Happy New Year 2015

21 01 2015
2015 Honolulu City Council

2015 Honolulu City Council

Message from Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin.

It has been said that the first task of a leader is to keep hope alive. It must be the duty of this Council to keep alive the hope that we will fix all of our roads, that we will solve the tragedy of homelessness, that we will create housing that working people can truly afford, and that we will no longer do things that harm the environment or our unique heritage. I firmly believe that the actions this Council has taken over the past few years give people hope that things are improving in our City and County.

Just this past year, the Council approved nearly $50 million to assist with homelessness, with providing permanent housing as the primary objective. Truly affordable housing must be a top priority for this City. Scarce and expensive land and the high cost of living present considerable, but not insurmountable, challenges. We are all stakeholders in finding solutions. It is my view that for the City and County of Honolulu, truly affordable housing is part of basic infrastructure – as crucial to our quality of life as clean water and efficient public transportation. Without truly affordable housing, how can we hope to resolve homelessness? Shelter is basic to life. A stable home environment can help families rise up to their potential and out of the heartbreaking cycle of poverty.

We also committed $5 million to forever protect and preserve over 600 acres at Turtle Bay. And we are exploring ways to protect and maintain our other treasured resources, like Hanauma Bay and Waikiki Beach. I’m sure that residents and visitors alike would appreciate the City preserving the iconic beauty of places like the North Shore and Makaha from over-development. Additionally, by developing in already developed areas, we can keep more of our productive agricultural lands in agriculture. I believe most people would agree that having the ability to grow more of what we consume is the right thing to do. The time is ripe for this Council to prioritize local agriculture a necessity to keep Honolulu a great city.

These are exciting times for the City and County of Honolulu. This Council, together with the City Administration, the State, and our Congressional representatives, are making history. We are on a path to greater sustainability, efficiency, and public accountability. For the sake of our children, we cannot fail.


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