Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF- 125th AD) today announces the addition to her staff of Aloja Airewele of Ithaca as a half-time legislative aide beginning today. Mr. Airewele will be engaged in both constituent casework and special legislative projects for the Assemblywoman. He will continue working for the Red Cross as well. Mr. Airewele is replacing Nathan Shinagawa, who received his Masters’ in Health Care Administration in May and is now working at Robert Packer Hospital.
Mr. Airewele comes with valuable experience in the community and beyond. He has been employed by the Red Cross since 2001 in the Homeless Services Program, where he worked closely with all the major human services agencies in Tompkins County to provide clients with services towards stable housing, employment and rehabilitation. Previous to that, he worked for two years for Unity House as a residential counselor for OMRDD clients.
He went to New Orleans in 2005 to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and was sent by the Red Cross last year to help in relief efforts after Hurricane Ike in Houston and Dallas. He has also worked for seven years with the Community Faith Partnership, mentoring inmates in the county jail and providing support for families in the community. In addition, he has spent considerable time in area schools doing storytelling, drumming and dance to enhance a dynamic cultural exchange in our community.
“With his deep knowledge of our area and the work he has done to help the most vulnerable, Mr. Airewele will be a great asset to me and my office and the entire district. I am extremely pleased to have him joining my staff,” Lifton said.
Mr. Airewele came to Ithaca in 1999 after two years in Hamilton, New York, where his wife, Peyi, was a visiting professor of International Relations at Colgate University. She is now a professor in the Department of Politics at Ithaca College. They have three children, all of whom are students in the Ithaca City School District.