A Q&A style forum in which Karlo addresses policy or other related questions and concerns by members of the community, gathered through direct interactions, emails, social media, and public online forums.
Karlo is always willing to answer your questions and hear your concerns regarding the issues facing Guam today. He invites you meet with him in person or to always feel free to send a message. To ask Karlo a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading "Ask Karlo," or send a message through his Facebook Page.
Previous Ask Karlo
- "Your platform on WHY you are running"
- "What is your stance on Self-Determination for Guam?"
- "7.25hr dont cut"
asked by Iya Nidaime, via Facebook status update on June 13, 2012
"So many new faces running for office this year.
I'm reading your Facebook pages and all it says is 'if you vote for me, I will help reduce spending, help the people, education education education...blah blah blah'.
My question to you is 'HOW EXACTLY DO YOU PLAN ON DOING THAT?', because no where on your page/webpage does it have your platform on WHY you are running."
Thanks for the question Iya.
While the role of delegate has no direct role in the issues you mentioned (education and cutting local government spending), the delegate to Congress does have the power to affect positive change on Guam by influencing people outside of Guam (i.e. Congress and other federal leaders) and that is where my work experience and education lie. I saw a huge need for a delegate who had a broader vision for our economy. In the 20th century the job of the delegate seemed to be to get as much federal subsidies as possible. In the 21st century world of fiscal austerity, I saw that we needed a new direction to grow our economy ourselves or the world would leave us behind. There are issues that all three candidates for delegate (including myself) will pledge to work on... securing the military buildup, raising the Medicare cap so more people can afford necessary medical services, gaining an exemption from the Jones Act to making shipping to and from Guam cheaper, getting a China Visa waiver to increase tourism, and ensuring we finally get political self-determination and a greater say in our own domestic affairs. But beyond political self determination, we must also have economic self determination... an economy that is robust and unencumbered by constraints placed by Washington DC and I am proposing a Guam federal agenda that goes beyond Bordallo and Blas.
The military buildup is a great economic boon for Guam but we have to take measures to ensure that as much as possible, that boon stays local. Right now if you look at who is getting these contracts, an overwhelming majority are off-island contractors. I will propose legislation that will give preference to qualified local contractors or contractors who subcontract with local builders.
I will also propose a bill regarding Foreign Money Repatriation, allowing territories once again to become a hub for American companies to bring profits made abroad to be repatriated and reinvested back into America. Right now the combined local, state and federal tax rate is around 40%. Territories were previously allowed to be this kind of financial hub in the 1987-1988 and the potential boon for the economy can be in the hundred of millions dollars a year.
I will also make a concerted effort to make it easier for medical device companies to headquarter their distribution centers here on Guam. Right now the largest product being imported by Asian countries from the United States are medical devices... high tech CAT scan machines, medical imaging devices or small things like advanced heart stents. The largest American medical device firms right now distribute to Asia through distribution centers in Europe. We can set ourselves up to that distribution hub and not only bring tens of millions of dollars to Guam but also potentially bring the most advanced medical equipment to our community.
Thanks again for the question, Iya. If you have any further questions please feel free to message me or stop by our office or give us a call at 647 - 5275, I welcome all dialogue.
asked by Adrian Cruz, via Facebook on May 7, 2012
"Part 2) Who do you think should be able to vote for self-determination? "those people and their ancestors continue not to have a say" or "The people of Guam" including Immigrates who were allowed in after the Organic Act of 1950? part 3) what concrete steps would you take if elected to achieve this, where so many have failed? time frame?". ...
(continued after initial reply)
"We need a new approach to this issue. "The steps are difficult because the decision rests with Congress" this is the same trodden road well worn by all previous Delegates. The UN clearly state that the right to self determination rests with the People, not a body of lawmakers thousands of miles away. Would you support Chamorros if they had the vote on their own inherent right and then "Declare" the results to the Congress (a body in which you have no vote in anyway)? Would you, should the people of Guam vote on self-determination, be willing to go to the UN in NY, to present them with the will of the people of Guam?"
I believe in self-determination for the people of Guam. The 1950 Organic Act created a political status for the people that they had no say in, a political status that those people and their ancestors continue not to have a say in. These vestiges of colonialism continue to constrain our economic and political destiny.
The fact that we have to implore a Congress that we have no vote in to deal with basic local economic rights... the de facto right to say what shipping companies can operate here, what airlines can fly out of here, who can migrate here, who can visit here, etc. That is economic subjugation pure and simple. The people of Guam should be able to decide issues that affect Guam. We should have the right to grow our economy in the ways that we decide together, to provide for our own people ourselves.
The legal right of self-determination belongs to those who have been denied it. The people who have been denied self-determination are those alive during the 1950 Organic Act and their descendants, for the Organic Act was the last act to determine our political status and it was an act of the US Congress where they had no representation and where we continue to not have representation. We on Guam must act as one to make self-determination a reality. I support my brothers and sisters in their right to make their own choice.
The steps are difficult because the decision rests with Congress and we do not have a vote in Congress and the Republican majority has taken away the rights of territories to even have a vote in committees. The fact of the matter is the decision rests not with me or you but in the hands of people who are not from Guam and I cannot give you a timeline just like no one else can give you a timeline. Anyone that tells you differently is lying to you. But in this difficulty there is also opportunity. The argument we must make to the United States Congress is one of self-reliance and of states rights... the right of a people to make decisions for themselves and determine their own future, an argument which has appeal to both Democrats and Republicans. And in the interim we must prepare for self-determination by registering all eligible people for the Decolonization Registry. Only 5.257 people have been registered thus far. Several members of my staff are certified to be able to add people to the Decolonization registry we will work diligently to insure every eligible person becomes registered.
(continued after more query)
As you note Mr. Cruz, the results would still have to be brought to Congress and argued before Congress and the decision to accept those results still lie with Congress. No matter what, the role of the delegate in the self-determination process is to convince Congress to accept the people's right to self determination. If this path is the path the people choose to exercise self-determination, I, unlike the current delegate, will be a vigorous voice in arguing before that body to finally accept the self-determination rights of the people of Guam. As a representative of the people of Guam, should this be the path we decide to take together, I will go wherever is necessary to make the people's voice heard.
Hi Tim, thanks for the question.
The problem of high price of living and low pay are the real everyday issues that face the people of Guam that Madeleine Bordallo is not concerned about. I am.
One of the reasons the cost of living is so high is because right now there is only one shipping company that services Guam, Matson lines. With almost everything we use everyday coming in through shipping, having one company with no competition means our everyday costs of goods and services goes up. One of the main reasons we only have one shipping company and no competition is an act of Congress called the Jones Act, which prohibits shipping companies who use Non-US made ships from operating on-island. I will get Congress to carve out an exemption from the Jones Act for Guam which will attract more shipping companies, creating more competition and lower prices. My opponent has all but given up on passing a Guam exemption to the Jones Act.