Corruption Has Nothing To Do With Race

Feb. 2 — Hawaii has always been run by and for a small group of elites at the expense of everyone else, which is why voter turnout is so low. They despise the democratic process, regularly using gut and replace tactics and cannot even trust us with the power to put forward our own ballot initiatives. It took the Feds finally stepping in to address the corruption in the Police and Prosecutors office because like Weinstein in Hollywood there are plenty of shady characters in our government who were willing to look the other way as long as it serves their own interests. Making this a discussion about race is doing a disservice to the real issue, which is wealth inequality. I have way more in common with working class locals (whatever their ethnicity) than I do with similar-looking banking and construction executives who siphoned off billions from the rail scam.

More land for Kanaka Maoli

Feb. 2 — Bishop Estate needs to be forced into the charitable work they were created for. If the powers that be could put their heads together, this could be accomplished in a matter of months. The people of Hawaii could actually experience healing and hope. Return Aina to Kanaka Maoli. Each Hawaiian person should be on the aina momona. They should hold the landʻs title (to be passed to descendants). Base amount of land on % of kanaka blood down to the smallest %. Each Hawaiian should/does own (have returned/released) acres of land, with very lineant building laws. This step would benefit every person who is in association with Hawaii.

Planning is at the root of the problems

Jan. 28 — It really starts at a planning level – the way we build and connect our communities really needs to change. Kakaako was a really good model for having a community be able to live, work and enjoy their neighborhood. There needs to be more leaders and decision makers willing to say, bluntly, that the homes and developments are being built for foreign investors and those that are looking for a “vacation home”. Popular mainstream media and news stations cover the glitzy penthouses and new apartments but it really is in bad taste as many of those that live and work in Hawaii are not able to afford housing. Mixed media areas need to be a priority – Kalihi is a place that could offer a place of working families to buy a home, but areas are designated as “commercial” or other areas are too polluted.Walking and biking should be a priority for our traffic choked city. As innovative ideas and ways of building are being explored (recycle material to build homes, Amazon’s small home idea, stairs in the center of a building to promote movement and wellness, etc.) our leadership should also be able to embrace change and act on it.

Tell us what you think!

Hawai needs to take back its values

Jan. 27 — As a Kalihi kid now living in New England, I dearly wish Hawaii would take a very broad view, and look out at places like Scandinavia, Finland, Iceland and Bhutan as examples for the future.  The economic metrics most of the US uses (e.g. GDP, growth, profit) to determine policy won’t help the underlying causes of many issues in Hawaii, where quality of life matters, but cost of living and inequality is high, not to mention the legacy of colonialism.  Hawaii is bleeding its best people because of the high costs of housing and living, even though it is paradise.  Tourism, military and hi tech alone won’t solve these problems.   Hawaii needs to diversify its economy with sustainability as a top priority, and make a healthy place for its people – this means things like education, housing and health care should be prioritized and accessible to all – and policies based on a happiness index and long term social and environmental sustainability.  State policies and taxes can take the lead and be used to incentivize green energy (centralized geothermal, ocean wave energy, besides solar and wind), electric buses for improved public transportation, reduction of single use plastics, re-use of gray water, reduction of fossil fuels, making cities more people-friendly, reducing toxic pesticides that hurt native flora and fauna, etc.  Hawaii needs to take back its values and priorities to be able to truly realize its potential.

We need to compromise

Jan. 27 — Of course we can overcome our differences.  History teaches us a lot about how this can happen, because many other communities have faced the same problems through our history.  We have to start by recognizing that every community in the world is going through this, and always has, but the rate of change, and necessity to adapt in order to survive is greater than ever. Isolation is no longer a viable option, but neither is imposed homogenization.  An old and still common  approach is to try to suppress or ignore differences.  Even if it works in the short-term it reduces the vitality of a community over the long-term.   Diversity for its own sake, is a newer strategy, but it has an equally bad historical record. Diversity as a goal by itself, is a recipe for conflict and tribalism. The approach that has worked over and over through humanity’s history, and is key to the best parts of our humanity, is to weave a variety of worldviews into a larger worldview that explicitly validates most but not all of the older traditions.  We have to be willing to give up some aspects of our separate worldviews in exchange for being part of something bigger.  If we aren’t willing to give up some parts of our past we are as doomed to fight until we are gone.  As important as vision is, if we ignore our past and dream only of vague utopian futures we will be eliminated  by those that are more practical.  It’s also vital that we keep in mind that the whole planet is going through some version of this dilemma at this point in history, so our solution, if it is to work, has to be part of the development of a larger human identity.  This will inevitably be a painful process, but the pain can be mitigated with compassion, reason, hope, and vision.  A good way to start is to take stock of those aspects of our unique communities that we would like to let go of, as well as those aspects we would most like to hang on to,  and then compare our lists to those of others.  We do this all the time …

Listen to each other

Jan. 27 — I think we could overcome our differences if people start listening to each other and putting themselves in another’s shoes. It is easy to judge someone based on their appearance, speech accent, and income. Instead, we should pay attention to the ideas and knowledge convey to us by others who are more experience and may be closer to the problems (e.g. homeless individuals). In order to move forward, the government could implement solutions proven to work elsewhere immediately and encourage community input on various issues during frequent town hall meetings.

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