Women’s History Month: Guam Delegate to Congress Madeleine Bordallo


Click to read the full story on GuamPDN.com

In celebration of Women’s History Month, my editors and I decided to produce a series of features that would showcase women on Guam who have made a significant impact on the community and displayed leadership in their respective fields.

This Sunday, we featured one of Guam’s legendary ladies: the island’s delegate to U.S. Congress, Madeleine Bordallo. In previous weeks, we featured my interviews with Bank of Guam President Lou Leon Guerrero, and Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood.

Be in good health, be ambitious, and to be able to like people and like what you’re doing.

-Madeleine Bordallo

Madeleine Bordallo is one of those stitches in Guam’s history, it seems like. The things she’s done, both professionally and personally, seem so entwined in the culture and the fabric of the island in some ways that I wonder what would have happened to all of us if her parents never moved to Guam when she was a little girl. What if she’d stayed in Minnesota? Would she have married her high school sweetheart there, and would he have become governor of that state?

Bordallo was a fascinating interview. Three out of the four ladies I interviewed had been local senators in their careers. Only Chief Judge Tydingco-Gatewood didn’t enter the political maelström.

Bordallo was the only person I interviewed that will be campaigning in the next election to keep her seat as delegate. As an interviewer, I was very aware of this context.

When the Congresswoman opened up and elaborated on some of her personal highs and lows, that’s what I felt was the most wonderfully revealing. It reminded me that, no matter how well you think you know people who live their lives in the public eye, there’s always a private conversation that they have with their families that they won’t share with everyone else.

I don’t necessarily need to know what happens and what’s said in those private conversations, but being able to see that those moments of vulnerability are there is what makes someone human.

A politician can’t be on message all the time.

I only had about 20 minutes to talk with the Congresswoman over the phone, but her life’s story is so rich that many of the anecdotes she was able to elaborate on were plenty for me to go on.

I’m grateful that I get to talk to these successful power ladies and hopefully absorb some of their mojo by osmosis.

Look out for the final feature in the series in this Sunday’s issue of Pacific Daily News.

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