Hafa adai and tirow!
Let me start by thanking each and every one of you for being on this journey with me. Your support is overwhelming and getting a chance to meet and listen to you has been a blessing and a privilege.
My desire to serve our precinct and the Marianas comes from values instilled in me by my parents, Herman “Pitu” DLG Sablan and Nadine Hadley Phillip, which are leadership, commitment, and service.
My desire to serve also comes from how much I value family. Family is everything to me, and the lessons and experiences I learned from my parents, my husband, my children, and my relatives moves me to do more for our diverse community of families that call the Marianas their home.
My decision to step forward and serve as your next representative is firmly rooted in my desire to give back, give more, and give our children a fighting chance at having a better future than the one we have. I am committed to this land and our people.
I am a proud daughter of our Marianas and Micronesia. I was born and raised in the CNMI, and I want nothing more than to bring my experiences and education to the table.
After graduating from Marianas High School, I went on to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Guam. I’m also a certified substance abuse treatment counselor, and my work has taken me to serve throughout the region and in the United States: Guam, American Samoa, and Virginia.
I came back home in 2016 to serve our community as a recovery counselor and later as a counselor for the Department of Public Safety, helping many of our people overcome personal challenges.
These experiences and volunteering for disaster recovery operations on Rota for Typhoon Mangkhut and on Saipan for Super Typhoon Yutu exposed to me a harsh reality: that our people suffered so much after the storm, and they need relief in more ways than one. Our people’s suffering then and now, especially with this pandemic, has opened my eyes and heart to do more. I have seen the pain and suffering we face as a community, whether it’s substance abuse, mental or physical abuse, or suffering at the hands of a natural disaster or even a disaster like COVID-19. I am convinced that we can address these issues if we work together!
I am running so we can do good things together starting with our precinct, expanding into our islands and beyond. Our people have suffered enough: a pandemic crippled economy; the disruption of our lives, how we live and how we work; the extreme changes affecting how our kids learn and grow; and, at the highest level, how our Commonwealth must survive is a call to action.
And I am answering that call. I want to be one of your elected leaders prepared to come to work with solutions or at least the willingness to work toward those solutions regardless of party and above the pettiness of politics.
We have to rise up and lift our community, together. When this happens, when I am elected with your help, I will:
1. Strengthen our families
I will help stand up for programs that provide support for our single parents, children with special needs, and most especially our man’amko and those battling diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Without a healthy family, we cannot have a healthy economy.
I will work on solutions to ensure that our retirees receive their 100% pensions. Our man’amko are the foundation of our family, and they deserve to be protected. If elected, I will make it my personal responsibility to take care of them and our families.
2. Support our youth
It’s not our children’s fault that our global economy is struggling. As a counselor, I know what it takes to keep our precious young ones active and engaged. I will support youth sports programs, cultural and performing arts, counseling, career path development, and academic growth when I am elected with your help.
3. Grow our economy and grow this precinct!
Our economic growth is measured in beach barbecues, family gatherings, and birthday parties. We grow the economy not just for the revenue, but for our ability to help one another when we need it most: medical treatment, funerals, and rosaries. A vibrant economy begins with business growth, which leads to employment and higher incomes for our people. I am running to help make that a reality.
I will work with this administration and the Legislature to help our people start up their own business, produce their goods, or find gainful work so that they may support their family and help grow the economy. I will work with this administration and my colleagues in the Legislature so that we have the necessary community services to improve our way of life whether it’s more training on starting your own business, getting start-up tools for your business, or getting certified so you or your child may earn more through a reliable and successful career.
The Bible says, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is consistent with my Republican belief in being responsible for creating the life you want in helping each other to rise up together.
I ask for your vote so that I can be responsible to help give you the life you deserve, I ask for your vote so that I can be responsible so that the government gives you the support you need to thrive and move forward. I am asking for your vote as a mother, clinician, volunteer, and public servant. I look forward to working for you and our serving our precinct faithfully.
Thank you, si yu’us ma’ase, olomwaay, and maraming salamat po!
May God continue to bless you all and our great Commonwealth!
Grace “Pitu” Sablan Vaiagae
Candidate for Precinct 3