Ladie ready for 3rd term

At the January inauguration of the new Majuro Atoll Local Government Council at the ICC in Majuro, from right, front: Councilwomen Miyoko Kramer, Crystal Jurelang, Stacy Samuel and Betty Imaikta join with their male counterparts at the January 8 swearing in ceremony. Photo: Hilary Hosia.

WILMER JOEL

Majuro Mayor Ladie Jack declared at the local government inauguration Monday at the ICC that it is time to unite to improve the livelihoods of the people of Majuro.

“You are in my heart, people of Majuro; you are dear to me,” he said. “We are ready to serve you.”

Mayor Jack said he is committed to working with the council, community, and national government to advance development on Majuro. “Together we stand strong and divided we fail,” he said.

He revealed plans to renovate homes for citizens who are vulnerable and unable to support themselves, as well as to assist in improving the track and field area in Jenrok.

High Court Chief Justice Carl Ingram administered the oath of office to Mayor Jack, thirteen council members, and two traditional leaders to serve in the local government.

President Hilda Heine described Majuro as the eyes and glimpse of the Marshall Islands. “It is important that we maintain and clean Majuro so that it will truly be the eyes of the people,” she said.

President Heine said one of the priorities of the new government is to visit neighboring islands to see firsthand the difficulties people face. “It is the hope and belief that we will work together to find solutions to the many challenges and improve the quality of life and prosperity for all,” she said.

In his brief address, Irooj Leikman Zedkaia said the four years will bring prosperity to the nation from the work of the national and local government. “I know that under these years, prosperity will flourish, and we will be the recipient of these blessings,” he said.

The Reverend of the Rita United Church of Christ, Sawoj Sawoj, blessed the event and the newly sworn local government officials with prayers.

However slowly, times do change in the Marshall Islands.

There are four women in Nitijela, one of whom is President of the RMI (for the second time). There have never been more than three women in parliament and with the election of both Marie Milne and Daisy Alik-Momotaro in the November national election, the number doubled from the previous parliament to four.

But the increase in women is not only in Nitijela.

The Majuro Atoll Local Government Council has its largest contingent of women ever, with four of the 13 seats now represented by women: Aenkan’s Betty Imaikta and Delap’s Stacy Samuel are the veterans, with newcomers Miyoko Kramer of Rairok and Crystal Jurelang of Delap joining them. This increases the number from three to four.

Significantly, too, the 2023 election marked the first time that either of Majuro’s two-seat wards — Delap and Rita — have two women representatives. That glass ceiling was broken with Crystal’s election in Delap, which makes this large area of downtown represented by women.

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