Progressive PAC Endorses Maile

Progressive PAC Endorsements
by Progressive Democrats of Hawaii
Friday, August 13, 2010 at 4:44pm

The Progressive PAC, made up of members of Progressive Democrats of Hawaii and Americans for Democratic Action Hawaii, recently released its list of endorsements for this election year. Of all the PAC’s endorsements, there are a handful of candidates that will receive financial assistance from the PAC.

After much examination of candidates’ position on civil unions, emergency contraception in the emergency room, job security, progressive taxation, renewable energy, education, we have targeted our support for the following candidates who are in key races.

Neil Abercrombie for Governor
Gary Hooser for Lt. Governor
Michael Golojuch for 19th State Senate District
Representative Blake Oshiro in House District 33
Linda Ichiyama for House District 31
Jason Bradshaw for House District 43
Cynthia Rezentes for House District 44

The Progressive PAC, to fund its donations to candidates, will be holding a fundraiser on Saturday, August 21. at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St. from noon to 2:00pm and tickets are a suggested $60 donation. We need your help to support these candidates to ensure they win their primary races!

Here also, is the list of candidates in other races who the PAC has endorsed:

Senate District 8 – Larry Price endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 9 – Les Ihara endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 11 – Carol Fukunaga endorsed
Senate District 13 – Suzanne Chun-Oakland endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 19 – Michael Golojuch endorsed with enthusiasm
Senate District 24 – Jill Tokuda endorsed
House District 1 – Mark Nakashima endorsed
House District 4 – Fay Hanohano endorsed
House District 9 – Gil Keith-Agaran endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 11 – Joe Bertram endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 18 – Mark Hashem & T.J. Lane endorsed (dual endorsement)
House District 20 – Dwight Synan endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 23 – Tom Brower endorsed
House District 27 – Lynn Vasquez endorsed
House District 28 – Karl Rhoads endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 36 – Roy Takumi endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 38 – Marilyn Lee endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 39 – Marcus Oshiro endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 40 – Michael Doyle endorsed with enthusiasm
House District 45 – Maile Shimabukuro endorsed
House District 51 – Chris Lee endorsed with enthusiasm

Blog post with same info here, http://pd-hawaii.com/blog/?p=643#more-643
http://www.facebook.com/notes/progressive-democrats-of-hawaii/progressive-pac-endorsements/457917921390?ref=mf

Rep. Shimabukuro Authors Proposal & Petition to Bring E Ala Voyaging Canoe Home to Wai`anae Coast

Gege Kawelo (right) is one of the passionate leaders who organized the building of the E Ala voyaging canoe. Rep. Shimabukuro (left) hopes to help bring the E Ala home to the Wai`anae Coast.

E Ala voyaging canoe captains Sam Kapoi, Kaina Holomalia, and Waimea McKeague are all young men from the Wai`anae Coast.

Rep. Shimabukuro has joined the community effort to bring the E Ala voyaging canoe home to the Wai`anae Coast. She authored the written proposal, posted an online Petition, and introduced legislation seeking state funding for the project. To learn more, read the proposal by Rep. Shimabukuro below.

PROPOSAL TO USE POKA`I BAY FOR E ALA VOYAGING CANOE DRY DOCK

WHO: Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), Wai`anae Hawaiian Civic Club (WHCC), and many other individuals are making this request (See spreadsheet listing E Ala supporters and volunteers in Appendix 1). Makaha Studios has prepared a video with further information regarding this proposal.

WHAT: PVS, WHCC, and others urge the city to allow the use of Poka`i Bay as a location to permanently dry dock the E Ala voyaging canoe. The canoe would be stored under an energy efficient A-frame structure modeled after a halau wa`a in Laie (See model drawing of the “Halau Wa`a `O E Ala” in Appendix 2). The E Ala halau wa`a would feature photo-voltaic solar panels which would provide power for lighting and outlets. A fence, locks, and other security measures would also be constructed to prevent theft, vandalism, vagrancy, and other potential problems.

WHERE: Specifically, the old canoe storage area near the Kuilioloa Heiau would be the ideal location for the E Ala halau wa`a.

