Some residents of Oahu will be represented in Congress and at Honolulu Hale, but not at the Hawaii Legislature. Go figure.
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Imagine a visitor arriving in Hawaii and asking a simple question about how our government works.
Is every person represented in Congress, at the Hawaii Legislature and at Honolulu Hale?
You would think the answer would be obvious. Yes.
But on Friday it appears that the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission will issue new political maps for Hawaii that will exclude 15,660 residents of Oahu — some students and military living in group quarters.
For federal purposes, they’re counted in Hawaii and represented in Congress. For Honolulu purposes, they’re set to be counted and included in City Council districts under a plan put out by the city’s redistricting panel.
Different rules for different governments.
We often hear of taxation without representation. In this case, in Hawaii we’ve got population without representation. And we’ve actually had it for a while. In fact, you could argue it was even worse in the 2001 redistricting, when no “non-resident” military personnel or their dependents were counted for state purposes.
Nothing is as simple as it might seem, but it is strange that we have residents of our community who are not represented at the Capitol but can call their congressman or City Council member.
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