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Rosie Tago Lancaster, a retired Commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Three, Veterans Affairs (VA) specialist and member of the ASCC staff, has announced her intention to campaign for the Office of Congressional Delegate in the 2012 race. Rosie explains the motivation for this decision in the following statement:

“ American Samoa is at a crossroads; the place where a decision needs to be made as to which way to go, which path to take, because the road as we know it no longer serves our needs. There are two choices; remain where we are and go no further, stuck in the status quo, or move forward by deciding which way will best adapt to the changes in our population and landscape. Choosing to remain in the status quo is the easier choice because we know it, it’s familiar whether we believe it to be good or bad, at the very least, we know what to expect. Moving away from the familiar into the unknown is risky, and very often, quite frightening. But history supports the fact that exploration and taking risks open up new worlds of possibilities, and it’s possibilities that progress is made.

I have chosen as the theme for my campaign for Congressional Delegate, “Navigating for the Future of American Samoa”, “Tautaiga mo se Lumana’i Manuia o Amerika Samoa”.

This acknowledges the contribution of our Samoan ancestors, the navigators who were no strangers to exploration or risk. Often called “way finders” because they took to the high seas with nothing more than what they had observed; the stars, the rolling of the waves, the flight path of birds and with God’s help “found their way” through learning, adaptability and implementation. It took Toa o Samoa to embrace change and welcome the unknown.

As Congressional Delegate, I will be a dedicated “way finder”, a Toa o Samoa problem solver, in navigating the turbulent waters of Congress with a singular focus on securing our future, without forsaking the honored traditions of our past.

Given our current status, navigating for the future of American Samoa means plotting a course in Congress that will achieve progress in three primary areas: Education, Healthcare and the Environment. Education is vital to the overall well-being of a society. Our current system is in need of a total overhaul in order to offer the best of traditional and technological educational advances to our children. Chronic disease, primarily in the form of early onset Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, is crippling our current healthcare system due to the expense and expertise required for caring for these diseases.

American Samoa is blessed with a natural environment consisting of a land and sea of rare beauty. Unfortunately, this beauty is subject to the ramifications of human habitation, as well as to modern day global warming. We need to take personal responsibility for our own lands, waters and for the territory as a whole. The more actions we take of our own design to preserve and protect our natural resources, the less others will find it necessary to intervene. Protection incorporates minimizing outside influences that pose a threat to our inalienable rights to govern our land and coastal waters.”

Source: Lancaster Election Committee