28 Dec 2018
(Press Release) — By unanimous consent of the incoming minority members, Rep. Ed Propst has been selected to be the minority leader of the 21st House of Representatives.
The members of the minority include Propst (Precinct 1), Tina Sablan (Precinct 2), Edmund Villagomez (Precinct 3); Sheila Babauta (Precinct 4), Richard Lizama (Precinct 5), and Donald Manglona (Precinct 7).
The group met last Friday to make their selection. Representative Villagomez, who is currently the minority leader of the 20th House, nominated Propst, and urged the other minority members to support him as well. During discussion, Propst, described his leadership style as inclusive and supportive, and pledged his commitment to building trust, teamwork, and open communications among the members. Following a question and answer period, all the members present agreed to support Propst as their next minority leader.
Representative Propst thanked his colleagues for their confidence in him, making special note of Representative Villagomez. “Our current Minority Leader Edmund Villagomez graciously offered me his support, and I thank him for passing the torch to me,” Propst said.
“Edmund has been a mentor, a dear friend, and a minority leader who leads by example with great humility, respect, and compassion for all.”
Members of the minority lauded the smooth and respectful transition of leadership. “It has surely made me so proud of our team,” said Rep.-elect Richard Lizama. “I am looking forward to working with our Minority Leader Ed Propst and with everyone as well.”
“I’m happy with our decision,” Rep.-elect Sheila Babauta said. “Ed is capable, outspoken, and has the commonwealth’s best interest at heart. We will help him and he will help us be better leaders for the people.”
“Congressman Ed laid out his platform and I am confident with the goals he set,” Rep.-elect Donald Manglona said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in addressing the commonwealth’s needs as well as ensuring the well-being of our constituents.”
During their meeting, the members also discussed their shared values and goals. Rep.-elect Tina Sablan noted that this has been an ongoing conversation among the independent members since before the election.
“We all ran as independents, but we all recognized the importance of cooperating and supporting each other as a team to be effective,” Sablan said. “And I look forward to working well together in the 21st Legislature because of the values and goals that we have in common, and because of the different strengths and experiences that each of us brings to the table.”
The members agreed that their group will be governed by three core values: trust, respect, and communication. They agreed to share information and engage regularly with constituents, through public forums, social media, news releases and position statements, and a periodic minority report. And while they agreed on the need for a strong, vigilant, and vocal minority to continually press for solutions to challenges like healthcare and education funding shortfalls, economic insecurity, environmental degradation, and weaknesses in government accountability, they also agreed to actively seek opportunities for bipartisan collaboration with incoming Speaker BJ Attao and the members of the majority.
Representative Propst said he was grateful to be part of a “dynamic team” of leaders.
“Together we will introduce and promote good legislation that benefits our people,” he said. “We will collaborate and assist each other in all precincts, pitching in to keep our community clean and beautiful.”
Ed Propst is entering his third term as representative in the Northern Marianas Legislature. He has served on the House Standing Committees on Education; Health; Commerce and Tourism; and Federal and Foreign Affairs. Prior to joining the legislature, Propst worked in education and owned a photography business. He holds a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and lives in Dandan, Saipan with his wife, Daisy, and their four children.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/109702-ed-propst-is-the-next-house-minority-leader