Taking back our government, one seat at a time

Why bother being involved in government and politics when Hawaiʻi 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 August 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.

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, 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, Lieutenant Governor, County Council, Congress, and on Maui the Mayor’s race will also be hotly contested. Should Congressman 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 the 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 – lmk, 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

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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