Will more jobs keep kids at home?To the Forum:

The GPU Discussion Draft projects a population of 65,000 to 74,000 in the year

2020. But the GPU emphasizes job creation, government support of business, and

a strong, growing economy. And economic growth is population growth.

The

object is jobs for residents. Trying to create opportunity on Kaua’i so our

children won’t need to find work elsewhere.

But will it work?

In 1970,

when the population was less than 30,000, our youth were leaving Kaua’i for

better jobs in Honolulu or the mainland. 30 years of economic growth and job

creation have doubled our population. Yet the youth still leave to find

jobs.

So what happened?

Well, while our kids were job-seeking

elsewhere, other people’s kids found work here.

So why shouId we now

believe more jobs will keep our young at home? How will the next 20 years be

any different?

Since 1980 we have doubled the Average Daily Visitor Census,

yet the complaints go on. How will 8,000 more tourists help? Or 16,000

more?

When I came to Honolulu in 1951, politicians promised growth and job

creation so our youth wouldn’t leave home to seek their fortunes. For almost 50

years we’ve heard that promise and now, as O’ahu’s population approaches a

million, our young are still leaving.

They’re not just going for jobs:

They’re escaping high-cost housing, traffic congestion, low ranking schools,

long commutes, and a cost of living which, for many, means taking on a second

job just to pay rent or put food on the table.

Jobs were created and the

City grew. And it can happen here.

Leigh Josephson

Hanalei

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