Welcome to Civil Beat! We’re glad you’re here. We are building a new civic square for Hawaii, and we hope you’ll join us.

One thing I’ve noticed since moving back here four years ago is that Hawaii is blessed to have many people who are committed to making our Islands a better place to live. Everyone here cares deeply about their families, neighbors, and cultural heritage.

In Hawaii, we’re particularly fortunate to be exposed to a wide variety of rich cultures. Whether it’s the depth and meaning of the Native Hawaiian culture, the many Asian cultures that are broadly represented here, or that of relative newcomers, our lives are enriched by the cultural exchange that happens every day in our schools, workplaces, and communities.

That lesson — of learning from people who have different backgrounds from ourselves, and being enriched by it — informs what we are trying to build here: a new kind of civic square.

What does it mean to build a civic square? For us, it’s about building a place where we can all learn about and better understand our home, the challenges we face, and debate and discover ideas and strategies for moving forward. Our greatest asset in successfully doing that is the richness and diversity that Hawaii represents. In my experience, the best solutions come out of discussions that involve a diversity of points of view, conducted in a respectful and good-faith search for common ground and meaningful compromise.

That’s what we’re going to try to do. But building a new civic square isn’t something any of us has done before. We’re going to be learning constantly as we build. One thing we’re pretty sure about, however, is that we have to start with a different kind of news service. Our editor, John Temple, talks more about this in his post. Another thing we’re pretty sure about is that we need to take more care in how to engage in discussions and conversation. We named this service “Civil Beat” in part because of the importance we place on civil and respectful debate. I invite you to read more about our name.

We are excited about our mission and feel a great sense of appreciation for the opportunity to contribute to a greater understanding of our home, and to participate in the meaningful discussions we hope will take place here. We look forward to meeting you.

Something to consider...

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