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Roll back government to revive Hawaii’s economy

This commentary was originally published in the May 16, 2020, edition of Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. ________________ As the coronavirus crisis has deepened during the past two months, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has acknowledged that most of the actions taken to protect our most vulnerable citizens have been well intentioned.

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How to rescue Maui from the coronavirus recession

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on April 24, 2020. ___________ Maui County’s economy is in trouble because of the coronavirus recession, but there are ways to turn that around, if only our state and county lawmakers would get out of the way. On a per capita

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18 ways to get Hawaii back on its feet

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat, April 18, 2020. ____________ Hawaii is leading the nation in per-capita unemployment right now because of government actions intended to stop the coronavirus. According to the state Department of Labor, almost 250,000 people have lost their jobs over the past few weeks

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How to navigate the ‘coronavirus recession’

This commentary was originally published March 15 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ___________ With the coronavirus causing havoc for both the U.S. stock market and Hawaii’s tourism industry, now is not the time for state lawmakers to be increasing spending, taxes or regulations. Even before this crisis arose, it was clear

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Give everyone a raise by lowering the cost of living

This “Other Voices” commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, on Dec. 25, 2019, in The Garden Island newspaper. _________________ Just about everyone in Hawaii knows by now that we have one of the highest costs of living in the nation,[1] one of the most regressive tax systems[2] and a serious lack of affordable housing.[3] 

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50 ways — at least — to update Maui’s zoning code

This article was published originally on Dec. 24, 2019, in The Maui News. ___________ A major rewrite of Maui County’s zoning code could yield more housing — if done right. “Done right” means simplifying the code and removing red tape, which were major recommendations in a 2018 audit performed by

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Honolulu P3s could violate city debt limits

This commentary was published originally Oct. 10, 2019, in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu policymakers are increasingly pursuing private-public partnerships for the city’s large infrastructure projects, allegedly to introduce efficiency or good financial management, but also, it appears, as a way to avoid exceeding the city’s legal “debt affordability limit.” This

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‘Affordable in perpetuity’ chokes Maui housing supply

This commentary was originally published Sept. 10, 2019, in The Maui News. Maui County residents have long suffered from a lack of affordable housing, but county officials have continually denied permits to home developers who won’t promise that the units they build will be “affordable in perpetuity.” Support for keeping homes

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Testimony on ‘Community Workforce Agreements’ — Bill 37

This testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Honolulu City Council Committee on Budget, July 24, 2019. RE: Bill 37 (2019) — RELATING TO COMMUNITY WORKFORCE AGREEMENTS. [1]  Aloha, Chair [Joey] Manahan, Vice Chair [Brandon] Elefante and other members of the Honolulu City Council Committee on

Read More →

Roll back government to revive Hawaii’s economy

This commentary was originally published in the May 16, 2020, edition of Hawaii Filipino Chronicle. ________________ As the coronavirus crisis has deepened during the past two months, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has acknowledged that most of the actions taken to protect our most vulnerable citizens have been well intentioned.

Read More →

How to rescue Maui from the coronavirus recession

This commentary was published originally in The Maui News on April 24, 2020. ___________ Maui County’s economy is in trouble because of the coronavirus recession, but there are ways to turn that around, if only our state and county lawmakers would get out of the way. On a per capita

Read More →

18 ways to get Hawaii back on its feet

This commentary was originally published in Honolulu Civil Beat, April 18, 2020. ____________ Hawaii is leading the nation in per-capita unemployment right now because of government actions intended to stop the coronavirus. According to the state Department of Labor, almost 250,000 people have lost their jobs over the past few weeks

Read More →

How to navigate the ‘coronavirus recession’

This commentary was originally published March 15 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ___________ With the coronavirus causing havoc for both the U.S. stock market and Hawaii’s tourism industry, now is not the time for state lawmakers to be increasing spending, taxes or regulations. Even before this crisis arose, it was clear

Read More →

Give everyone a raise by lowering the cost of living

This “Other Voices” commentary was originally published, without the footnotes, on Dec. 25, 2019, in The Garden Island newspaper. _________________ Just about everyone in Hawaii knows by now that we have one of the highest costs of living in the nation,[1] one of the most regressive tax systems[2] and a serious lack of affordable housing.[3] 

Read More →

50 ways — at least — to update Maui’s zoning code

This article was published originally on Dec. 24, 2019, in The Maui News. ___________ A major rewrite of Maui County’s zoning code could yield more housing — if done right. “Done right” means simplifying the code and removing red tape, which were major recommendations in a 2018 audit performed by

Read More →

Honolulu P3s could violate city debt limits

This commentary was published originally Oct. 10, 2019, in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Honolulu policymakers are increasingly pursuing private-public partnerships for the city’s large infrastructure projects, allegedly to introduce efficiency or good financial management, but also, it appears, as a way to avoid exceeding the city’s legal “debt affordability limit.” This

Read More →

‘Affordable in perpetuity’ chokes Maui housing supply

This commentary was originally published Sept. 10, 2019, in The Maui News. Maui County residents have long suffered from a lack of affordable housing, but county officials have continually denied permits to home developers who won’t promise that the units they build will be “affordable in perpetuity.” Support for keeping homes

Read More →

Testimony on ‘Community Workforce Agreements’ — Bill 37

This testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii to the Honolulu City Council Committee on Budget, July 24, 2019. RE: Bill 37 (2019) — RELATING TO COMMUNITY WORKFORCE AGREEMENTS. [1]  Aloha, Chair [Joey] Manahan, Vice Chair [Brandon] Elefante and other members of the Honolulu City Council Committee on

Read More →