Never have the issues facing our lāhui felt so critical. At state and national levels, from the economy to the environment, from systemic racism to poverty, from health care to the pandemic response, the stakes are high and getting higher.
Voting is not just a right; it’s the kuleana of everyone 18 and older.
Being an informed and educated voter is imperative. Voting based solely on name recognition or other superficial factors, without knowing what the candidates stand for, does not fulfill one’s kuleana.
But with so many political races, getting to know the candidates and where they stand on the issues can be overwhelming. To kōkua, Ka Wai Ola surveyed all of the candidates running for office in all of the upcoming Primary Elections.
The surveys were emailed to 300+ candidates using a simple yes/no response format. In addition, candidates for OHA’s Board of Trustees were asked three narrative response questions. It is important to note that not all the questions we posed to the candidates reflect OHA’s formal positions or advocacy.
Last January, OHA’s Aloha Rising Survey asked readers to share the issues that mattered most to them. Rising to the top were: affordable homeownership, proper management of our land and water resources, Native Hawaiian representation in government, poverty, and access to Native Hawaiian Homelands. To honor this feedback, we deliberately mixed advocacy questions with some tough questions related to these issues of importance to our lāhui.
Some candidates expressed their desire for a write-in format to explain their position on the issues, and we suggested that they could provide these explanations on their websites. We also invited all candidates to share their website addresses. If these were provided, they are published along with the candidate’s responses. We strongly encourage voters to check-out the candidates online and learn more about them. With mail-in voting and the internet, being an informed and educated voter has never been easier.