Letter: In support of Rep. Munoz

I have never contacted any news media in support of an elected official before today. However, Paula Ann Solis’ article on Rep. Cathy Muñoz in the Aug. 21 edition of the Juneau Empire troubled me enough to respond.

There are approximately 3,000 Filipinos living in Juneau. We are the second largest minority group, second only to Alaska Natives. Although this letter does not constitute anyone else’s opinion but mine, it brings to bear the number of lives, among Filipinos alone, that Rep. Muñoz has touched in immeasurable ways.

I echo the sentiments that Bonnie Gruening wrote in her letter to the editor of the Juneau Empire on Aug. 23. Rep. Muñoz has advocated for legislations and initiatives that advanced the causes of a cross-section of her district’s population. From co-sponsoring the Erin’s Law bill (HB 44) that placed curriculum in all schools for sexual violence prevention and supporting the appropriation of funds for domestic violence prevention initiatives, she, too, is among us as we grapple in the effort to make a contribution to the just solution of the same great issues affecting families and communities of our time.

As a member of the Filipino Community, Inc. and a citizen of this hospitable city, I have seen Rep. Muñoz in action, taking personal and political risks, without counting the costs. She has extended her support to parents and grandparents raising children under difficult circumstances, including child abuse and neglect. Among many of her contributions to health, economic and social initiatives in our state and communities, Rep. Munoz advanced the cause of immigrant families by supporting the establishment of the first ever Philippine Honorary Consul Office in Juneau, which has assisted hundreds of immigrants to obtain U.S. citizenship and resolve visa and immigration issues. These individuals would otherwise have to travel to San Francisco at great expense to receive these services. The significance of the presence of the Philippine Honorary Consul Office in Juneau cannot be measured in dollars and cents. It can only be felt in the joy of a family reunited and the fulfillment of the proverbial American Dream.

Rep. Sam Kito’s comments in Sunday’s article are concerning. As a legislator, I expected him to model actions that display “good heads prompted by good heart,” as President John Adams said in his inaugural address on March 4, 1797.

Again, quoting Mr. Adams, I hope that we do not “abandon our usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution or integrity” by making statements that may detract and divide or widen the tear that broken families (and at times, communities) endure.

Rebecca Carrillo,