By Noah Candelario, Grade 12 Kailua High School
The 21st century is in the dawn of many problems, and we need solutions.
What can we do? First, we need to think about governance. The government can think differently by actively involving the community and evolving into the 21st century. What I mean by evolving governance into the 21st century, is to talk more about the very controversial issues that the younger generation is talking about daily; issues such as healthcare reforms, police reforms, and school reforms.
I believe that if the government starts to listen to the youth more, it will open up more engagement for youth of our land to be more engaged politically – by voting and researching their area representatives. It is research that will help inform the public about what is going on politically within the government and help provide government transparency.
The reason I emphasize government transparency is because without a clear view on what is happening we will have no democracy and there will be no justice for the people. The structure of our government is mandated by the people; and without a politically active population, the legitimacy of the government will crumble.
As we rethink how our government should move into the 21st century, we should focus on mālama ʻāina and ʻoihana.
We can mālama ʻāina by building a culture of sustainability. Sustainability starts with restructuring our economy at the community level. If communities come together as a collective body by deciding how they want to contribute to mālama ʻāina, we can have individuals that actually care about the situation come together to make quality progress on this issue.
As for ʻoihana, the private sector can do a lot for the community, but we need to empower the private sector first. The way we can empower the private sector is by providing subsidies to local businesses that will help diversify the economy.
We need to revitalize Hawaiʻi’s agriculture industry for which we were once known. Imagine a return of pride in Hawaiʻi’s unique agricultural lands. We should also decrease taxes on corporations and local businesses, so it will make Hawaiʻi a new center of trade in the world. Hawaiʻi is the key that connects the entire world together, and why not have multinational corporations be centered on that key in the world. Allowing multinational corporations to be in Hawaiʻi, it will allow the Hawaiian people to take up jobs in those businesses and take the opportunity to spread the spirit of ʻohana, stewardship and aloha throughout the world.