Maui Mayor’s Race is On
Who would want to be a mayor to face these crises?
• Lack of affordable workforce housing
• Drug & alcohol abuse —domestic violence
• Rising crime
• How to manage tourism and protecting our resources
• Ongoing COVID-19
• Anticipated slowdown in economy
• High cost of living
Employers across the island, state and nation today are challenged daily by understaffing. Many who stopped working due to the pandemic now refuse to ever work again, after rediscovering the benefits of family life and the fleeting nature of relationships getting little or no nurturance. Many more realized they do not need all the material things they once worked so hard to own and instead are learning to live with less, finding the joys of spending more time with loved ones, friends and the activities or hobbies they had been neglecting, once again deriving the pleasures of personal productivity and creativity. Still, there is a crisis in the shortages of workforce housing, due largely to issues related to the government’s inability to keep up with developing housing that is both affordable and plentiful.
Homelessness increases markedly as more choose to remain on an island which is warm, welcoming and appealing, where living without a domicile is possible. Despite all efforts made by local agencies and leaders, having an added group factor in the need for affordable and available homes only puts greater pressure on the community, both providers of and those who need a place to call home.
Our jails are holding sites for perpetrators of drug and alcohol abuse, which quite often results in domestic and other forms of violence against family members and neighbors, sometimes even strangers.
Crime increases when folks in need do not receive the attention and much needed services they require for basic living. Unfortunately, many of these crimes are preventable, if basic needs are received, most especially, the need for friendship, for companionship, and most of all, the need to love and be loved. Loneliness is the worst of all diseases.
Balancing the benefits of tourism and protection of our resources continues to challenge all communities. The continuation of COVID-19 restrictions loom on the horizon again, even as we looked hopefully to taking masks off once and for all. The health-minded choose to keep their masks on, knowing there are still too many who choose to be unvaccinated or even acknowledge the virus is real.
In the coming elections, the Filipino vote is critical, especially because we are often taken for granted by some political participants. Filipino votes in this coming election may tip the scale on who will be the next Mayor on Maui. Communities are at a significant crossroads, the results of which will have a long-lasting impact on all of us. There are several mayoral candidates vying to lead Maui County in the next four years: an incumbent Mayor, a retired Judge, current members of the council and several political newcomers.
Who of the mayoral candidates do you believe will best lead us in resolving the multiple crises we face today? If not yet registered to vote, do it right now!