Michael Howden – County Council (Upcountry)

As a member of the Maui County Board of Water Supply, I see water as the core issue on Molokai. We need to return water to being a public trust. Molokai needs their voice to be heard on the Board of Water Supply. There needs to be a lot of maintenance and storage updates for Molokai water, and I believe that if the Department of Water Supply just supplied the materials, the people of Molokai would do the work themselves. I see the county’s exercise of eminent domain as key to the water solution.

I think that the amount of water going to Monsanto on Molokai is a detriment to the community and the island’s water supply. As an alternative to Monsanto’s employment opportunities, I propose the organic seed industry. We need biodiversity, and seed production would allow for a successful economy of micro-enterprise.

I have lived and worked on farms, and have a lot of experience in the field of permaculture. I see a need for a real political will to address the issues of water and sustainable resources, and there currently seems to be a real reluctance to engage with the community at large.

I have a different relationship to the `aina than all the other candidates currently running. I have a love of the land and a fearlessness and willingness to engage when it comes to community rights. Gladys Baisa has been in favor of many issues that the people haven’t been in favor of, and I think it’s important to listen to what the community wants. I also feel that she leans too heavily on tourism as an economic solution.

As voters go to the polls, I hope they take the chance to embrace change and look for viable and enduring solutions. It will require sacrifices for all of us. We need to listen and be willing to sacrifice for good of others, and right now we only seem willing to sacrifice for corporations rather than building a community that will help everyone.

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