The Asian American and Pacific Islanders advisory committee, or AAPI, will be hosting the 58th Presidential Inauguration Gala next week at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Gov. Edward J. B. Calvo of Guam co-chair the AAPI.
The gala will be held from 6pm to 11pm. Republican Party legislators in the 115th U.S. Congress will also be attending.
Torres will be leaving for the U.S. capital on Jan. 16 to also attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
Before the inauguration, Torres is scheduled to meet with members of the Presidential Transition Committee and other key GOP leaders where he would continue to update them on concerns and other issues affecting the CNMI.
The AAPI, during the hotly contested presidential campaign, worked directly with top officials of the Trump-Pence GOP ticket.
Torres and Calvo made recommendations to campaign officials on issues that concern Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. They also worked to make sure AAPI would support the Republican Party standard bearers.
The Torres administration, as the only U.S. territory that supported the Trump-Pence ticket, along with the GOP-led leadership in the mainland, is also aiming to get key government posts in order to push for issues that affect the region.
Two key posts that are up for grabs are the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas and Special Assistant to the President for Territories, which was part of the GOP platform adopted in last year’s Republican National Convention.
Several individuals in the CNMI are qualified to get the appointments. Both positions would improve the chances of raising issues and other concerns that have a direct impact on the Commonwealth and its people.
Elaine Chao, who will be the Department of Transportation Secretary, could also help the CNMI’s cause after being a former member of the AAPI advisory committee.
Someone from American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Hawaii—before its statehood—had already been appointed as Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas position but no one from the CNMI has gotten the post since it became a Commonwealth in 1978.
The Office of Insular Areas is responsible for administration of U.S. commonwealths, island possessions, and territories. They coordinate federal policy and oversee funds and programs of the freely associated status of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
Puerto Rico, although a commonwealth and an unincorporated U.S. territory, is not under the OIA jurisdiction and has the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration that coordinates with the Office of the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs.