Second City Council Hearing on Purple Spot a Big Success

Posted by Lauren Muneoka at Nov 03, 2011 09:10 PM |
Supporters of a truly sustainable Wai`anae came out to Kapolei Hale on November 2nd with a message in support of local farms and a rural lifestyle. This was the second of three full council hearings, with the third yet to be announced. Mahalo to everyone for their continued presence, stay tuned for next steps!

*Update: The Wai`anae Sustainable Community Plan did NOT come up on the November 17th Zoning and Planning Committee agenda. They don't have any committee meetings planned for December, so the earliest it will be heard again is January 12th. Sometime after that it will go for back to the full council for it's third and final hearing, and a vote! Stay-tuned. What to do with this boon of extra time?!  Call your City Councilmember and tell them to remove the purple spot! :)

Aloha gang!

I hope everyone left the hearing yesterday feeling good! Talk about dynamic testimony! We had slam poetry from Z and U`ilani, visual aids from Candace and Aunty Pat, and powerful words from kupuna, opio, and everyone in between! The outpouring of support was incredible. We had our core guys from the Concerned Elders as well as some new faces there in solidarity.

Most people had already left, but many of the councilmembers commented on how much they enjoyed the testimony, saying that it wasn't the "usual" testimony they "typically" hear. Councilmember Gabbard thanked the testifiers saying "We can't make good decisions without your input". The council was particularly moved by the countless testimonies by the youth from MA`O Organic Farms. I gotta admit, I kinda teared up a little bit, hearing them declare, "I'm a proud organic farmer!" Jack summed it up best when he said, "I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight, I feel so energized by these young people!"

The next time the WSCP appears on the Zoning and Planning Committee agenda, we can hopefully get an amendment passed to remove the purple spot. After the committee hearing, the bill will have to go back for its third and final full council meeting for a vote. Both meetings will be at Honolulu Hale. Councilmember Harimoto came up to us after the hearing to congratulate us on the effective testimony, but reminded us that we have to keep up the pressure--that we have to be there at the committee and council meetings. I just smiled and told him, "we will be!" :) See you all there!

Here are more highlights from the testimony although there really is no way describing what happened can come close to being in the room witnessing truth being spoken to power. :)

Some of our friends from Kunia came and spoke on how putting a road through Pohakea Pass (connecting Lualualei and Kunia) would be devastating to the many sacred sites in the area. Kyle warned the council that doing so would surely bring a fight similar to the one we saw against the construction of H-3. They host hikes and workdays in Kunia, add them on Facebook for updates.

We had testimony on the importance of organic farming and how GMO monoculture and organic farming cannot co-exist (this was in response to a pro-industrial park testifier claiming there is tons of ag land in Kunia, much of which is being leased by GMO seed companies). We even had testimony from a vegetarian who was recently at the grocery store in Wai`anae, buying her usual fare when one of the cashiers told her "I wish I could be a vegetarian, but it's just too expensive!" The testifier wants to see more sustainable ag in Lualualei and believes that Wai`anae could be a model for the rest of Hawai`i and the world! 

Our friend Candace who previously wrote a feature for us made really awesome posters for the hearing of some of the farmers she met who live along Hakimo Road and would be affected by the development of an industrial park in the area--some of whom have been displaced decades ago by urban development in Honolulu. Another testifier, Brandy, held up these photos during her testimony and read out the names of the farmers and the things they grow--it was an effective way of bringing Lualualei to the council.

Check out the slideshow of pictures from the hearing!

Get the flash player here:
Document Actions
Add comment

You can add a comment by filling out the form below. Plain text formatting. Web and email addresses are transformed into clickable links. Comments are moderated.


Empower grassroots efforts to protect Hawaiʻi with your donation today.

E-mail Sign-up
Follow Us