“It is for politicians to know which way the wind is blowing; it is for concerned united citizens to raise the wind.” – adapted from William Lloyd Garrison.
Outraged by the continued lack of meaningful and sustainable social and political progress in the outer islands of Chuuk and compelled by the need for a new form of approach to leadership we hereby call for a radically new and innovative vision and approach to finding solutions to the needs in the Northwest Election District of Chuuk under the following guiding principles:
UNITY: Uniting People for the Common Good
To reverse years of divisiveness which has destroyed the peace in our small island communities, we need a way to inspire people to rise above the old politics and embrace the wind of change. We envision a campaign that is inclusive of all voices, embrace all sides, err on the side of bringing all old animosity to the same table for the sake of finding forgiveness and a renewed sense of common goals. At the very core of this renewal will be respect for all voices and faith in God’s immense sense of forgiveness and healing of old wounds. We must rally everyone to join our movement of change, to work together for the common good. We envision a Northwest region that is once again alive with enthusiasm for finding common solutions where the youth feel they have a voice in a culture that values the wisdom of the elders, where women lead in the ways that embrace the dignity of their humanity, where the old factions come together to discuss how to improve the lives of the children, where the communities have the necessary skills and resources to demand more of themselves rather than on the government, where education, healthcare, and economic development are improved, and where it matters not which clan you belong or from what island you call home, but that all Northwest islanders work together to improve the future for the next generations over their own self.
TRANSPARENCY: Open Government Leads to Civic Engagement
Over the years, we have lost trust and faith in the ability of politicians to work for the common good. Politics in Chuuk has become a way for elected officials to advance their personal wealth and social status at the expense of the common good. It is not uncommon for politicians to show up to campaign and disappear into their own protective cocoon of self-importance once they’re elected.We must demand more from those we elect into office to work for us. It is the responsibility of the politicians to help us rebuild our trust in government. To do that, the government must be open, transparent, and accountable. Our leaders must have the highest standard of ethical practice of complete openness to reporting on all financial transactions. We must demand a transparent and open government at every level of leadership starting at the national level all the way to the municipalities. I invite all people of goodwill to contribute their visions and strategies into these humble visions of improving the lives of people in these remote outer islands in the State of Chuuk. Together we can empower the people young and old, women and men, locally and globally, to strive for the common hope of making the Northwest region the best possible place to live.
INNOVATION: New Vision for Old Problems
Like a failing heart that needs immediate CPR, our outer islands need radically different ideas to solve deep rooted social problems. Politics in the Northwest has been the cause of disunity among our people and the impediment to social and political progress. Far too many community leaders align themselves to the same old problems and the politicians who have failed to change the system. Politicians continue to feed this culture of divisiveness by feeding people’s need for long term solutions with short term bribery. Rather than inspiring our people with radically new visions and solutions that unite people, they continue to use the same old approach to same old problems. Let us challenge all candidates to build our islands rather than destroy them. Let’s work toward trying new and innovative ways to solve our growing problems in the Northwest. Let’s not be afraid to try.
SERVICE: Politics as Community Service
Politics must be rooted in our culture of akkuno or the personal commitment to improve the lives of others over the desire for social status. Far too many people enter public service with the wrong reason of being treated as royalty rather than those we are sending on a mission to help us. They look at public service as a means of advancing their own agenda over the common good. The people in the Northwest have suffered from lack of progress largely due to the lack of leadership while politicians accumulate wealth. Had we elected political leaders who sacrifice their personal well-being over educational resources, economic development, and health care needs of the people, our islands would have seen incredible progress. We need to elect leaders who truly understand the positive impact of a humble yet effective public servant. We need more leaders who are men and women in service of and with others. We challenge all candidates to transform their war of empty promises into actions that serve the common good of all the people in the Northwest.
EMPOWERMENT: Inspiring Pride in Our Roots & Abilities
The Northwest people (fanapi) have long been unjustly treated by fellow Chuukese citizens living in the lagoon because of our traditional culture, what we wear (or not wear), our diverse dialect and skin color, and our humble demeanor. Our very existence and our distance from the main centers have fed into unchecked neglect by those who lead our State and Nation. Consequently, generations of outer islanders grow up with an inferiority complex; our young people have come to believe that our traditions, cultures, and dialects are not good enough to the more modern lifestyle found in the more developed islands. Enough is enough! We must proactively work to reverse this debilitating inferiority complex and replace it with more empowering pride in ourselves as a people and our ways of life. We challenge all leaders especially those in elected offices to work together to start programs and services that build upon our cultural identities and our hardworking abilities. We must no longer wait for others to continue to destroy our identities. We must rise up and change the attitude of our society by excelling in all that we do.
Needs & Strategies…
I invite all sons and daughters of the Northwest to help formulate the priorities of reform in our beloved islands. I challenge the current and future political leaders to work with us to implement a systematic approach to solving these needs. Click here to view a summary of these needs and strategies…