Whew! What a dramatic ending to the 2020 presidential election! The Biden and Harris team are projected as president and vice president elect. This is a very historic moment for our nation—with Harris as the first woman and a person of color to be elected as a vice president. The election is finally over—and now we can breathe a sigh of relief! Perhaps the most significant reason for our new optimism comes from a new national leader who campaigned for unity, compassion and dignity. We are encouraged more than ever to know we can again live with a new normal—in peace, not division; in hope, not fear; in love, not hate. We need leaders who will unite and heal our nation. Now we can look forward to the days ahead with hope for healing the pain, apprehensions and worries of the last four years.
At the local level, we hope the incoming council members will help to address the many challenges facing our residents—lack of affordable housing; homelessness; unemployment and underemployment; domestic violence and abuse; alcohol and drug abuse; mental illness—just to name a few of our most urgent needs.
According to the latest forecasts from the State Council of Revenues, it is estimated the State will have a budget deficit of more than two billion dollars. State and County policy makers face a dauntingly enormous budget shortfall this coming year. The question is, which programs will be on the chopping block and which programs will be spared?
During the pandemic, there are some bright spots revealed in many ways showing who we are as a community—giving help and encouragement to one another; loving and praying for each other. We witness how many offer help when they see someone in need during these very challenging times. Personally, I have seen the kindness of the human heart and what a blessing it is to live in a community where people truly care for each other.
As we approach the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, we have much to be grateful for: friends, family, caring neighbors, cordial service personnel in cafés, restaurants, markets, shops, churches and post offices and even strangers who give you a sweet smile and a friendly shaka sign.
During the pandemic challenges, we also witnessed the human spirit alive and well here on Maui as we are warmed by neighbors helping neighbors, friends helping friends and families helping families. Most of all, we have seen the hand of God working in our midst and we are blessed to be guided and comforted by these promises:
• God is always with us.
• God is always in control.
• God is always good.
• God is always watching over us.
• God is always victorious.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and may you all be blessed by His love!