Grassroot Institute in the News
News Release from Grassroot Institute, Nov 17, 2023
>> Phil Edwards, senior video producer at Vox and a YouTube content creator with more than 250,000 subscribers, recently released a video about the "super weird" vigilante vessel known as the "Jones Act Enforcer," the mission of which is to track down and identify violators of the 1920 protectionist federal maritime law known as the Jones Act. At about the 2:45 mark of the video, Edwards references the Grassroot Institute's 2020 report "Quantifying the cost of the Jones Act to Hawaii." Since its posting a month ago, the video as of yesterday has logged 152,000 views and 567 comments. To see the video, go here.
>> Grassroot Institute Executive Vice President Joe Kent was interviewed on Sunday by KHON2 TV reporter Max Rodriguez about Bill 6, a measure approved by the Honolulu City Council that Grassroot supported. Pending approval by Mayor Rick Blangiardi, Bill 6 will allow licensed private sector architects to approve building permits for state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands projects, certain affordable housing projects and leased or rented commercial properties. See Kent's comments here.
>> Joe Kent also appeared this week in the latest edition of Hawaii Business magazine, in an article by editor and reporter Steve Petranik titled "Hawai‘i Could Fix Its Housing Crisis." The article highlighted points made by the featured guests at a sold-out event in September about housing. Besides Kent, the guests included Alana Kobayashi Pakkala, executive vice president and managing partner of the Kobayashi Group; Sarah Love, partner at Lung Rose Voss & Wagnild and president of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii; Sterling Higa, executive director of the nonprofit Housing Hawai‘i's Future; and Billy Pieper, senior vice president and director of strategic partnerships at American Savings Bank. The article was subtitled "Experts have lots of good ideas, including more land for housing, more density and more Tokyo-style 'by-right' development." You can read it here.
>> Malia Hill was quoted in a Monday news article by Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Michael Brestovansky about Hawaii's doctor shortage. The article's focus was about how hundreds of doctors statewide have applied for a state program to defray their student loans, and Hill said that could help younger doctors who have a lot of student loan debt. In addition, she said, the Grassroot Institute and state Legislature are pursuing other strategies as well to improve healthcare in Hawaii, including making it easier for out-of-state doctors to practice in Hawaii and expanding the use of telehealth. To read the entire article, go here.
>> Recent law school graduate Matthew Baker wrote in the Boston College Law Review that the Jones Act "contributes to climate change by driving shippers to use more pollutive modes of transportation," such as trucks and trains, and "this is seemingly at odds with President [Joe] Biden's 'whole-of-government' approach to responding and adapting to climate change's effects." Baker concluded that the Jones Act requires "significant reform to accord with modern climate policy, including eliminating the American-build requirement, reviving operating-differential subsidies, and expanding access to waivers." The title of the article is "Rethinking the Jones Act in a Warming World," which you can access here.