Jones Act Documentary Film Premier Sets the Stage for a Bigger Conversation
News Release from Office of Sen Sam Slom, February 27, 2015
HONOLULU—Today at the Capitol, Senator Sam Slom introduced a captive audience to "The Jones Act," a federal maritime law that was enacted in 1920. The event was attended by approximately 80-100 members of public, some legislators, legislature staff and members of the shipping industry. When the lights came back on 25 minutes later, the audience had a better understanding of the law's effect on Hawaii, but also lots of questions about what legislators were doing to address the issues raised in the film.
Today's presentation was the first time the film was shown in public. The presentation began with an introduction by Senator Slom, who opened with his usual flair and humor. Slom said, "This is the first time a film has been made about the Jones Act and I guarantee you will cheer, you will jeer, you will laugh, you will cry. It's exciting, but it's been made in such a way that is so simple, even a state legislator can understand it."
Representative Sam Kong said, "This is not about partisanship, but it is about the lives of the Hawaii people and the high cost of living in Hawaii. Today's Jones Act movie was very informative and eye opening and I hope everyone takes time out to see it."
Produced by Dr. Kim Kepner-Sybounmy, the film explores the almost century-old Jones Act from the perspective of a modern day Hawaii resident and consumer grappling with Hawaii's high cost of living. The movie explains the Jones Act's contribution to the high prices of basic necessities like groceries, electricity and fuel. Dr. Kepner-Sybounmy, who credits her three children with helping her edit the film, is grateful that so many have taken an interest in the Jones Act and the potential for reform.
Dr. Kepner-Sybounmy said, "This movie is my way of raising awareness around a law that not many people know about, but has such profound effects on families, on businesses, and on the overall economy in Hawaii. The more I research the Jones Act, the more I can see its effects all around me, and my hope is that this movie will encourage a bigger conversation about Jones Act reform. It was great to see so many knowledgeable members of the public who came to see the movie and participate in the discussion. "
Senator Slom said, "There was a strong turnout for the Jones Act film today and that reaffirmed what I have known since I started advocating for Jones Act reform two decades ago- that the people of Hawaii are interested in the Jones Act, and most of all that they want action from their elected officials."
Senator Slom and Representative Sam Kong filed resolutions earlier this week seeking action for an exemption for Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico from the domestic build requirement of the Jones Act. Several democratic legislators also signed onto the resolutions. You can read the resolutions by visiting the Capitol website and searching for SR10, SCR34, HR21 and HCR46.
You can view the Jones Act documentary film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_-UNgjF2wI. If you prefer not to click on any link please go to You Tube and search for "Jones Act Explanation The Movie."
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