Where Hawaii's Leaders Face Off
What are your party’s legislative priorities for 2008?
|JEANI WITHINGTON |
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF HAWAII
|WILLES K. LEE |
HAWAII REPUBLICAN PARTY
|The coming legislative session will face significant opportunities as well as challenges. The need for decisive leadership is a clear priority because the issues before us demand it. The state’s economy is at a critical juncture. Its capacity to meet the immediate needs of Hawaii’s people will be defined in part by the budget decisions the Legislature makes in 2008. |
At the same time, we cannot neglect our responsibilities to Hawaii’s future generations and here is where I think Democrats will make the greatest difference.
As a party, we have a rich history of advancing the cause of a just, free and fair society. We have fought and won the battles that count: civil rights, equal rights, environmental protection, labor and education reform, the creation of a social safety net for those in need. All of these advances happened because Democrats acted.
Our Legislature and our people face a new set of challenges today. Population growth and development strain both Hawaii’s natural resources and its infrastructure. Forces outside the state put at risk what is perhaps our greatest asset: the ability of a diverse people to live and work together.
Soaring energy costs will remain beyond our control unless the state accelerates programs to speed the development of locally produced energy alternatives.
Food prices and available choices will be threatened unless we act decisively to protect our agricultural lands and “grow local.” Gains in education and quality of life will suffer if we don’t help create a wider field of opportunity for all our people, especially the young. Hawaii must offer more opportunities for its people to make living wages.
In the coming legislative session, let us all come together with open hearts to vigorously debate the issues, and to set a course that both meets our challenges and seizes upon our opportunities in the finest of democratic traditions.
Do you remember the days when Forbes magazine called us the “People’s Republic of Hawaii?” We’ve come a long way since then, but there is still more to do. Hawaii’s economy and the confidence of Hawaii businesses have increased significantly since Gov. Linda Lingle declared in 2002 that Hawaii was “open for business.”
Do you like what you read? Subscribe to Hawaii Business Magazine »