WASHINGTON, D.C. (Pacific Daily News, Jan. 9) - Madeleine Bordallo was sworn in Tuesday as the new delegate for Guam, the fourth delegate to represent the island since it was given a non-voting role in Congress in 1972.

With her daughter, Deborah, and her granddaughter, Nicole, watching from the gallery above the House floor, Bordallo took the oath of office from House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

"You're here in the nation's capital, the nerve center of our government, and you're a part of it," Bordallo said. "It's awesome to be here."

Bordallo, the island's former Democratic lieutenant governor, will have little time to enjoy the moment. She said she will appeal to the federal government for help in dealing with the devastation caused by Dec. 8's Supertyphoon Pongsona as well as assistance for the island's continuing economic problems.

She promised to work closely with Guam's new Republican governor, Felix Camacho, to overcome any partisan differences. She also will follow up on former Delegate Robert Underwood's legislation to create a federal commission to look into whether some Guam residents should receive World War II reparations.

"Now more than ever, we have to talk with the powers that be to make Guam more typhoon-proof," Bordallo said. "This will be my mission. We’ve got to address it. Right now, as we speak, there are still people without water and power."

Bordallo and her staff held a reception in her new office Tuesday afternoon for family and friends, where Bordallo also recognized the officers of the Guam Society of America.

Her staff is still setting up the office, so the walls and desks remain mostly bare. On Bordallo's new desk are the U.S. and Guam flags, along with a latte stone.

"I think she’s in a position now where she can help Guam even more," said Bordallo's granddaughter, Nicole, a senior at the University of San Francisco.

Bordallo’s daughter, Deborah, said the new job gives Bordallo a new lease on life: "No matter where she goes she will always leave her footprints."

Bordallo, who has found a condominium and will likely spend most of her time here, thought of what her late husband, former Gov. Ricardo Bordallo, would think of her political ascent.

"I think he would have been proud," she said.

January 9, 2003

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