WHY: The E Ala needs to be returned home to the Wai`anae Coast to fulfill its purpose, which is to train residents to sail using ancient Hawaiian navigation techniques. As background, the E Ala is currently docked at the Sand Island Maritime Education Training Center (METC). It was constructed on the Wai`anae Coast in 1981 under the leadership of WHCC. At the time, Wai`anae and Nanakuli High School had programs that used the canoe to train students to sail, and the canoe was docked at Wai`anae boat harbor. Unfortunately, funding, liability, and other concerns eventually ended the school-based programs, and the canoe was vandalized while at the boat harbor. This lead to the E Ala being moved to METC, where it has been ever since. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm for E Ala never ended, and PVS has continued to train Wai`anae Coast students to sail and maintain the E Ala (See E Ala background from WHCC website in Appendix 3).

HOW: A dedicated group of volunteers is willing to provide in-kind services to construct and maintain the halau wa`a, fence, and other necessary security measures (See spreadsheet listing E Ala supporters and volunteers in Appendix 1). A federal grant and state legislative measures are being submitted to provide supplemental funding for the E Ala halau wa`a. In February 2010, City employee Edward Freitas stated that from a maintenance perspective, he would not object to allowing the E Ala to be docked at Poka`i Bay.

Furthermore, as stated above, the push to return E Ala to the Wai`anae Coast has been on-going for many years; the key missing elements were captains, crew members, and a location. PVS has trained 3 captains (Sam Kapoi, Kaina Holomalia, and Waimea McKeague), and several crews, who are all young Wai`anae Coast residents. These captains and crews sailed the E Ala, along with two other canoes, Hokule`a and Kamauheheu, back to the Wai`anae Coast from April 20-May 1, 2010 (See media coverage of the Wai`anae Coast sail in Appendix 4). The greater community has also expressed its support, as over 500 people have signed petitions urging the City to provide the permission necessary to allow the E Ala to be docked at Poka`i Bay (See E Ala Petitions in Appendix 5).

WHEN: PVS, WHCC, and other supporters urge the City to allow E Ala to be docked at Poka`i Bay immediately, or as soon as possible.

APPENDICES:

Appendix 1 – Spreadsheet listing E Ala supporters and volunteers (available upon request)

Appendix 2 – Model drawing of the “Halau Wa`a `O E Ala”

Appendix 3 – E Ala background from WHCC website, http://waianaehcc.org/eala.htm

Appendix 4 – Media coverage of the E Ala canoe’s Wai`anae Coast sail (April 20-May 1, 2010)

Appendix 5 – Petitions (hand-written and online) urging the City to allow E Ala to be docked at Poka`i Bay

William Jr. & Melva Aila Endorse Maile


“Maile is a proven leader who is concerned about our environment, social welfare, and economy. We have worked along side her on many issues, and we know her heart is in the right place.”

~ William Jr. and Melva Aila and `Ohana

Carol Bonham Endorses Maile

“Maile has worked very hard on the People’s Path and beautifying our beaches. I back Maile all the way!”

~ Carol Bonham, Wai`anae Coast resident and “People’s Path” volunteer

Sandra Aken Endorses Maile


“Maile has helped my family and the people of Wai`anae so much. She has proven her commitment to this Coast.”

~ Sandra Aken, Wai`anae Coast resident

Sierra Club Hawaii Endorses Maile

Click the image to zoom in.

Hawaii Teamsters Local 996 Endorses Maile

Click the image to zoom in.

MAILE’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS


“I am proud of the things I have been able to achieve while in office.” -Rep. Maile Shimabukuro (D), House of Representatives District 45, Waianae, Makaha, Makua


EDUCATION

Air conditioning and/or power upgrades for Wai`anae High School ($2m), Wai`anae Intermediate School ($400,000), and Kamaile Elementary School ($500,000)
Fans for Leihoku, Makaha, Wai`anae, and Kamaile Elementary Schools; and for Wai`anae Intermediate and Wai`anae High Schools
Teacher Induction Program: $1m to fund a new teacher mentoring/orientation program for WHS and its feeder schools (co-introduced with Sen. Hanabusa)

HOUSING
Maili Self-Help Housing: Obtained federal funding through Rep. Mazie Hirono’s office

