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Hope for all of Us

Like all of my colleagues in the State Senate, as well as the Governor and the President of the Unites States, every four years I am faced with the prospect of assessing the quality of my representation of our district whether I can attract a majority of votes cast by voters. In other words, I need to get re-elected, which means everyone gets to decide whether I should be allowed to speak for you. Whatever we may think about the job we’re doing for our constituents, no elected official with any sense assumes that re-election is in the bag.

The voters—on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i, as well as across our state and our nation—have had their say.  I am humbled to return to the Hawaiian Senate as your voice in the legislature. My thanks to you for your votes of confidence; we have a decisive victory and clear mandate for the next four years. Through our partnership we have created a solid momentum to turn our economy around, protect our lifestyle and become more food & energy self-reliant.

And because I realize that some of you did not vote for me, I will recommit myself to listening to everyone who takes the time to express themselves. I represent our district, not just the people who vote for me, so please feel free to bring me your concerns or comments.

We prepare fearlessly for the change that confronts us, personally, locally and nationally. We draw strength for the days ahead from our renewed national wellspring of hope.

Our country is jubilant as Barack Obama prepares to assume the role of America’s 44th President, and it seems that most of the world shares our sense of renewal. Yet, we must keep our focus on the days ahead. Nationally and internationally, one of our greatest challenges will be healing the divisions that have hung between us the past few years. Some days it feels as if our nation’s economy will crumble around our ears. Our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters continue to fight and die in the Middle East. Our greatest hope may lie in the fact that we now have a new, unifying figure to join us together in doing what we must as a nation.

Here at home, we face similar challenges as our economy slows, threatening jobs and our primary economic engine, tourism. Having enjoyed so many years of economic prosperity, we must now take on the challenge of guiding our state through rocky times.

I stand ready to lead our beloved district on our journey into the future. We have already organized the Senate, and I will assume the Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Transportation, Intergovernmental and International Affairs, as well as the Vice Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Energy & the Environment. Additionally, I will sit as a member of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Public Safety and Military Affairs Committee.

With my heartfelt thanks for your continued confidence, and my commitment to do what is best for the people of our state and our district, I invite all of you to play a part in helping to build the future we want for ourselves and our next generation. And even as we look toward our new president as a figure of hope, we should remind ourselves that the real source of hope is right here. We are the hope, together.

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