"It is awkward at best to have to explain that a majority of our state legislators are Democrats in name only (DINO). They are essentially corporatists posing as centrists while getting elected as Democrats. They look at the world through the lens of corporate America and genuinely believe that the Chamber of Commerce and big business knows what's best for the rest of us.
"The recently concluded legislative session provides four clear examples proving unequivocally that in Hawai'i corporate values rule. These four bills are essentially litmus tests. Each provides little to no wiggle room for politicians wanting to straddle the fence.
"Unfortunately, from the perspective of core Democratic Party values, all of leadership in the State
"There are 51 members in the State House, 47 were elected as Democrats and four as Republicans. There are 25 State Senators and 24 are Democrats and only one is a Republican. So yes, at first glance Hawai'i's legislature is overwhelming Democratic. One would think they would be overwhelmingly in support of issues pertaining to economic, social and environmental justice. But sadly, this is not the case.
"HB499 CD1 deals with extending leases on ceded and other public lands. Every single credible organization in Hawai'i dealing with environmental or Hawaiian land and public trust protections is vehemently opposed to this measure. The vote in the House was 15 opposed to 36 in support. Nine Senators opposed and 16 were in support.
"SB614 SD2 if passed, would have eliminated the state income tax on unemployment benefits received in 2021 as a result of COVID. Again, while the Senate voted in support and passed it, leadership in the House refused to even schedule a public hearing on the issue. Yet every Representatives and every Senator voted yes on HB1278 CD1 which awarded businesses $700 million in tax relief. That's correct. They gave business $700 million and gave the unemployed nothing. Not even a public hearing on the issue.
|Patrick Kamakanianu Shea|
Hooser, the former state Senate Majority leader, who penned the opinion piece, wrote, "I know and have worked closely over the years with many who serve in that big square building in downtown Honolulu. The vast majority are pleasant, personable, and well-meaning members of their community. However if the goal is to protect the environment and public trust lands, level the economic playing field, help those that need it the most, and push back hard against injustice at all levels - we need much more than pleasant, personable and well-meaning.
"Looking at the political landscape across the archipelago, and not wanting to risk the core message getting buried in nuance - I will close with the obvious: Electing just 11 new State Representatives and four new State Senators - can change our world here in Hawai'i for the better." See more on Pono Initiative leadership at https://ponohawaiiinitiative.org/board-staff.To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see https://www.facebook.com/kaucalendar/. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com.
PASSING THE BLUE PACIFIC ACT is a campaign of U.S. Congressman Ed Case, Co-Chair and cofounder of the first-ever Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus. The BLUE Pacific Act would establish a comprehensive, long-term U.S. strategy across the Pacific Islands region that:
Expands U.S. diplomatic and development presence in the Pacific Islands; increases U.S. security cooperation and assistance to address regional maritime security, transnational crime and law enforcement issues, including Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing; and deepens and diversifies bilateral and multilateral trade between the U.S. and the region and invests in trade capacity building programs for the region.
|Food security is one of the major issues in the BLUE Pacific Act. Photo from Pacific Ocean Commission|
David Panuelo, President of the Federated States of Micronesia,|
supports more BLUE Pacific cooperation.
Ambassador Hersey Kyota of the Republic of Palau, said, “The Blue Pacific Act is one of the most important legislations for the Pacific Islands and the region. It is very timely, especially now with the ever-increasing threat of climate change, the uncertainty of COVID-19 Pandemic, increasing tension and other challenges in the region. On behalf of the President and the Government of the Republic of Palau, I would like to express my appreciation to the members of the Pacific Islands Caucus.”
|Henry Kyota, Ambassador to the U.S. from Palau, said|
climate change makes BLUE Pacific Act timely.
Mr. Cephas Kayo, chargé d’affaires, a.i. of Papua New Guinea, said, “On behalf of the Government of Papua New Guinea, I welcome this significant and comprehensive initiative spearheaded by Congressmen Ed Case and his fellow members of the U.S. Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus, in se Ambassador
|Gerald Zackios, Ambassador to the U.S. for Republic|
of the Marshall Islands, talked about "integrity of our
Rosemary Banks of New Zealand said, “Pacific Islands countries face a complex and growing array of challenges, including climate change and economic vulnerability. Those challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the Pacific Islands face a long recovery. As one of the region’s top development donors, New Zealand places significant value on the good cooperation we have with the United States. The BLUE Pacific Act would further enhance this cooperation and send an important signal about the United States’ enduring commitment to the region.
Topics will include: Types of waste streams that impact food systems; current and potential policies and infrastructure; developing your waste management program; and case studies.