Sea Winds Affordable Housing Project: Obtained federal funding through Rep. Mazie Hirono’s office
Nanakuli Housing Corporation: supported grant-in-aid
Kahikolu Ohana Hale O Wai`anae: transitional and low cost rentals at Uluwehi ($500,000 operating funds; $1m CIP)
Habitat for Humanity: supported grant-in-aid
Ohana Ola O Kahumana: additional transitional housing units and community center
Rent Supplement Program: added a 3 month period to secure a rental unit to the state rent supplement program

TRANSPORTATION
Turn Lanes at Nanakuli and Haleakala Avenues ($2m)
Wai`anae Coast pathway: secured $5,000 AlohaCare grant; organized volunteer clean-ups and work days at Maili Point and “Sewers” Beach
Flood Control along Farrington Highway in Makaha ($3.5m)


JOB TRAINING
Waianae Maritime Academy grant-in-aid
MA`O Organic Farm internship program/partnership with LCC ($75,000/year)

Wai`anae Education Center for Leeward Community College (LCC-W), which provides LCC-W with its own building, and creates job-training opportunities for area residents ($3m)

ENVIRONMENT
Makaha Surfing Beach: honored Richard “Buffalo” Keaulana on Hawaiian Caucus Day 2010, and pushed for a replacement shower
Solar Energy: increased incentives to participate in the net energy metering program, which allows residential and small commercial customers to sell back excess energy earned through solar power to HECO
Artificial Surfing Reef: resolution urged designation of the Wai`anae Coast for an artificial surfing reef pilot project (Senate companion became vehicle)

Kea`au Beach Clean-Up: co-organized Kokua Festival/Kanu HI event, which drew over 200 volunteers and several private industry donors, and removed approximately 700 bags of trash, several tons of bulky items, a 20′ container of metal, 25+ batteries, 200+ tires, an 18′ boat, a broken trailer, and 200+ tires (Feb. 2010)

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Hale Na`au Pono building improvements
Empower Wai`anae grant-in-aid
Indigenous Architecture: legalized traditional hale, halau, and other native Hawaiian structures for residential and non residential use statewide (Senate companion became the vehicle)

Wai`anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center: supported the largest employer on the Wai`anae Coast with $1m capital improvement, and measures which improved the health contract bid process (HB1642/Act 69 & SCR179), supported WCCHC’s medical school (SCR 178), & restored $332,000 to fund the ER (SB2469)

HUMAN SERVICES
Disability benefits: allowed the disabled to claim both physical and mental disability when seeking welfare assistance
Good Cause Exemption for disabled: allowed the disabled to claim good cause from requirement to pursue medical treatment
Due Process for the Needy: required that appeals hearings for welfare recipients be conducted in a fair and impartial manner
Medicaid reimbursement: increased Medicaid/QUEST reimbursement rates for outpatient treatment

Rep. Shimabukuro Is Dedicated to Beautifying the Wai`anae Coast

Maile holds her son, Keani, in front of trash gathered after cleaning up Poka`i Bay.





Rep. Shimabukuro treasures the natural beauty of the Wai`anae Coast, and has enjoyed organizing many beach clean-ups over the years. She looks forward to continuing to do this in the years to come. Here is coverage of some of the beach clean ups that Rep. Shimabukuro has helped organize; click on the links to view photos, videos, and the stories:

1) 4/18/10 Lualualei #1, aka “Sewer’s Beach”
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2010/04/sewers-beach-clean-up-success-watch.html


2) 2/13/10 Kea`au Beach
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2010/02/keaau-beach-clean-up-success.html


3) 1/16/10 Maili Point
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2008/09/recognition-for-waianae-coast-2-mile.html


4) 1/24/09 Maili Point
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2009/01/photo-from-kaukama-road-pathway-clean.html


5) 9/27/08 Maili Point
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2008/09/volunteers-needed-to-water-plants-along.html


6) 8/29/08 Poka`i Bay Clean Up
http://electmaile.blogspot.com/2008/09/pokai-bay-clean-up-photos.html


7) 4/26/08 Maili Point
http://maile45.blogspot.com/2008/03/join-maile-and-her-family-beach-clean.html



Mahalo nui loa to all the hard-working volunteers who helped make these clean-ups a success. For more information about beach clean-ups, email maileshimabukuro@yahoo.com.

