Welcome to my new blog!
One of the most rewarding experiences of campaigning was the opportunity to meet people across our district and hear their thoughts, concerns, ideas and solutions. I’d like to keep that dialog going. So here’s my first post, and I’m hoping you’ll opt in to continue talking about what we can do to build a better Honolulu.
ONE of the questions I know many of you want to ask is which of the two candidates I’ll support in the General Election.
As it is for all of you, that’s a very personal question. I’d like to keep the answer private, but if it helps you to make your own decision, let me reiterate the things that are most important to consider:
We all know what the problems are. Homelessness. Tax increases. Underemployment and the high cost of living. Lack of affordable housing. The list goes on and on. What we want to know is what our representatives plan to DO about it. I want to hear them speak clearly and bluntly about proposed solutions, how they plan to build consensus in the City Council on some of the most controversial issues, and what compromises they think are and are not acceptable. I plan to ask them in the coming months, and I hope you do, too.
We all know where you were born, but exactly where are you coming from? There’s a great deal of “communication” surrounding where someone was born, where they went to school and what they used to do. I guess that’s supposed to speak to loyalties and qualifications,but what I would like to know is their position(s) on the issues. I know that introducing controversy at a time when someone is trying to get as many votes as possible is a difficult thing to even think about, but knowing where somebody’s from says nothing of where they intend to lead us. I think that is a lot more important.
I appreciate the pictures of friends, family and community. One of the things I learned was it does indeed take a village to support a single candidate. I think it is also very important to understand what other kinds of organizations and special interest groups “support” a candidate both with money and promises of blocks of votes that help get them elected.
The Campaign Spending Commission publishes reports of all the donors to every candidate for public office in the State of Hawaii. It’s important to look at the major donors who may have undue influence over a candidate’s decision after he or she is elected. Go take a look: https://nc.csc.hawaii.gov/cfspublic/.
We’re all out pressing the flesh before an election. After someone’s in office, however, I think it’s important for our representatives to have a plan for staying in touch with ALL the people they represent. I don’t think a newsletter — one way communication — is adequate, since what we think is important and what our priorities are, change over time. So it’s really important that someone who’s elected to office have a strategy they commit to for staying in touch with the community and represent our needs. An elected official’s job is to represent US.
I think it’s our job as citizens to ask these questions and hold our councilmembers accountable. If you have to, record the answers to these questions, so you an replay them later and remind people of the promises that were made. It’s also our job NOT to give up. As long as we stay engaged as citizens, we have a strong chance of better managing the individuals we elect to represent us. NEVER take your hand off the wheel!
Stay in touch and opt in for my future posts and to share your thoughts. Your concerns and opinions really do matter not just to me, but to everyone who views this public forum.
A hui hou,
IMPORTANT RULES FOR PARTICIPATING ON THIS BLOG
Before we develop a crowd of followers and begin engaging in some spirited discussions, I want to remind you of some things I’ve learned — mostly from politicians and Hollywood celebrities — about what NOT to do on a public blog.
1. Remember that it’s public. That means to be mindful that what we say can be found in public for a very long time. Even if you write and ask me to delete a post, word can travel fast these days through other means outside my control — like social media and even cutting and pasting something into an email. So take a little time to compose your replies and posts.
2. The spirit of this blog is to encourage everyone to say what’s on their mind and to support debate and sharing with an open mind and an open heart. Be that as it may, there may be individuals who don’t like me, don’t like blogs, don’t like you, don’t like coconut or don’t like the font we’re using. And some of those people can be very hurtful in what they say. Rather than react and become a participant in mean-spirited discussions and personal attacks, please respond by asking us to delete the post. Enough requests to delete, and that’ll be enough of a statement, don’t you think? We can also vote the same way to block users who seem to persistently engage in that kind of antagonistic discussion.