Tenorio: I want to lift people out of poverty and drug abuse

Joshua Tenorio’s top priority if elected governor will be to lift people out of the poverty that Guam has sunken into the past three decades. A major part of that solution will be to help people, especially young Guamanians, to rise above drug abuse, which he said is a major part of what drives and keeps people poor.

At the start of a one hour interview with Kandit Friday, the current lieutenant governor said that among political circles, he is uniquely prepared and qualified to address this problem. He grew up in a family where one side was poor, and the other side was filled with educators who understood their calling to help people.

“I really feel that the top issue is poverty for us,” Mr. Tenorio said, “which means it’s economic opportunity for higher-paying jobs, and also valuing people as individuals and not writing people off.”

The lieutenant governor has kept his current job focus on the island’s homelessness problem and the drug epidemic. And while Attorney General Douglas Moylan and law enforcement have kept their attention on cutting off the meth supply, Mr. Tenorio has been focusing on the demand side: recovery for addicts.

“On the recovery side, over the last 10 years I’ve been doing a lot of heavy lifting on recovery, because I do believe there are opportunities especially for the juveniles to give them, skill them, to lead them out and into a life of recovery,” Mr. Tenorio said.

The gubernatorial candidate links part of the escalating poverty issue with the scourge of drug abuse. He also admits the issue is complicated by three decades of continuous epidemic of the meth problem on Guam. According to economic data, the onset of the meth epidemic on Guam coincides with the growth in social welfare participation, an indicator of poverty.

From recovery to the rising cost of housing and everything in between, Mr. Tenorio said the focus of his administration will be his lifelong commitment to helping the less fortunate.

A major part of that commitment – and why, he says, he can be trusted to be sincere about it – is his upbringing. The Sinajana native is the son of a teacher and a blue collar worker, whose families on both sides have helped others like them and less fortunate than them to rise above challenges.

Who among us keeps a commitment to help the poor? In the struggle of our daily lives, which of us stops our rush past people, and rushes to help those whom others pass by?

If Joshua Tenorio is serious about this agenda, if this is his passion, then he will indeed be trying to solve the biggest political problem of our lifetime; one that prior governors including the one he serves under now, have been thus far unable to handle.

You can watch this portion of his interview above. Kandit will be segmenting portions of the interview throughout this week before publishing his full interview. The next portion will be about his running mate.


  • How can he say that “young Guamainians” are especially in need of this type of help when the fact is that it is older people that are caught more often and who happen to be the influence on their younger friends and family? The social welfare epidemic is not a result of the drugs, it is more the result of politics. The “vote for me and I’ll be sure that you are taken care of” mentality! People here have been living off of low rent (GUHRA) housing for as long as possible! I know some people that have lived in low rent housing for OVER 40 years! We need to get the schools FIXED! Give a man a fish, he eats today; teach him to fish he can eat forever!

  • Alan San Nicolas

      12/11/2023 at 5:13 AM

    I ofresimento ni ginen un petsona para I otru, maolek na beda enao. Lao yanggen ti ha agradesi pues ga-gaigi ha I achaki. Yanggen ma ilihi hao, na manana I lslata ya na ofesite I todu guaha na setbisio para I pupbliku. AFAÑELOS ESTA DESPUES

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