Most Important Election of My Lifetime

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Photo: Brendon Kalei'aina Lee

In a few days the state of Hawaiʻi will be sending out your mail in ballots for the 2020 general election. This will probably be the most important piece of mail you will receive this year. At stake this election year is a Presidential race, a Congressional race, many Legislative races, two Mayoral races, many county and city council seats, and of course three Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee seats.

We hear every election cycle how “this is the most important election.” If we take a second to look back at not just the last four years, but at just the last nine months of 2020, it is safe to say this is the most important election. This is by far the most important election of my lifetime; it certainly is the most important election of the last 50 years.

While I am sure we are all tired of hearing everyday about COVID-19 dominating every news cycle, it is the elephant in the room. COVID-19 is what makes this election so important. Whether you are abiding by every state, city and county order, or an anti-masker, there is no denying the effect this has had on our everyday lives. How this has affected our families, neighborhoods, city and counties, the State of Hawaiʻi, the country as a whole, and this little blue marble we call Earth.

While the stock market has fared better than most expected it to with the S&P dropping over 35% in February taking us into the first bear market since 2007, it has wiped those losses out setting new record highs in September. The U.S., State of Hawaiʻi, and county economies on the other hand have not fared as well. With tourism, retail, dining, and pretty much all other consumer industries shut down for a majority of the year so far with no end in sight, it will be a long, hard road to recovery for us all.

This election will decide, at every level, who will be at the helm of every level of government to bring the economy back to life. This is the most important question that we all should be asking this election. We see everyone’s brave “rants” on social media about whatever hot topic is trending on that particular day, but the economy is no “rant.” We need to be thoughtful about whom we select to lead us out of the economic abyss the lack of leadership has put us in.

From the Presidential race, to the Congressional race, those that will sit in the square building on Beretania, Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu Mayoral candidates, the many county and city council seats and the three Office of Hawaiian Affairs seats – who has the experience to lead? Who has the track record of not just leadership, but of being able to stand paʻa when the winds are howling?

Whatever you believe, whomever you believe is that person at each level of government to lead us, stand up and make your voice heard. When you receive that ballot in the mail, fill it out that day and mail it back in. If you do not trust the mail, take a ride to one of the ballot collection boxes and drop it off in person. If you need to find out where those are, go to elections.hawaii.gov.

“Ke kai leo nui o Mokoliʻi; though small, Mokoliʻi has a big voice.” Do not be deceived into thinking your voice is small, make it loud, make it be heard…VOTE!!!