LETTERS for the October 8 issue
Support Maui candidates who do the right thing
Heads up! This is important — regardless of whether you live on Maui or not.
A new SuperPac based in Reno, Nevada has launched a $120,000 effort to elect a pro-development/pro-corporate slate of new candidates, essentially attempting to take over the Maui County Council.
The Hui O Maui Citizens for Change SuperPac Chairperson and Treasurer is Grant David Gillham, who registered the organization using a Reno address.
Soon Maui will be flooded with social media, radio, newspaper and direct mail support for this effort to take over the council. So, just who is the man leading the charge trying to change the face and actions of the Maui County Council? Who is Grant David Gillham? A description from his own speaker bio: “Mr. Gillham provides clients with deliberate advice on political timing, overcoming regulatory hurdles, swaying public perception, and how to develop relationships with the right persons and agencies in government.”
This is not the first time big money SuperPacs have attempted similar efforts to influence the Maui council.
The candidates being targeted by the pro-development forces on Maui are, of course, the best of the best. They are driven by doing right by the community, first and foremost. Unlike far too many others, they do not live and breathe based on the beck and call of the big corporations.
Why are these exceptional community leaders being targeted? Well for starters, the existing majority on the Maui County Council actually had the audacity to increase taxes on the resort industry. They also have taken strong steps to protect the environment, and they insist that affordable housing be truly affordable and developed in a manner that respects the residents and their community.
Further angering the corporate forces — who historically have always called the shots — is the fact that the Maui County Council is attempting to elevate the importance of sustainable agriculture, and they are willing to discuss the possibility of limits on the visitor industry.
All are reasons why we need to collectively step up and help these candidates, who are in fact willing to do the right thing, for the right reasons, and thus have drawn the ire of big money. Regardless of where you live, if you can, offer the champions listed below whatever help you can. Each and every one of them is an exceptional human being who wakes up every morning wanting to do good for their community. They work hard — and they are working hard now — but they need our help and support. Ballots will be mailed out very soon, so fundraising help is needed NOW.
Where Maui goes, all Hawaii will follow — of this I am sure. Please help Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Kelly Takaya King, Shane Sinenci, Tamara Paltin and Gabriel (Gabe) Johnson.
Last but certainly not least for Maui County residents only, please consider voting “YES” to all seven proposed Charter Amendments!
Pono Hawaii Initiative
Vote for all seven Charter Amendments
Democracy is a deep and profoundly personal process. To not be involved is to usurp the power and beauty of an ever-changing and fluid dialogue on governance — one that makes democracy a truly unique governing principal. The United States has been the birthplace of this idea, and as you can see from the past four years, the price for complacency and non-voting can be the potential for destruction of our entire society.
The other reason is diligence — nature abhors a vacuum, and without us being engaged, a swirl of insanity will be the mouthpieces for even our local government. Russia and China feed confusion to you on this platform right here on Maui. So, the experiment with democracy will ONLY survive and thrive if we are all engaged and respectful of each other.
With this in mind, I ask you to please vote for all seven of the Charter Amendments in the November election. They will bring our local governance and home rule to a real level of service to our local people. We have to ensure our local ability to take care of ourselves is tight; we cannot depend on Oahu or the Mainland.
After a lot of study, I will vote for King, Rawlins, Kamekona, Sinenci, Eyre and Paltin for County Council. I pray for good luck for all of us come Nov. 3.
Kupuna thank Dowling
Na Kupuna O Maui would like to recognize Everett Dowling for his support of the Kanaka Maoli and Hawaiian Homes over the years, including 161 homes at Waikapu (also called Wailuku Heights), 250 homes in Lahaina at Villages of Leiali’i, and the infrastructure for that Hawaiian Homes development.
Na Kupuna appreciate what he has done for the Kanaka Maoli. May the Lord be with you, Mr. Everett Dowling.
Na Kupuna does not want to forget Mona of Hawaiian Homes. Mahalo, Mona, for your dedication to the kanaka.
AUNTY PATTY NISHIYAMA