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NMI Democrats adopt new party by-laws

(Press Release) — The elected Central Executive Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands Inc. adopted new party by-laws at their regular meeting on January 6, 2017.

The new by-laws have been months in the making according to the party chairman, Daniel O. Quitugua, who said NMI Democrats “are now fully organized and getting the groundwork in place for the 2018 general election.”

“With Donald Trump in the White House, it is critical that we have strong, capable, visionary, and trustworthy leadership at the local level. All over America, people are taking control of their communities;” Quitugua said, “we intend to make sure the CNMI is no different.” “In fact,” he added, “we believe we can be an example to the nation rather than a dishonored and neglected 5th cousin the family prefers to pretend isn’t there.”

The preamble to the new by-laws declares that NMI Democrats, “united in common purpose,” “rededicate” themselves “to the principles which have historically sustained our Party.”   NMI Democrats recognize that “the vitality of the Commonwealth’s political institutions has been the foundation of its enduring strength.”

NMI Democrats emphasize that “a political party which wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people’s trust must prove that it trusts the people, and a party which hopes to call forth the best the Commonwealth can achieve must embody the best of the Commonwealth’s heritage and traditions.”

“What we see for our Commonwealth, we hope for all people: individual freedom in the framework of a just society, political freedom in the framework of meaningful participation by all citizens.”

Concluding, the preamble states, “Bound by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, aware that a party must be responsive to be worthy of responsibility, we pledge ourselves to open, honest endeavor and to the conduct of public affairs in a manner worthy of a society of free people.”  

“For these ends and upon these principles,” the by-laws were established. Section 8 of the by-laws sets out the Democratic Party Credo:

“We Democrats are the oldest political party in America and the youngest in spirit. We will remain so, because we enjoy the challenge of government. Time and again, for almost two centuries, the Democratic Party has made government work — to build and defend a nation, to encourage commerce, to educate our children, to promote equal opportunity, to advance science and industry, to support the arts and humanities, to restore the land, to develop and conserve our human and natural resources, to preserve and enhance our built environment, to relieve poverty, to explore space. We have reached difficult and vital goals.

“We recognize that the capacity of government is limited but we regard democratic government as a force for good and a source of hope.

“At the heart of our party lies a fundamental conviction that Americans must not only be free, but they must live in a fair society.

“We believe it is the responsibility of government to help us achieve this fair society:

• “a society where the elderly and the disabled can lead lives of dignity and where Social Security remains an unshakeable commitment;

• “a society where all people can find jobs in a growing full-employment economy;

• “a society where all workers are guaranteed without question the legal right to join unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively for decent wages and conditions of employment;

• “a society where taxes are clearly based on ability to pay;

• “a society where the equal rights of women are guaranteed in the Constitution;

• “a society where the civil rights of minorities are fully secured and where no one is denied the opportunity for a better life;

• “a society that respects the dignity of every human individual, where both public and private discrimination based upon race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status, philosophical persuasion or physical disability are condemned and where our government moves aggressively to end such discrimination through lawful means;

• “a society where we recognize that the strengthening of the family and the protection of children are essential to the health of the nation;

• “a society where a sound education, proper nutrition, quality medical care, affordable housing, safe streets and a healthy environment are possible for every citizen;

• “a society where the livelihoods of our family farmers are as stable as the values they instill in the American character;

• “a society where a strong national defense is a common effort, where promoting human rights is a basic value of our foreign policy, and where we ensure that future by ending the nuclear arms race.

“This is our purpose and our promise.” 

“Our community is our society,” Chairman Quitugua said, “and these values articulated by the national Democratic Party are local values.” NMI Democrats in 2016 became, for the first time, full participants in the national Democratic Party. “We held a presidential caucus for the first time in 2016, and attended the Democratic National Convention as equals with the 50 states, other territories and commonwealths, and Democrats Abroad. We had representatives on the Platform Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Credentials Committee. Our delegates attained national prominence and received extensive press coverage, and our Delegate to Congress was given floor time to address the entire Convention,” Quitugua concluded.

Present at the meeting and unanimously adopting the by-laws were Party Chairman Daniel O. Quitugua, secretary Jonathan Cabrera, treasurer Meling Chargualaf, Democratic National Committee member Nola Hix, Democratic National Committee member Michael A. White, and Central Executive Committee members Stephen C. Woodruff, Joe Hill, Bobbie Iglesias, Aaron Murdock, Manassess Borja, John Furey, and Glenn Manglona.