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Dear Editor,

The true test of a leader is not when everything is going well during peaceful times, but during the times of struggle.

The Alliance Leadership Team, conducts a weekly Zoom session called “Wellness Check In”. The Wellness Checkin is an informal virtual meeting we do on Zoom. We all meet as a group to discuss the week, share stories, laugh, cry, and come together as a family would.

We have invited various guests such as Director Nikolao Pula, Office of Insular Affairs, the Department of Interior, Dr. Cecilia Alailima, Department of Health, Dr. Eta McCutchan- Tofaeono, Hawaii COVID-19 Team, Director Motusa Nua, Department of Health, Adney Reid, etc., just to name a few. Some of the topics range from Emotional Resilience, Contact Tracing, Vaccine distribution to Repatriation Updates.

Unfortunately, our own Congresswoman continues to ignore her stranded constituents despite the numerous efforts to reach out to her, including an email that was sent to her November 24, 2020. She has been hands off, not offering any help from her and her office.

TTFAAS, understands that Federal funds cannot be allocated directly from her office to help the Stranded Residents, who are struggling. However, The Office of Congress can utilize the name and reputation that was built up by past Congressional delegates that has served diligently, especially the Late Honorable Eni Faleomavega, to fight valiantly for the services and programs not only for our island but the larger Pacific Region.

We understand this is an unprecedented time and even so we must take measures to think outside the box for resources to combat this global pandemic. Her help would’ve been welcomed, to untangle buracratic snarls for COVID Funds availability, answer questions about immigration VISA waivers, respond to constituents concerns during a pandemic, and inform the constituents who are stranded of steps taken to provide services from different states.

Instead, she chooses not to help, she has failed.