Non-Hawaiians Urged to Vote for OHA Trustees
Hawaiian Leaders Call on All Voters to Participate
News Release from Akina for OHA
HONOLULU, HAWAII--July 29, 2016 - Several native Hawaiian community leaders and activists have recently gone on record urging non-Hawaiians to vote in the election of trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Although, by law, all registered voters may cast ballots for trustees of OHA, a state government agency, Hawaiian leaders are taking to the airwaves to remind the public.
Mililani Trask, an attorney and native Hawaiian advocate, told ThinkTech Hawaii, “Hawaii is just too small and the need is just too great to have people believe they can't get involved just because of an ethnic difference.... Unless we get the support of the non-Hawaiian voters, we are just not going to be able to clean up the situation at OHA... We need the other voters to join us to help clean it up.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE-FtsVmN6s Trask is a candidate for the big Island OHA Trustee seat, an election in which voters on all islands can vote.
`Ehu Kekahu Cardwell, the leader of the Koani Foundation has released a video on the Free Hawaii Broadcasting Network in which he urges Hawaiians to “… Ask Non-Hawaiians to vote. Ever since the Rice versus Cayetano court decision, anyone, whether Hawaiian or not, can vote in OHA elections… So we here at Free Hawaii TV want to ask you a favor. If you`re kanaka maoli (Hawaiian), please vote and please tell all of your non-Hawaiian family members and friends that they too should vote. ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC6KziAM_-s
Addressing the low participation of non-Hawaiians in previous OHA elections, `Ehu Kekahu Cardwell added, “In past elections, many non-Hawaiians have been refraining from voting for OHA Trustees because they think it’s not proper to do so. Tell them you need them to vote. Please tell every Non-Hawaiian you know to vote for OHA Trustees in the August 13 Primary and in the November General Election.”
Keli`i Akina, Ph.D., the first native-Hawaiian President/C.E.O. of the Grassroot Institute, says, “OHA has become a powerful state agency that affects virtually every decision involving land, ocean, culture, and people in the State of Hawaii. OHA affects everyone`s business, and unless everyone votes for good OHA Trustees, OHA will become everyone`s problem. The way to help Hawaiians is for everyone to vote and stop OHA from wasting public funds on it’s political pursuits and instead use them to meet the real needs of Hawaiians for housing, jobs, healthcare, and education. ” Akina is a candidate for the at-large Trustee seat, A statewide election in with all registered voters may participate.
Dr. Akina is available for comment and more information about him is available at www.keliiAKINA.com.