Letter from Thomas Dalbert re HB444

Thomas Dalbert, Wai`anae resident


Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Aloha Maile,

I’d like to thank you for your well-written, unemotional blog entry and your courage to re-state one more time what HB444 was all about: equality and constitutionality!

I know that you didn’t have to do that now that it failed anyway but I’m encouraged to see that there are still politicians out there that are not afraid to speak their mind even if they might lose a few votes.

Mahalo,
Thomas Dalbert, Wai`anae resident

Rep. Shimabukuro Obtains $3m for Higher Learning: The Wai`anae Education Center

During the past legislative session, Rep. Shimabukuro obtained $3m for the Leeward Community College-Wai`anae (LCC-W) Education Center. The funds are needed to support LCC-W’s goal of owning its own building, thus ending its obligation to pay monthly rent, and increasing the college’s autonomy and ability to expand. LCC-W has been renting a small space near Wai`anae Mall throughout its existence.


“Supporting LCC-W will go a long way toward addressing problems like our high teacher turnover by fostering more homegrown teachers and other professionals,” said Rep. Shimabukuro, who is a member of LCCW’s Community Advisory Board.


“Now it is in the Governor’s hands to decide whether or not to release the $3m,” Shimabukuro continued. “If the money is not released, the funds could lapse.”

Members of the public should call, email, fax, and write the Governor urging her to release the funds immediately. The Governor’s contact information is:

The Honorable Linda Lingle
Governor, State of Hawai`i
Executive Chambers
State Capitol
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813

Phone: 808-586-0034
Fax: 808-586-0006

Email: governor.lingle@hawaii.gov


People worldwide may also sign the Petition created by Rep. Shimabukuro. So far 151 people have already signed, and several have made passionate pleas to the Governor. One signer wrote:

I have built my foundation has a student, mother of five residing in Waianae for 20 years. I am trully blessed for LCC-Waianae. I have always wanted to come back to school. My dream has come true I have been in college since 2007 till this day. I have never been happier for the simple fact I do not have to travel a far distance for majority of my classes. Being the crunch times with cars and traffic along Farrington Hwy attending LCC-Waianae has made my schooling much simplier. I am hoping before the time I need to transfer there will be more classes avail. or even another stucture to hold more classes for people like me who finds LCC-Waianae home. I really love our campus at Waianae. we all need to stand together and Malama our Hale for college Education.”
— Florence Kealawailukini Eli-Adams

To sign the Petition, contact Rep. Shimabukuro, LCC-W, or go to this link:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/urge-governor-to-release-3m-for-lcc-waianae

Leeward Community College-Wai`anae, established in 1972 as part of Leeward Community College, collaborates with several Community Partners, such as MA`O Farms Youth Leadership Program and Community Supported Agriculture, Wai`anae Health Academy, and Ka Lama Education Academy.

LCC-W offers a variety of first and second year college credit classes in liberal arts, education, business, and career and technical areas. Students can complete an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree entirely at the Wai`anae campus. It offers the advantage of being close to home for Waianae Coast residents, with small class sizes, friendly and helpful staff, and caring, competent, and knowledgeable instructors and counselors.

For more information about Leeward Community College-Wai`anae, call 696-6378 or visit their website at http://www.lcc.hawaii.edu/lccw.

International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Endorses Maile in 2010

“Mahalo nui loa to the ILWU for its on-going support of my campaigns all these years!”

~Maile

Rep. Shimabukuro Helps Protect Wai`anae Coast Residents from Floods

Lynette Kotake of Makaha alerted Rep. Shimabukuro about the drainage problem along Farrington Highway, which lead to the devastating flooding in the area. Fortunately, Rep. Shimabukuro obtained $3.5m to help address the blockage.



Click the image for the full story and video
Rep. Shimabukuro shows news reporters the debris in a Makaha streambed, which was brought to her attention by resident Kris Meyer and others. Later during the 2009 Legislative session, Rep. Shimabukuro helped pass Act 076, which allows Civil Defense to clear debris from privately owned streambeds like the one in Makaha without having to obtain written permission from the landowners.

