It goes without saying that if we don’t set goals, we are sure not to achieve them.
With that in mind, here are 13 public policy goals for your consideration.
* Term limits for state legislators
* Passage of true living wage legislation
* Closing of Red Hill on Oʻahu and reevaluation of military impacts statewide
* Repeal HB499/Act 236 – Relating to lease extensions on public land.
* Criminal justice/Cash Bail reform
* Leadership on climate change
* Increased public funding of state and county elections
* Legalizing the responsible adult use of cannabis
* Affordable housing for ALL local residents
* Food and energy self-sufficiency
* Protection of our streams, coastlines, and mountains
* Ensure Hawai’i teachers are the highest paid, most qualified, and best in the world
* A tax structure that protects local residents and requires offshore investors and the wealthy – to pay their fair share.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s not really.
None of these goals are radical, or ground-breaking. There are models already in place elsewhere – we just need the political will and leadership to make it happen. This should be a slam dunk for a legislature dominated by Democrats such as exists here in Hawai’i.
Term limits would need to be approved by voters but must be put on the ballot by the legislature. 15 states including California presently have legislative term limits.
18 states have legalized the responsible adult use of cannabis.
23 other states have a higher minimum wage.
If a majority of our legislative leaders and the congressional delegation were willing to stand with the public at the gates of Pearl Harbor (either literally or figuratively) until the Navy agreed, you can be assured Red Hill would be closed tomorrow.
There has never been a thorough evaluation of the military’s collective impact in Hawai’i. Hawai’i residents deserve to know what those impacts are, and they deserve a say in whether or not additional future expansion is needed or wanted.
Affordable housing, food and energy self-sufficiency, and protection of our natural environment require a long-term commitment, solid planning, and eternal vigilance.
Attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers is the single most important thing we can do to ensure the positive development of our children.
Tax fairness can be achieved literally with the stroke of a pen. In past legislative sessions numerous proposals were put forth and passed, but then vetoed by the Governor. Without exaggeration 100’s of millions of dollars are being left on the table each year.
Hawai’i is flush with cash and just days ago Governor Ige announced his intention to put a billion dollars into the state’s “rainy day fund”.
Yes, that’s correct. We have a billion dollars extra on hand now and hundreds of millions more each year we are missing out on.
We have the money, but just lack the political leadership to spend it where it needs to be spent – paying teachers more and building more affordable housing would be a good place to start.
Citizen involvement is a prerequisite of political will. Without active citizen participation, the politicians are left only with the voice of big money and big business.
Please. Trust me on this one. Make two calls and send two emails. One to your Representative and another to your Senator.
Share with them your thoughts, your goals, and your expectations. You can find out who they are and their contact information by entering your address at https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/fyl/
If you have more time and energy, please also contact ALL Representatives and ALL Senators.
The legislative session opens on January 19th and adjourns May 5, sine die.
On March 1st candidate filing opens and on June 7th it closes for those running for election in the August 13 primary election. Serious candidates of course will have already begun their campaigns by now or will be starting very soon.
Please get involved. Take ownership of your government. Take action. It’s important.
* Please follow me on Twitter! @garyhooser
**Mahalo to all for your support of Sergio Alcubilla for Congress and for the Pono Hawai’i Initiative. Because of your help, both made their year-end fundraising goals! More to follow…If you are curious as to Why I am supporting Sergio Alcubilla for Congress over Ed Case – this blog piece I wrote recently pretty much explains it. https://garyhooser.blog/2021/12/10/hawaiis-congressional-cd1-why-choose-challenger-sergio-alcubilla-over-blue-dog-ed-case/
***Final note – In the coming days and weeks, I will begin featuring candidates running for election in 2022 – statewide. My focus initially will be focusing on “new” candidates (non-incumbents). Later, I will shift to highlighting those incumbents now in office who share the core values of putting people and the planet above corporate profits, AND whose actions and votes while serving demonstrate that.