All Islanders Gathering As One held their first Town Hall Meeting January 24, 2004 at 195 Kiska Road, Milton Meyer Gym. The event was a resounding success. Kudos to John and Audrey Nauer. Also to the other members of the A.I.G.A.1. and the community at large.
The primary purpose of the Town Hall Meeting was to address pollution elements at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Other key speakers including Sophie Maxwell who is the District 10 Supervisor and Jeff Adachi the elected Pubic Defender spoke on issues critical to the District and the Clean Slate Program.
Local experienced activists like Maurice Campbell, Lynne Brown, Clifton Smith addressed critical issues of pollution and assured the community that their active participation was necessary at all level of public deliberation.
The event began with a prayer and end with one with Rev. Vaovasa doing the honors. He is always there to support us and so is his lovely and kind wife. Andrew Bozeman Da Man with a plan provided the sound system and did a good job. He also designed the Samoan banner, which was well admired by all.
The mission of AIGA1 is to provide active participation of Samoans in America in civic and national matters in order to secure social justice, equal opportunity, equal treatment of Samoans in America as well as to eliminate prejudices, stereotypes, and ignorance of Samoans in America. Promote the cultural heritage of Samoans and other Pacific Islanders in America and to improve the Quality of Life of the Samoan Community.
Judging from the caliber of the speakers, the participation from the audience this first event met and exceeds that bar level that any good organization should be very proud of.
Lisa and Sam from the Samoan Community are on the Restoration Advisory Board and did an excellent job in their respective presentations. It is representation at various boards that matter.
Jocelyn Chapman and Matthew Thomas from Home Depot provide good information and also provided the soft drinks. Maurice Quillen from Norcal Waste Systems provided the excellent food, which was enjoyed by all. Bob Bessel represented Norcal Waste Systems and answered questions he also gave a good presentation.
Lafu made sure that the tables were replenished with food and is recognized as a hard worker by the group.
Hanif from Young Community Developers gave his short presentation and so did Sam Murray from San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Sam who lived in the Bayview Hunters Point for a long time. He related his experience with the community and answered many questions. Sam also provided some quality SFPUC posters and other information material.
Speakers addressed Tax preparation and benefits, gang violence and youth activities, and much more.
There were vendors with traditional Samoan goods for display and sale. The Samoan Media Services was present. Registering New Voters had their booth with lots of pertinent information.
High light of the event "Penina Ole Vasa Dance Troupe" led by Audrey Nauer and her troupe mostly students who attend San Francisco State University. I was soooo tired but just watching the dancing and listening to the sweet melody energized me and made me feel the swing.
AIGA1 aims at organizing the Samoan community so that they are a voice to be reckoned with. They aim to bring all Islanders together. They aim to inform and lead. So far they are going places and are a force to be reckoned with. Talofa and Mahalo.
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