Kris Meyer of Woody’s Hotdogs was one of the flood victims who contacted Rep. Shimabukuro, the media, Civil Defense, and others to bring attention to the plight of the Wai`anae Coast following the December 2008 floods.

Following the December 2008 floods, which devastated many homes along the Wai`anae Coast, Rep. Shimabukuro and others alerted the media about the situation. This, along with the efforts of many other residents, lead the Civil Defense, National Guard, FEMA, Red Cross, and other organizations to come to the aid of Wai`anae Coast flood victims. Later, during the 2009 legislative session, Rep. Shimabukuro helped pass HB 1713/Act 076, which allows Civil Defense to clear debris from private waterways without having to obtain written permission from the landowners. Subsequently, during the 2010 legislative session, at the urging of Makaha flood victims, Rep. Shimabukuro obtained $3.5m to perform critical drainage improvements along Farrington Highway.

The view the text, testimony, committee reports, etc. for HB 1713, search http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov, or visit: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2009/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1713

August 2010 Email from a Makaha flood victim:

Aloha Maile,

I just wanted to drop you a short note to thank you for all your efforts in helping us at …Farrington Highway to get the drainage problem fixed by the Department of Transportation, State of Hawaii. I am happy to report to you that the State has received the appropriation to fix the problem that we had with flooding during the December 2008 storm. Brennon Morioka and his staff have been FABULOUS! They have hired an outside consultant to assist with the project and are proceeding to move toward its completion. We met with them on site to review and discuss what needed to be done. All this could not have been done without YOUR help and we are most appreciative. It is people like you, Brennon and his staff that make this world a better place and we are grateful, as always, for all that you do.

Most appreciatively yours,
Lynette Kotake, Makaha homeowner


Maile’s Resume

REP. MAILE S. L. SHIMABUKURO
HAWAI`I STATE CAPITOL
415 S. BERETANIA STREET,
ROOM 406
HONOLULU, HAWAI`I 96813
(808) 586-8460 (PH) / (808) 586-8464 (FAX)
repshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov

WORK EXPERIENCE

January 2003 –Present
REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 45 (WAI`ANAE/MĀKAHA/MĀKUA), HAWAI`I STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Vice-Chair, Hawaiian Affairs Committee; Member, Education, Higher Education, Health, and Human Services Committees; Women’s Caucus; Hawaiian Caucus

June 2001 – Present
ATTORNEY, LEGAL SERVICES OGANIZATION
Represent clients in family, housing, public benefits, and consumer court and administrative proceedings; teach divorce clinics; conduct community outreach, staff training, intake services, and legal research; write briefs and legal memorandums; provide legal counsel and advice

June 2000 – June 2001
LAW CLERK, DISTRICT COURT, STATE OF HAWAI`I
Prepared orders and pleadings; performed legal research; assisted with settlement conferences and committee meetings; staffed law library; and fielded questions from the public

August 1998 – December 1999
LEGAL ASSISTANT, ALAN B. BURDICK, ATTORNEY AT LAW
Composed legal memoranda, demand letters, pleadings and correspondence; Conducted client interviews, home visits, and investigation; Performed legal research and filing for solo personal injury practitioner/insurance specialist

May 1999 – August 1999
RESEARCH ASSISTANT, UNIVERSITY OF HI WILLIAM S. RICHARDSON SCHOOL OF LAW
Wrote, edited & performed research for portions of casebook on internment of Japanese Americans during WWII

May 1998 – August 1998;
February 1992 – August 1997
PARALEGAL, LEGAL SERVICES ORGANIZATION
Represented clients in welfare, social security, and unemployment administrative hearings; Assisted attorney with family, housing and consumer cases; Composed briefs, pleadings, memorandums of law and training manuals; Testified before legislature; Conducted intake, client interviews, home visits, notaries, legal research, training and outreach; sent to The Benchmark Institute advocacy skills training in June 1996

Feb. 1992 – July 1996
REPORTER, THE LEEWARD COASTER
Wrote monthly news, feature and investigative articles; Edited health center newsletter

June 1995 – August 1995
EDITORIAL INTERN, TRADE PUBLISHING COMPANY
Wrote/edited news & feature articles for Building Industry, HI Hospitality, HI Landscape, Building Management HI, HI Inn The Know

