The Hooser Blog: Personal reflections, council updates, re-election campaign – and matters concerning angst, fear and the nature of our humanity

In a group discussion recently, questions and concerns were raised about the pitfalls of “trying to do too much”.

Honestly, I had a difficult time grasping the concept.  I see life as being far too short and the challenges of our world far too great to err on the side of “doing too little”.  While I understand the need to stop on occasion to sharpen the saw and to smell the roses, I love the work that I do and am driven forward by a pressing sense of urgency.

But yes, I am setting aside time to enjoy with family and friends during the coming holiday season and will be traveling a bit, exploring new places and meeting new people.

At the bottom of this message, after the Council and re-election updates, are additional personal reflections which I hope you will take the time to read and perhaps discuss with your friends and neighbors.  For now though, there is the business of today to attend to.

My Kauai County Council focus at the present moment is on:

  1. CAP property tax increases for owner occupied homes and long term affordable rentals: This measure Bill 2606 has been introduced, passed First Reading and is scheduled for a Public Hearing on December 2.  Please submit testimony at counciltestimony@kauai.gov and help spread the word! Details and a copy of the Bill can be found here: https://garyhooser.wordpress.com/2015/10/31/important-property-tax-proposal-on-november-4-kauai-council-agenda/
  2. Increase Affordable Housing: Councilmember Mason Chock and I are working together with the County Housing and Planning Department (and many others) in the development of an affordable housing initiative that will increase the availability of affordable rentals.  Increasing affordable housing options must become our Counties #1 priority and I am committed to this goal.  Stay tuned for more on this as the administration begins moving this measure through the approval process.
  3. Regulate Paid Lobbyists and Lobbying: The Hawaii State Constitution requires every County to regulate those individuals and organizations who are paid to influence government actions, however Kauai County does not presently have a “lobbying ordinance” in place.  I have a proposed draft Bill that addresses this issue which is now under its final legal review and is expected to be introduced in late December or early January.
  4. Oppose any increase in the General Excise Tax:  It is possible there will be a proposal introduced to exercise the new County authority to increase the GET.  I am adamantly opposed to this idea.

Re-Election Campaign:

The answer is yes, I am running for re-election to the Kauai County Council and yes I do need your help, your financial support and volunteers for the following specific positions:

1)  Accountant: Am searching for someone qualified to assist the campaign in managing its finances and filing the appropriate campaign spending reports.

2) Web Design/Management:  The campaign website needs to be updated and integrated with other social media and blog platforms.  http://www.garyhooser.com

3) Area Captains: Am seeking 5 to 7 key individuals to cover the main geographical areas of the island.  Responsibilities include yard sign and banner support, help with organizing door to door canvassing, coffee hour organizing/scheduling, and occasional “sign holding”.  This person should be a long time resident of the area and comfortable working will all community demographics.

All of the above persons would then constitute the “campaign team” and work together on all aspects of the campaign.  Please email me separately at GaryLHooser@gmail.com if you are interested in getting involved and can make a commitment to help.

There is a place for everyone!

Yes, campaign contributions are needed as well.  We need to update our core campaign video, restock basic supplies, plan and host a campaign launch event and talk story coffee hours, as well as to place holiday messages and begin to advertising in various community programs that are deserving of support and that provide valuable exposure to the community.  Please donate today if you can.  No amount is too small and the maximum allowable contribution is $2,000 http://www.garyhooser.com/donate.php

Mahalo to all who have already given and offered support and help.

Like most, my work and life is focused primarily on the community in which I live.  However, events of the past few days have made us all keenly aware of the greater world around us that seems to be spinning out of control.

The discussion that has erupted around the question of accepting refugees into our State and Country has brought out the worse.

I have no answers or solutions but know that collectively we all need to take a deep breath, close our eyes, pause for a moment and think deeply about who we are and the core values that support our humanity.

Please read if you have a moment my friend Luke Evslin’s well written and deeply personal blog piece on this topic http://kawaehawaii.blogspot.com/2015/11/thoughts-on-syria.html

A woman who was seemingly distraught at the thought of bringing Syrian refugees to Hawaii posted in response a furious rant opposed to allowing refugees to enter Hawaii.  Her point was similar to many others that have been expressed recently “We don’t have the resources to take care of our own problems and have no business trying to help others until we help our own.”.

My response to her was:

“In this time of fear and angst on many levels and on many issues, both global and local – pushback against the concept of bringing more people into our home is understandable. But if a homeless child from any country or any religion or a family through no fault of their own was fleeing violence and seeking safety were to knock on my door, I would be hard pressed not to find them some small corner of my humble hale where they could lay their heads safely, at least for a little while. Luke Evslin speaks for me on this one.”

I hate to end this post on a somber note, but feel compelled to speak out on this issue and to stand up and be counted.

Aloha,  gary

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person. I presently serve now as a volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org In a past life I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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