The African-American female voter brought it home when they voted in the 2017 Alabama elections. 98% showed up and voted against Roy Moore, the Republican running for the U.S. Senate seat, who among other things, had a liking for fourteen year-old girls. They proved that when a united voting block shows up at the polls, with the same morals and community values, it can send a powerful message and change the officials that are elected.
I am hoping that something similar to this will happen on Maui next November. For the longest time I hid my head in the sand with regards to local politics, not wanting to be tainted by the corruption. But, this is why we are in the position we are today. For too long career politicians, and the unions and big business that back them, have relied on a low Maui voter turn out. Ask yourself why in 2018 affordable housing is practically non-existent, our waters are polluted, sacred remains of ali’i and warriors have been allowed to be shipped off in tons of sand for cement production on Oahu, water has been diverted by A&B, development of multi million houses have taken precedent over affordable housing, and unqualified industry insiders have been appointed to influential county positions. Now I have children. Now I pay attention.
If you have never voted before on Maui now is the time to register. I know many don’t think it will make a difference or don’t vote in protest. But, as Uncle Alika, who was elected on the county council in 2016 said, “If you are not at the table, you will probably be on the menu.”
If thousands of new women voters show up in November we can huli (turn, reverse) the system and vote for candidates that have our families and the island’s best interests at heart, not big business. If you don’t know who to vote for, follow the money. Who is backing the candidates? How have they voted on key issues in the past? You can go to websites like GradeMauiCouncil.org for research. Yes, we are fighting against a political machine that has been running for decades, but who has it been working for? Definitely not for the majority of families that live here. I want to see a future where we can afford to live on Maui. I want to see a future where our resources are mindfully managed. I don’t want Maui to be the next Oahu. I want Maui to evolve, but still stay Maui. I want to see a sustainable future with sustainable growth with integral leadership.
The County Council consists of nine seats. Bills are passed with a majority vote. All we need are five candidates to take a stand against the status quo and steer Maui into a brighter, more sustainable future and a Mayor that will fight for our rights. 2018 will hopefully be the year that we step up and vote to consciously change Maui’s course. There is an opportunity this year to give our children the chance of a better future and help protect what we love. #huli2018