The national political races, particularly for US President, have taken a lot of attention. One vote among hundreds of millions can seem like it doesn’t have much effect.
Locally, there are several races that could be close, where your vote will have much more power. Here are my recommendations:
- Hawai`i Island OHA seat — In this run-off election, Lanakila Mangauil would add integrity and agitation to a lethargic, entrenched OHA. He speaks from the heart for the Hawaiian people, and understands the inter-sectionality of indigenous rights, social justice, and climate action.
- State House District 4–Ilagan has proven himself beholden to agribusiness and Oahu-driven development. I’d prefer a Hilo native from the new Aloha `Aina Party, Desmon Haumea.
- Hawai`i County Council District 5–If you live in upper Puna, Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder deserves your vote in this close run-off election. He organized a regulation prohibiting roll-out of the controversial 5G EMF technology that many distinguished scientists warn can have serious negative human health effects. He was a watchdog on County law enforcement spending to protect TMT interests, and he is a strong supporter of our open spaces law.
- Hawai`i County Mayor–I’ll go with Ikaika Marzo, he seems like fresher blood compared with the County’s former prosecutor. I like his talk on food sustainability, and he appears to have good aloha. He was certainly very helpful to us through Hawaii Tracker during the eruption.
- Hawai`i County Ballot Questions on PONC. PONC is our County’s excellent 2% land fund, through which a portion of our property taxes is pooled to purchase significant heritage lands and preserve them perpetually. This citizen’s initiative, now about 15 years old, has kept many beautiful places from being developed. There will be 2 questions for improving the functionality of PONC administration and maintenance, and although not perfect, I urge YES on both.
Here is where you can browse a preview of the ballot. Remember, with the unfortunate stress that has been added to the Postal Service, your most secure bet for having your vote counted is to drop it off at the Pahoa Police Station or the Hilo County Building.
For election interviews, I find the Honolulu Civil Beat does a decent job, although many of the candidates give rather blase answers.