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A discussion about Hawaii’s high cost of living was the starting point for Keli’i Akina’s latest “Hawaii Together” program, which aired Monday, Jan. 2, on the ThinkTech Hawaii network.

Malia Blom Hill, the Washington, D.C.-based policy director for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, was the featured guest, and she shared with Akina, president and CEO of the institute, why she and her family are among the many who felt they had to move away from Hawaii to forge a better life.

“In truth, it’s the same thing that everyone who’s left Hawaii wants,” Hill said. “You know, all my family is there. My sister’s on Oahu, I’ve got cousins and aunties. I’d like nothing more than to be able to raise my kids in Hawaii. But like everyone else who’s left, it just comes down to the cost of living and opportunities, the opportunities for my husband and my family. It’s just too expensive. It’s no secret; everyone knows it. What frustrates people is that no one seems to be interested in doing what needs to be done.”

From there Akina and Hill went on to discuss the institute’s “Why we left Hawaii” series, and what economic policies could be changed to help stop the exodus of Hawaii residents.

Watch the half-hour program below: