2021 CHUUK STATE ELECTION

my first question ever

How was your Labor day weekend? Did you have fun? I hope so. Mine was full of amazing stories and a surprising first.

Leaving the comfort of home, I have no idea how the weekend was going to turn out, but it was amazing. 

First, it was the Micronesia Community Day which was held at the Blue Lake Regional Park. It was a fascinating event full of activities and performances by different FSM groups from all over the Pacific Northwest. 

The highlight of the event, was the FSM (Federated States of Micronesia) President, His Excellency, Mr. David Panuelo giving a speech to citizens, leaders from both the FSM and  the United States, and friends of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Next up on my plate was a Track and Field meeting between four teams (White, Red, Green and Orange) from the Portland Kuchu Association. A Lot more about this event will be posted here soon so check back often. 

And now on to the 2021 Chuuk State Election.

To be fair, I have to throw this out there. Gardenia Aisek is my sister-in-law and that both my uncle and I are married into their family. I will remain objective in my observation but please give me some room here to maneuver. Kikikikz…

I’ve been to a few public forum where candidates laid out their plans and goals, but I never once thought I would ask a question.

This time, though, one thing kept creeping into my tiny brain, and it bugged me to a point where I just burst out and asked it anyways.

Framing the question so I did not offend anyone was tougher than I thought. I tried hard and I believed I over did it to a point it confused the heck out of our candidates. Hehehehe.

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Daniel J. Rescue for Gov.
Gardenia Aisek for Lt. Gov.

meet your Gubernatorial candidates

Here is the Rescue & Aisek Team, your candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor for the 2021 Chuuk State Election. They both are very educated and very experienced individuals holding various positions for many years, in both the private and public sectors. I was honored to meet them personally in Portland, Oregon and was privileged to ask them my one question. The very first one ever for me! Their team motto is SONUMI ANGANGA TUFICHIN CHUUK.

The forum was held at the Orchard Community Park, in Vancouver, Washington. 

Emceeing the event was Dandy Jack, brother of my best friends, Anderson and Joy, whom I have not seen for a very long time. This forum was meant to bring us back together. It was awesome seing them and to reminisce over the many years we spent together in the Park Rose neighborhood.  

Didn’t take too long for the three of us to exchange numbers and addresses and to put together a plan for a reunion of some sort. Above everything though, I was thrilled to finally meet up with them again. It’s been years! 

Back to the topic at hand. There were many awesome questions asked one of which was how to raise the minimum wage of private sector employees. A very important question since nothing has been done about it for so many years.

If I remembered correctly, the response from the candidates was that there’s an ongoing study to see how feasible it is to raise the minimum wage in Chuuk. And that we have to be very cautious about it so we don’t force the hands of businesses to raise prices on products that Chuukese need. 

 

Another question was raised on the viability of educating Chuukese before they make a trip out of Chuuk to the U.S territory of Guam or the mainland USA(United States of America). 

The concern was that many Chuukese left home for the U.S mainland or its territory of Guam with little or zero understanding of what requires to live a comfortable life. One of the candidates agreed and told of a story of someone chasing a package around the carousel.    

Prior to the question and answer session part of the program, the candidates each introduced themselves and laid out a very convincing, at least to me, argument on why the Chuukese people should pick their team. I am biased of course, but if the election were to be held today, I am all for this team. 

I remembered I promised to be objective, so I will table my belief until I have a chance to meet or learn from all the other candidates: their plans and goals for the state of Chuuk. 

For the sake of openness, I would also point out that I am a Yapese by birth, Chuukese by marriage and an American by GPS (Global Positioning System).

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What I am trying to say, is that I can be very objective because I can adapt really well. If you’re not convinced enough, let me add that I speak fluent Japanese, Chuukese, Ifalikese and my first language English. I think I speak English better than President Trump and President Bush combined. Hehehehe. 

 I’ve tried hard enough to tell you about my question(s) at the end of my article but I can’t hold it in no longer, so here it is. 

Can you tell us which of the following places (Kolonia, Pohnpei; Colonia, Yap; Agana, Guam or Honolulu, Hawaii), capitol cities to be precise, you would want Weno to look and feel like? Tell us which one you picked and the timeline it would take your administration to bring Weno up to that standard?  

I reminded the candidates that I picked Weno because it’s the capitol city of Chuuk and that many citizens, visitors included, thought it needed a lot of love. 

In all honesty, I didn’t expect the answer the candidates gave. I was expecting them to say Weno needed more well planned and well executed CIP (Capital Improvement Project) programs to bring it up to expectations.

 

Instead, the response was that there were funds available for CIP programs but the government cannot utilize them due to land ownership issues. 

In the interest of time and to allow other citizens a chance to ask other very important questions, I refrained from asking follow up questions. 

I was, however, very impressed with Mr. Rescue’s and Ms. Aisek’s due diligence and expertise in knowing the challenging issues facing the Chuuk government, especially with the land ownership issues. 

I later learned from the candidates that there’s already laws on the books pertaining to this issues, and it’s a matter of enforcing the laws. 

Thinking back now, I realized that the Chuuk state government has a few options to deal with this problem. Option number 1 is to use the law to buy these lands from owners to do these projects; option number 2 is to enforce the law and take these lands forcefully or option 3 is to move the capital city to one of the other islands that can willingly sell its lands to the government for its CIP programs; let’s say Uman or Tonoas for example.

 

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Ms. Aisek and Mr. Rescue Answering Questions from Chuuk citizens

Land is everything in our culture and our society, and as we all know, we have a very limited inch of it, and that it is shrinking by the day due to climate change. It is a tough issue and it has been for the Chuuk state government for some time. 

Weno needs a lot of love! We all know that and we are all looking for answers from our candidates. Please find out more about this issue when and if the candidates show up at your spot. 

Ask them which of those options I covered above they are for and why? And please ask follow up questions. 

Chuukese attending a forum for the Rescue/Aisek Gubernatorial Candidate

After the forum, we were able to visit families in the Portland area and enjoyed a little bit of the Beaver State Hospitality. The Labor day weekend was a very productive one. 

To punish me for leaving her for the entire weekend, the state of Washington threw me a heck of a heavy traffic that I took the next exit over and spent the night in Chehalis instead of wasting my time on the freeway. 

Thank you very much for being an ifagalz fan and I hope God showers you and yours with love, laughter, health and happiness. 

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Kuchu Track and Field

2019 kiich kuchu track & field Fansoun an nouch kei chon sukun sa (URUMOT) me non Mainland, non Oregon me Washington, Fan Tumunuwen Samach Kewe

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