Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wrote my first letter to my County Council rep

For those of you who don't live here: on Maui things are set up so all the different parts of Maui County can vote for who represents all the different parts of Maui County. There's a bit more of a fuss going on about it, especially since what can  happened is a person running can lose in the district they're running for, but still get elected to office. A good story on it can be found here at the Maui Weekly.

There was a commentary there that's a good, quick read read. A quick excerpt from it:

The current system overwhelmingly favors incumbents over challengers. It requires that the candidates run throughout the county on three separate islands to gain a connection with the voters in far flung corners of the county. The incumbents, by virtue of their office, already have those connections.

The difficulties facing Lāna‘i or Moloka‘i challengers running countywide are extreme—their chances of winning are just about nil. So those incumbents are rarely challenged. Invulnerable politicians are not a good thing in a democracy.

And as the South Maui and Lāna‘i examples showed in the last election, the winners of those resident seats actually lost in their districts. This is not uncommon in Maui County.

Anyhow... this was emailed to Mike Victorino who represents my home of Wailuku:

I really don't like the idea of other areas voting for who represents me. The folks living in Kihei, Upcountry, Lahaina, etc., shouldn't get to vote for who gets elected in Wailuku - they don't live here, they don't know what our concerns are, and they won't have to live with the decision since its not their home.

It makes as much sense to me as Oahu residents (note: different island and county altogether) voting for Maui County's mayor, you know?

Is there anything you can do to help ensure that Wailuku doesn't lose its voice to others?


So, yeah, feeling a little bit accomplished here, although I really should’ve done it sooner.

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