We have a commitment from eight council candidates to listen to your thoughts and questions Monday, one week before the election. (OK, plus one day.)
The PAL (Permanently Affordable Living) Kaua‘i radio show airs on KKCR between 4 and 6 p.m. the fourth Monday of every month.!
Right now, we plan to ask all of the candidates the questions below. Please suggest better questions if you can, to Jim@PAL-Kauai.org, or call in to the show:
Questions under consideration:
• We all know that affordable housing is nearly non-existent and we are in a full-blown housing crisis — which will soon be dramatically exacerbated by COVID-19. What one specific, NEW action will you take to try to make major progress on this urgent issue … now?
• Can Kaua‘i survive COVID-19? If so, how?
• Can Kaua‘i businesses survive COVID-19? If so, how?
• What would you do, now, to alleviate some of the pressure on our beleaguered local residents?
• What would you do, now, to alleviate some of the pressure on our beleaguered local businesses?
• Why are you the best candidate to earn my vote during these trying times?
COVID-19 effects on affordable living
Many of you know that our show’s (and this column’s) focus is affordable living — which encompasses a wide range of issues — and this month’s show will focus on that, in the light of COVID-19. We always address the issues that Kaua‘i is currently facing, and we try to focus on how you and we can move forward, by offering support and effective solutions to you, our listeners.
There will be up to seven council candidates online with us at one time to give their answers to these — and your — important questions, depending on how many join us. We will time the answers according to how many candidates there are.
You may have noticed that I have addressed some of these urgent topics recently, in detail, in these PAL papers columns in The Garden Island. I have been working to offer helpful suggestions as to what you can do — as an individual (Aug. 24, 2002) and as a business owner or manager (Sept. 28, 2002). Since I wrote those columns, there is no indication that anything is getting any better.
As I said in August — and am still very concerned: COVID-19 could soon explode our housing crisis into a full-blown tragedy! And it could affect and change ALL of our lives: Politicians, business owners and, of course (by far the mostly deeply) the soul of our island, our local families and farm workers! We all know that they are currently leaving their ancestral homeland by the droves! They just can’t hang onto this little rock any longer! We just pray that COVID-19 doesn’t make it much worse!
In the unlikely event any of you missed what I wrote in those columns, here were some of my suggestions:
As an individual or family unit, what can we do?
• Expect the unexpected — which has become the new norm;
• As with any storm or tsunami, start preparing now;
• Analyze your financial future, particularly if you have no income or it is threatened;
• Hold on to your cash. How long can you last? Tighten down. Don’t spend anything that you don’t need to spend;
• If you get in trouble, is there anyone who can and will help? Do you have valuables you can sell?
• Try to figure out how to arrange more income. Is there a part of your home you can rent? If so, do your best to be fair to your tenants. We are literally all on this island together. Those who have vacation rentals could consider converting to long-term rentals. The county will grant homestead tax rate, in some cases, if the rental price is reasonable!
• Solar panels can reduce energy costs and, even, in some cases, your monthly payment. Our contact information is Info@PAL-Kauai.org to help you learn more;
• Do not freak out. But, if you do, don’t get down on yourself. Some emotional turmoil is to be expected in these radical times. Make daily efforts to reduce stress and stay connected to family and friends. Take deep breaths. Consider creative outlets and/or meditation to make it easier to cope;
• Planting a garden can reduce stress, increase happiness and reduce dependence on expensive, store-bought food. If you haven’t gardened before, Google it and start early. Do it with friends or relatives. There’s a learning curve and it’s hard work;
• Get involved in local government. Get to know your councilmembers and state representatives. Many are running for office now, so there is no better time to bend their ears! Express your thoughts and concerns to all politicians;
• Stick together and help each other. And hang in there;
• Think about how we can build a better future and share your visions with everybody’
A list of helpful resources and elected officials, as well as my previous columns, can be found online at thegardenisland.com.
Jim Edmonds is president of PAL Kaua‘i, the nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living, and can be reached at Jim@PAL-Kauai.org.