Grateful to work with you for a better Hawaii

Aloha, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and your loved ones are celebrating all that we have to be grateful for — including our freedoms and the opportunity to voice our views on how best to advance the goal of a better Hawaii.

And thank you so much for reading my weekly “President’s Corner” column, where I share my perspective on the biggest policy issues affecting our island life.

I might not have solutions for all of Hawaii’s policy woes, but my hope is that by working together and listening to diverse viewpoints, my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii can find ways to improve our lives in the islands and make Hawaii a more affordable and prosperous place to live.

Indeed, it has been heartwarming to see the increasing willingness of state and county policymakers to consider the suggestions we have been making.

Earlier this year, I wrote about an ”An amazing day at the Capitol,” as lawmakers passed several tax breaks and a landmark piece of legislation authorizing Hawaii to join an interstate compact that will offer doctors outside the state an easier pathway to practice here.

Thanks to Gov. Josh Green, those tax breaks and the compact were eventually signed into law, making for an “amazing year” for better policies in the Aloha State.

At the county level, I wrote about a pair of bills that I hope will help resolve Honolulu’s notorious permitting quagmire, and also about efforts in every county intended to provide property tax relief.

With sadness, I also wrote about the tragic wildfires in Lahaina, but I have been extremely grateful to see how the rest of Hawaii has come together to help its many victims recover and rebuild.

As I said at the time: “There has been shock and despair at the images we have seen of Lahaina, but there has also been an amazing outpouring of concern, volunteerism and giving. The community is coming together at all levels to help our Maui ohana.”

But there is still so much to do.

Again, please accept my heartfelt thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you every week, and for standing with the Grassroot Institute in its quest to build a better Hawaii.

If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

If you have any comments you would like to share with me about what I write, please do. I very much appreciate your feedback.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. I hope you are able to make the most of this wonderful holiday season.

This commentary was Keli‘i Akina’s weekly “President’s Corner” column for Nov. 23, 2023. If you would like to have his columns emailed to you on a regular basis, please call 808-864-1776 or email info@grassrootinstitute.org.

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