by Jonah Ka’auwai, Chairman Hawaii Republican Party (Message sent to GOP membership July 28, 2011)
As our HRP members know, our State Party Chair’s position is a volunteer position and all of our previous State Chairs have served with heart and honor. When I was considering serving as State Chair, I was told by Former State Chair, Governor Linda Lingle, that I would not understand what it meant to be the chair until I served as Chair. Having now served a full term and having been re-elected to serve yet another term as your State Chair, I find these to be great words of wisdom and completely true! In recent years we have seen incredible leadership emerge through the party with past chairs like Linda Lingle, Micah Kane, Brennon Morioka, Sam Aiona and Willes Lee.
The question is what would drive someone to take on the responsibility of State Chairmanship, a position that consumes countless hours, often seems thankless and comes under such scrutiny? For me, the answer is simple-- what drives me is our children and our future.
If there is to be real change in the lives of Hawaii’s people, particularly for our children and grandchildren, the Republican Party needs to be a long-term political force. The good news is that the party overall is headed toward a bright and stable future. So how do we get there and can it really happen? My response is a resounding “yes” and by unrelenting determination and commitment on each of our part.
In 2010 at the State Convention, the delegates nearly unanimously voted for the “LLIFE” Platform that is based upon five undying American principles: Liberty, Limited Government, Individual Responsibility, Fiscal Accountability and Equality of Opportunity. This created a solid foundation upon which we could unite all of our members no matter where they stood on the political spectrum. These principles were the bedrock message upon which we used to recruit the 97 primary candidates and hundreds of volunteers and also grow our membership ranks during the 2010 campaign cycle.
At the 2011 State Convention, convention delegates passed 15 resolutions covering an array of economic and social issues. The Platform Committee was extremely diligent and made sure that each resolution was justified by using the LLIFE Platform principles. With this new and inclusive way of doing business, HRP coalitions can form at the grassroots level and are encouraged to write and advocate for resolutions that matter most to them. Furthermore, these resolutions can be used to recruit more members and continue to build a vibrant party.
The simple but yet brilliant aspect of this process is that although we may not agree on all the issues addressed, each coalition respects the other by shared principle not by using opinion or ideology to justify a resolution. Now, we can all find ourselves under the same big tent called the Hawaii Republican Party where every individual of principle has a place to call home - a safe place where we find that we agree more than we disagree.
Moving forward, we have to remain true to ourselves as Hawaii Republicans, and committed to helping our party grow and prosper--unified under the banner of LLIFE! If and when members are passionate about an issue, they can form or join a coalition that helps build the party. The end result is more support for ALL Republican candidates. Our efforts must be laser-focused, together in lokahi (unison), in order to defeat Democrats and the one-party dominance in our State of Hawaii.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve as your Chairman and remain committed to the work we are doing on behalf of the people of Hawaii, present and future. I hope you will continue to work besides me as we grow our Party and work towards a brighter future.
Stay tuned, more to come!