Sunday, December 7, 2008

Next time we all need to get out and vote for candidates that Malama Aina

We need to get educated and vote better in the future. If the Hawaiians and others who want positive change would have gone out and voted for people like Michael Howden, Kai Nashiki, and Summer Starr Maui would be a lot better off in my opinion. We have to tell all our family and friends how important it is to vote for what you believe in. This is why I did a research paper on Michael Howden and tried as best that I could to spread the word to vote for positive change.

We really need to do this for the next election on the county coucil because what we have now is killing Maui. Please encourage the people that you support to run again. Write letters and spread awareness.
Here is my paper on Howden, hopefully he runs the next time around and we all go a support the "good" candidates. Mahalo Annjulie

Malama Aina Says a Country Man

A true country man has emerged in the 2008 political arena, aiming for the Maui County Council seat for Upcountry Maui. I first learned of Michael Howden at the water rights hearings when he gave public testimony in September of 2008. As soon as I heard his honest and compassionate view on this critical subject of reinstated water flow to our streams I was hooked. For me, this subject is a no-brainer and Michael Howden nailed it down immediately! This was my introduction to the political candidates running for Maui positions and the County Council. I wanted to find out more about all the candidates, I realized that if I wanted to make a difference in our future I needed to research and vote for candidates that supported my views. Water is the life line for all of us including the natural habitat and just about everything on this island from the summit of Haleakala to the reef in Keanae. Anyone that has the ability, determination, and patience to accomplish this goal has all my support.
I chose to start my research with Michael Howden because I was touched by his public testimony, he has lived in the rural area of Kaupo, and shares the same views that I have been raised with and believe in. According to his website, he stated “To build community we need to return certain rights to our communities. Without homes, without access to enough land and water to care for our families, we are essentially dispossessed”. When I first heard Michael speak about the “‘aina” (land), “wai” (water), and “ahupuaa” (land devision) I could feel his passion and sense of urgency on the issue (Pukui and Elbert 7, 142, & 6). And according to The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008, how we are “defined by our relation to ‘aina, and how we receive nourishment from it. And without access to the tremendous reservoir of public trust waters, it may be near impossible to develop subsistence agricultures throughout the County of Maui”, I could not agree more. When you have lived in the country off of the land, and where the water is scarce you learn about harmony, efficiency and sustainable living together with the environment or you do not survive. Here are the fact box stats on Howden, according to The Maui News: October 11, 2008.
Fact Box
Name: Michael S. Howden: Office: County Council, Upcountry residency Residence: Kula. Occupation: Acupuncture/Permaculture Design Education: M.A., Johns Hopkins University B.A., Middlebury College. Family: married, 1 child. Service organizations: Board Member, Maui Tomorrow Foundation Kaho'olawe, Revegetation Projects Coaching: AYSO/HYSA, Basketball, Baseball Legal Aid Society, Client Community Council. Boards: Member, Maui County Board of Water Supply Chair, Hawai'i State Board of Acupuncture. Business: interests: Owner, Permaculture Maui, Owner, Michael S. Howden Acupuncture. Contact info: e-mail: michael@permaculturemaui.com phone: 876-1551/878-3878 hm.fax: c/o Kula Clinic, 876-4332 cell: (largely unused) 385-0383.
In conducting my research of Michael Howden I found that he does not have the political experience that his opposition does. Incumbent Gladys Baisa has held the seat since 2006 and has an enormous portfolio to contend with. Also, Howden is focused on the water issues concerning Maui, past that he is in support of renewable and sustainable energy, creating jobs and diversified agriculture, and affordable housing. I agree with everything that I have researched on Howden, but I am concerned about the lack of experience and the lack of attention on many other issues that Maui and the community are currently faced with.
In researching the opponent Gladys Baisa, I found that she and Michael Howden agree on some of the same issues of “the water crisis”, creating new jobs and renewable energy, affordable housing, and education. They disagree however, on the methods of addressing these critical issues. Baisa is for drilling wells, desalinization, large developments like Wailea 670 for instance and Howden does not support this kind of development at all. I agree that she has done a decent job thus far and definitely has the most experience out of the two. Baisa has been a successful business woman with Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. executive director (retired) The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008 and a list of numerous accomplishments within our Maui community that is quiet impressive to say the least. When asked “Why are you running?” by The Honolulu Advertiser, this was her response: “To continue to try to address the serious social and economic issues facing Maui County. I did this in my previous job, building a tiny organization into a large, viable one providing many valued services. I believe I have the leadership, communication, and team building skills to do this.”
Last week my entire class went to a candidate forum where we were able to ask our own questions and learn more about each candidate. It was at this forum that I was again impressed with Michael Howden and what he had to say. I feel that Michael Howden best represents my views and will do the best job out of passion and commitment to care for our precious ‘aina. This was Howdens response to the same question given to Baisa from The Honolulu Advertiser. “Why are you running for office?” “I feel a certain impatience with the overall lack of relevance of politics as it is presently practiced, to our everyday needs and expectations. As delicate island ecology, we cannot continue to poison our soils and waters; neither can we wholly rely on food markets thousands of miles distant from our islands. We must return all public trust waters to our communities”.
I just agree with Michael Howden and the core issues on a deeper level than I do with incumbent Gladys Baisa. Howden is endorsed by The Sierra Club, Maui and I feel that Howden is the best candidate for the job and that Maui needs more politicians like Michael Howden who want to protect the precious resources and environment versus those who care more about money, development, special interests and exploiting Maui until it is too late. We need people in our government who think like “we the makaainana” (commoners & protector/caretakers of the land) (Pukui and Elbert 90). We need to take back the government and give it back to the people, common folks like Michael Howden who “malama” (care for) the ‘aina (Pukui and Elbert 92).

Works Cited
Gladys Coelho Baisa Maui County Council Upcountry Seat. 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.gladysbaisa.com/.
Elect Michael Howden Maui County Council. 27 Oct. 2008 http://michaelhowden.org/.
“Hawaii Elections 2008.” The Honolulu Advertiser 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/.
“The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008.” The Maui News 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.mauinews.com/.
Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Smuel H. Elbert. New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary: With A Concise Grammer and Given Names in Hawaiian. Honolulu: University of Hawaii 1992.

1 comment:

Kai said...

Well said! Thank you for writing about such important issues.

Aloha,
Kai