Basic physical human needs: food, shelter, clothing, water.Shelter: Everyone dreams of owning a home, but in the CNMI it's a nightmare. It's a frustrating day. We have a home but we can't afford to live in it. We've unplugged the dryer, the oven and every other electrical gadget that isn't being used. We unplug the TV, the modems, the fans, toaster, coffee maker, etc. etc. We use the heater 30 minutes in the morning. We run the AC a few hours at night. We turn all the lights off unless we need them. We don't listen to music because we'd have to use power. Forget about baking, we only eat what we have to when we have to eat. We have a gas stove and only a few lights on at night. We live by kilowatt hour, always vigilant of consumption. Yet, when our power bill comes in, we pay anywhere from $715 to $830. We are not alone. Our utility company has been scandalously mismanaged and we're paying for it. It's a slap in the face to every tax paying citizen.
There are people in our community who cannot even afford to turn on a light bulb. They rely on elected officials to run the government responsibly. They cannot afford solar water heaters or fancy wind turbines. Heck, they can barely afford to put food on the table. What do they do? How do they live? Why aren't we sick and tired of listening to the same old rhetoric?
When I vote next time, I want to know what you're going to do with my taxpayer dollars. I want to know what alternate forms of energy you're going to research to ensure we have reliable, sustainable power. I want to know how you'll be accountable for your budget. I want to see you roll up your sleeves and furrow your brow and sweat sometimes; I want to see you just as mad as I am when you find slackers hiding in the crevices of government agencies and when you discover mismanaged funds. If I'm going to bubble you in, you better not keep me out of the loop.
Pay attention. Because we can't afford to live like this any longer!