but do right by the people we all serve and bring your solutions as well.
We can make this period in our history truly transformational. So let’s give it our best shot.
Thank you and let’s do this together.
Arnold I. Palacios (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Arnold I. Palacios is the lieutenant governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.