Happy New Year to All!

Being appointed as the Editor and President of The Fil-Am Voice is very humbling and honoring. To our readers, please be assured we will continue the high standards we are expected to have in the production of this publication and we will always give our best effort.

First, let me thank Tante Urban on behalf of the staff and myself, for the hard work and dedication he has demonstrated for all, as we do our best to live up to his example of living the values we are committed to. We send him off on his new ventures with our highest congratulations and best wishes for continued success.

Second, a giant Thank You to our staff, writers, businesses, distribution centers, and especially our readers for your continued support and encouragement. Without you, we would not be able to accomplish our mission and move forward in promotion of our purpose. We look forward to your ongoing encouragement in the coming year.

2020 is here, with promise and hope for better days ahead. As we look to a new decade, The Fil-Am Voice will continue to be the voice of our community as we highlight the rich culture and relevant events around us which are uplifting and inspirational. As we look at ourselves in reflection, let us recognize what is admirable, strong and productive about our community. Our key values of family and service to others are the foundation we have ensuring a future for our youth that will be positive with hope and the deepest respect for each other. We are so proud of our teen writers for sharing their personal perspective and experiences with their peers.

Bagoyo Family Photo
Photo: True Photography

With the start of 2020, we should take the opportunity to be personally involved in our government. When we vote for our council members, state legislators, congressional representatives, and our President, our communications are looked at seriously. In fact, our voices matter most to them as they do their work on our behalf. Please make every effort to call our elected officials, testify on the issues that affect you directly, write them letters to thank them for their votes that serve you, and always let them know what other work you want them to do in service of our community.

Some examples of the issues that are on the table are: 1) the housing crisis that is negatively affecting our working families; 2) social justice not being equally distributed throughout the community; and 3) higher funding for education, which we all say is a top priority. You probably have other issues and concerns and you are most welcome to let government officials at all levels know your needs. Especially because this is an election year, make your voices known and make your vote count!

To our readers, we encourage you to give us feedback on how our publication can better serve you. As a community of historical significance, we support the many activities and events that help us to come together in unity of purpose and the joy of working as a team, to make Maui an even better place to raise our family. May God bless you all and we look forward to a Joyous and Prosperous New Year!