With the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and the return of the issues to the states and territories, abortion may be a factor with voters in Guam, as it is in the U.S. mainland.

Just how much, remains to be seen, or where the dice will roll.

Guam’s attorney general announced June 28 a review of the legal situation in Guam and that the issue would be an issue for the Guam legislature.

In the Northern Mariana Islands the question is more complicated, but also not divisive. While abortion remains illegal, no prosecution for abortion has occurred.

But in 2022, many island businesses are challenged economically as never before and that is a huge concern.

Tourists are returning, but not fast enough. We all are thankful for Korean visitors, especially as the Japanese may not wish to travel as the country’s COVID numbers rise steeply. And restriction for returning Japanese don’t look like easing anytime soon.

Economic diversification in the islands is important, but cannot immediately be turned on like a tap.

Employers lack labor. The cost of labor is rising.

Residents in the islands are equally challenged by inflation and rising interest rates of the federal reserve.

Everybody suffers from supply chain issues which are not likely to end any time soon.

Some of the macros issues cannot be fixed, though we are all grateful for a check or a power bill credit. Business privilege tax can certainly come down.

What we need is answers specifically for our island issues. Candidates for gubernatorial and Congressional offices must do more than criticize incumbents and offer solutions to our issues, which are multiple.

Candidates in the Guam Legislature have typically focused on the issues that continue to plague the island – education, law enforcement and health care. Some still will.

But that isn’t enough this year.

There are enough debates and forums that will be televised and open and enough opportunities to meet those who would be your representatives.

Ask about the issues that really concern you. mbj