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Unity Pledge

This Unity Pledge draws from plans laid out in the Democratic Sablan-Staffler platform and the vision and priorities of the Independent Palacios-Apatang coalition. Through this Unity Pledge, we, the undersigned, affirm our shared commitment to restoring public trust in government and laying the foundations for good governance in the Northern Mariana Islands. 

We recognize the urgency of the moment, in ensuring that there will be a change in leadership, and a new Palacios-Apatang administration that will right the ship of government and place our commonwealth on a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous course.  


Arnold Palacios and David Apatang are committed to leading and serving the people of the Marianas with integrity, fairness, transparency, and fiscal responsibility. As governor and lieutenant governor, they will express these values in their actions, which shall include but not be limited to: 

  1. Opening up the commonwealth’s financial books. Within the first 100 days of office, the Palacios-Apatang administration will report to the people on the true financial condition of the government and their plans to improve collections and efficiency, continue the delivery of public services, and reverse the impacts of seven years of reckless spending under the Torres administration.

  2. Ending the culture of cronyism, nepotism, and political intimidation in our government. The Palacios-Apatang administration will ensure fairness in government contracting and hiring. Public contracts will be awarded after an open bidding process and with adherence to government procurement rules. The Palacios-Apatang administration will restore the merit-based system of public employment, and accept applications for political appointments as well. They will also invest in the professional development of government employees, to include training in ethics, the Open Government Act, customer service, and workplace rights.

  3. Restoring the integrity of law enforcement agencies. The Palacios-Apatang administration will address the leadership, officer morale, training, and misconduct issues impacting the commonwealth’s law enforcement agencies, especially the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Corrections. They will also reestablish and strengthen relationships with federal law enforcement partners, especially the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  4. Instituting election reform. The Palacios-Apatang administration will work with the legislature and the Commonwealth Election Commission to enact legislation that improves the integrity and efficiency of the election process, and establish Standard Operating Procedures before the next general election.

The Palacios-Apatang administration will also prioritize public resources for investments that build for a thriving future - and especially in healthcare, education and training, worker protections, sustainable economic development, and infrastructure. These investments shall be distributed equitably across the Marianas, and shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. Improving and expanding access to healthcare. The Palacios-Apatang administration will transfer funding owed to the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, including long-overdue federal funds allocated over a year ago for a new MRI unit for the hospital. They will also deliver support to the Tinian and Rota health centers, to provide access to critical supplies and services, including dental care. The Palacios-Apatang administration will work with the legislature and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation to reform medical referral services, and establish a sustainable health network program under CHCC. Recognizing the insurance cliff that thousands of residents will face when Medicaid presumptive eligibility ends, the Palacios-Apatang administration will provide a public buy-in option in the government’s health insurance plan and/or CNMI Medicaid.

  2. Establishing a robust workforce development program for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. The Palacios-Apatang administration will facilitate collaboration among the Department of Labor, educational institutions, and employers to provide pathways to education and training, apprenticeships, and gainful employment for the people of the Marianas. The Palacios-Apatang administration will work with the legislature, advocates, and employers to strengthen protections in the law for public and private sector workers, and to gradually raise the minimum wage. The Palacios-Apatang administration will also continue to support the passage of Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan’s H.R. 560, and ensure the inclusion of CW workers and their families in the commonwealth’s transition to 2029, when the CW program is due to end.

  3. Completing long-delayed disaster recovery and infrastructure development projects. Within 100 days of office, the Palacios-Apatang administration will provide a report to the people of the Marianas of the status of all disaster recovery and infrastructure projects on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota that have yet to be completed. The reconstruction and repair of our public educational facilities will be given special priority.  The Palacios-Apatang administration will additionally leverage the resources of the government in cleaning up and beautifying our islands, and revitalizing, repairing, and maintaining tourist sites across the Marianas. These efforts shall include an assessment of the structural integrity of the casino resort in Garapan, and a market feasibility study and regulatory review of the gaming industry.  The Palacios-Apatang administration will also prioritize the use of federal and local infrastructure money to make meaningful investments in energy efficiency and renewables, the completion of the Kagman Watershed Project, and the delivery of clean, drinkable tap water for the people of the Marianas.

The people of the Marianas deserve a trustworthy and responsible government, economic development that is compatible with our environment and cultures, and islands that are clean, safe, and beautiful.  


The time to join forces and work together for the greater good is now - and it has never been more urgent. We appeal to the voters of the commonwealth to make their voices heard in the runoff election on November 25, and vote for the change in leadership we need, with Arnold Palacios and David Apatang.  


Signed, this 16th day of November, 2022:

/s/ Arnold I. Palacios

Candidate for Governor



/s/ David M. Apatang

Candidate for Lt. Governor


/s/ Christina-Marie E. Sablan            

Former Candidate for Governor


/s/ Leila H.F.C. Staffler

Former Candidate for Lt. Governor


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