September 21, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. ---- FIRST SAMOAN ATTORNEY WORKS IN THE
PRESTIGIOUS U.S. SENATE RULES
Congressman Faleomavaega is pleased to announce that Ms. Sandra Salevasaosamoa King recently became a Democratic Professional Staff Member of the prestigious Senate Rules Committee of the U.S. Senate. The daughter of Mrs. Rowena King and the late Mr. Jake King, she was raised in Auasi and Amouli and spent much time in Fagatogo when the Kings' still owned the Samoa Journal and Samoa News.
Sandra is the first American Samoan actually employed in the intricate workings of the Senate Committee that handles everything from the administration of the Senate Office Buildings to the Senate rules and regulations and federal elections generally including the election of President, Vice President, and Members of Congress; and the printing and correction of the daily Congressional Record as well as matters under Senate Rule XI and much more.
Extremely proud of another of Samoa's young people's outstanding accomplishments, Congressman Faleomavaega said of Ms. King, "Sandra has demonstrated that our Samoan youth can compete and excel with the best in the nation for positions available even in the highest offices of our government. The Senate Rules Committee members reads like the Who's Who in American Politics; it includes Chairman Senator John Warner, Republican Senators Helms and Stevens not to mention ranking member Senator Ford of Kentucky, and Democratic Senators Byrd, Moynihan, Feinstein, Dodd and Torricelli. Especially of note is High Talking Chief FofogaoSamoa, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii." According to Ms. King, Senator Inouye hired her as one of the counsels on the Committee. "The Senator asked me personally to work for him, I had to say yes. I am loyal and devoted to him for all that he means to American Samoa."
In line with Congressman Faleomavaega's strong belief, the 1986 Valedictorian and Student Body President of Fa'asao High School credits much of her educational success with the firm foundation established in the local school system at Alofau Elementary School. "That's where I got my start. Alofau gave me a great education. Alofau gave me the building blocks that the rest of my life was built on. If I did not have that strong educational foundation, I may not have come this far. I have not forgotten my teachers and my principals at Alofau. I owe them much and believe teachers to be the most noble of professionals. And of course, the fear of Mom's salu can't be underestimated." Sandra recalls with fond memories the lessons learned from Mr. Turituri's Mathematics and Science classes and her English teacher, Mrs. Donna Tiapula.
Sandra received her Bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California in 1990 and became the tenth Samoan to serve in Senator Inouye's American Samoan Internship Program from 1991-1993. Following her tenure there, she entered the top-ranked George Washington School of Law at night while working full- time to finance her legal education. She was a member of the GW Journal of International Law and Economics and served as President of the Evening Law Students Association. She was also a member of the international Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and was recently selected as Clerk in the fraternity's Washington, DC chapter.
Sandra obtained her Juris Doctorate this past May and was offered an officer's commission in the Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps before she accepted the position in the Senate Rules Committee.
Congressman Faleomavaega is keenly proud of Sandra as he recalls his own initiation into Congress in the early seventies as Administrative Assistant to American Samoa's first Delegate-at-Large, High Chief Asuemu Ulufale Fuimaono and then later as Staff Counsel to the House's Committee on Interior/Insular Affairs. Faleomavaega exclaimed, "There is no doubt this young lady is going to go far. She is devoted to her family and her Samoan culture. I wish her all the best in her new endeavor and look forward to working closely with her."
Sandra King was asked whether she would ever return to Samoa, she responded, "Of course, as soon as I pay off my law school loans. Not a day ever passes by in my life that I do not think of Samoa. It is my home. I'm just here to learn -- actually I'm on a really long trip towards home, my beloved Samoa." Her advice to the many Samoan youngsters who aspire to achieve what she has accomplished, "Keep focused, persevere and have faith. You can achieve anything if you are honest and true to yourself and those who love and support you. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."