We Couldn't Agree More

Posted by Miwa at Mar 25, 2009 06:48 PM |

From Christine Sheppard, with the Kona Coffee Farmers Association:

Our Hawaii State Legislature operates out of Oahu, and this makes sense. But what does not make sense is the way in which they operate, which essentially disenfranchises all of the outer islands.Bills are scheduled with little or no notice, and written testimony is required to be sent one day ahead. An almost impossible task! Plus we all know that testifying in person makes a much bigger impact on our representatives and senators. But how can people in Hawaii do this? Even if you get two days notice of a hearing, planes are full, flights not available that get there early enough, costs are prohibitively high.

Sometimes it seems that these arrangements are deliberate… let the big corporations on Oahu have the floor to themselves because outer island farmers cannot get there to make their voice heard. HB1226, the Pre-emption Bill, is a classic case of denying outer islands their rights of self-determination.

There is an answer! Hawaii County Council offers video conferencing so that Kona people can give personal testimony to the Council when it is sitting in Hilo, and vice versa.

Why can’t the State do the same?

Make it easier for people to tell their elected representatives how they feel about a Bill. Or perhaps our representatives don’t want to know what WE want, and are too busy running through their own special interests to care?

From the Hawaii Reporter: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?e0e1b47f-f8a5-454d-997e-26fc9a0dbbd9

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