June 1990 – August 1990
STATE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (SHIP) CLERK, WAI`ANAE COAST COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CENTER
Recruited and assisted patients in obtaining SHIP coverage; Wrote procedure manual

EDUCATION AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

J.D., UNIV OF HI WILLIAM S. RICHARDSON SCHOOL OF LAW (May 2000)
Best Brief Appellate Advocacy Section 2
Top Quartile, ‘97-98; Top 50% ’98-’99 and ’99-‘00
Environmental Law Society Co-Director and Co-Vice Director
Advocates for Public Interest Law Summer Grantee and Board Member
National Association for Public Interest Law Student Rep. And Delegate
Student Bar Association 1L Representative
Scholarships: HI Legal Auxiliary, Delta Gamma Foundation, and
Alumnae Golf Tournament
Nā Loio O He`e Nalu Co-Director (surf club)
Delta Theta Phi Treasurer

B.A. ENGLISH, THE COLORADO COLLEGE, December 1991
Dean’s List
Track & Field / Cross Country Team Member
Vice President – Rush, Delta Gamma Sorority
National Spanish Honor Society

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

2006 – pres

MA’O Organic Farm fundraising committee
2008 – pres
“People’s Path” grant writer, volunteer, and event coordinator
2009 – pres
Leeward Community College-Wai`anae Community Advisory Board
2002 – pres
HI State Bar Association/Young Lawyers Division community service volunteer
2008
Chair, Health & Human Service Committee, Democratic Party of Hawaii
2007 – 2008
Hawaii Children’s Trust Fund Advisory Board
2006 – 2008
Empower Wai`anae Steering Committee
2003 – 2010
Wai`anae Lion’s Club; member (community service)
2001 – 2009
Welfare and Employment Rights Coalition; member (poverty advocacy)
1997 – pres
Nā Loio `O He`e Nalu (UH Law School Surf Club); organizer & top three finisher in Land Shark Invitational Surf Meet (2000, 2001, 2002 & 2009)

HONORS AND AWARDS
2007

“25 People for the Next 25 Years” Hawaii Business Magazine
2006
Distinguished Supporter Award, University of Hawaii Center for Hawaiian Studies
2005
Best Up and Coming Legislator (Honolulu Weekly 2005)
2003
Asian Pacific American Women’s Leadership Institute Discovery Leadership Fellow
2003
Center on Women’s Policy Studies Foreign Policy Institute Fellow
2000
Hawaii Women’s Legal Auxiliary Scholarship
1998
Advocates for Public Interest Law Grantee

Civil Unions bill HB444

Unfortunately, the Civil Unions bill (HB444), which I supported, is often confused with other issues. To clarify its purpose and my reason for supporting it, here’s a summary of the key points:

The bill did not:
1. Legalize gay marriage.
2. Change the definition of “marriage,” which is reserved for a man and a woman.
3. Require any church official or anyone else to perform the civil unions.

The bill did:
4. Protect the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, ensuring that all persons are treated equally, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender.
5. Support the 1993 Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples deserve the same protection under the law as heterosexual couples.
6. Extend spousal benefits and responsibilities to partners.

For my longer explanation, please click here.
For comments re my support of HB444, see Chet Urata and Thomas Dalbert.

Hawaii State AFL-CIO Endorses Maile

Click here to zoom in.

Letter from Chet Urata re HB444

Dear Rep. Shimabukuro,

I read your blog regarding HB444. I’m glad that you sound like you support it. I am not gay myself, but I fully respect the rights of others and do not see any reason why gay marriage, let alone civil unions, threaten anyone. Claims that gay marriage threatens the institution of marriage are ludicrous. I know my relationship is in no way threatened by what others do in theirs. Yet what a profound effect marriage or unions would have on the lives of gays and lesbians!

Chet Urata

As I could tell from your blog, you understand that this is not an issue to be decided by what is popular; this is a civil rights issue. Anyone who believes that this should be decided by a referendum is clearly not in favor of this becoming law since it is well known that the populace will vote this down. It is unfortunate that the majority of people are neither enlightened nor generous enough to allow gay marriage or civil unions to become law.


I applaud and encourage the efforts of you and others in the state congress to pass this bill.

Best wishes,
Chet Urata, Waianae resident