Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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Why bother being involved in government and politics when Hawai‘i’s lawmakers are crooks?
Why bother testifying at the Legislature when the policy decisions are fixed and insiders with money are calling the shots?
As a good friend once told me, “What else are you gonna do, Gary, just give ’em the keys?” And as other more-cynical friends would say, “They already have the keys, in fact, they have the whole building.”
Nope. We’re not gonna give them the keys AND we are in fact going to take the building back. We can and we must. There is no choice, really. The planet, our ancestors and future generations are counting on us.
The answer is stepping up, not stepping back.
The “people’s work” is what our elected leaders are supposed to be doing, and many are trying their best to do just that. But they need reinforcements.
We can throw the bad apples out, but only if we have good people to step up to take their place. All the moaning and groaning is for naught if when we show up to vote on Aug. 13 there’s only one name to choose from.
In a state where the Democratic Party brand dominates, for state legislative races the primary election is everything. In the 2020 primary statewide, 34 legislators got a free ride and ran unopposed. On Kaua‘i, all four state legislators ran unopposed in the primary election.
Competition is good and healthy. Without it, there is complacency and arrogance, which sets the stage for insider dealing, pay-to-play, and, ultimately, a betrayal of the public trust.
2022 is a year of political opportunity. There will be more retirements and resignations, and most would say that more indictments and arrests are likely as well.
Every single seat in the state House and Senate is up for election, plus the governor’s, lieutenant governor’s, County Council’s, U.S. Congress, and on Maui the mayor’s race will also be hotly contested.
Should Congressman Kaiali‘i Kahele decide to run for governor, then it’s likely at least two other seats open up “down ticket” as everyone below tries to “move up.”
As they say in politics, 2022 will be a year where there is “movement,” especially with voters in a sour mood spurred on by bribery and corruption. They will be looking for change options.
But change will only happen when good people from across the islands put away their fears, doubts and excuses and put themselves forward as candidates.
It’s called responsibility, obligation — kuleana.
Yes, it’s hard. Cry me a river. Then suck it up, put your big person pants on and do it. Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone because no one else is willing to do it, and if no one does it bad things will happen. So it falls on your shoulders to step up and step out.
It’s hard, it’s challenging, and it’s a tremendous opportunity to help make your community and our world a better place.
If you’re interested, if you have an even modest track record of leadership and participation in your community (PTSA, coach, board member, volunteer), and if your core values are centered around putting people and the planet first — let me know, I’d love to talk more.
And if for whatever reason you are not that person, please reach out and support others who are willing to take the plunge. Running a successful campaign is a team effort, and every candidate needs help. Volunteer, give money, spread the word — but get involved, please.
As the saying goes, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”
Gary Hooser is the former vice-chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and served eight years in the state Senate, where he was majority leader. He also served for eight years on the Kaua‘i County Council, and was the former director of the state Office of Environmental Quality Control. He serves in a volunteer capacity as board president of the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action and is executive director of the Pono Hawai‘i Initiative.
Sorry, Gary. But when people can’t afford gas, groceries (including availability on store shelves and putting food on the table), increased taxes, medical bills, medicine, crime victim costs (financially and mentally), illegal immigration, rewarding being unemployed at the common taxpayers expense, overreach mandates, illogical approaches to equality (ex: CRT) and caring for the earth (ex: climate change agenda), they will vote out those who put policies in place that made the aforementioned happen. Each individual will have to make their own decision independently by looking at what has happened to them under these policies over the years. Hopefully there will be candidates that care about these issue and will do their best to fix them, and bring honesty and honor back to public office.
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