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Why I’m Voting For Keani

I remember well the 2018 campaign of Keani Rawlins-Fernandez for the Molokai seat on the Maui County Council. It was uplifting to see a progressive candidate introduce ideas that reflected her kuleana to better the island on which she was born and raised. She addressed issues such as climate resiliency, affordable housing, food insecurity, environmental justice, Native Hawaiian rights, and access to a responsive and accountable government.

Keani won that election, and now that she is seeking reelection, it is incumbent upon the voter to review her performance during her first term. What we find is a council member who followed through on her promises. She secured $500,000 to create the Molokai Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Adaptation and Resiliency Master Plan. She supported legislation to decrease real property taxes for homeowners and businesses. She passed legislation to phase out short term vacation rental permits on Molokai. She advocated for Olelo Hawaii. She implemented the Experimental and Demonstration Housing Revolving Fund to foster creative housing solutions. She established five Molokai citizen advisory committees. She created access to remote testimony at County Council meetings for Molokai residents. She held monthly town halls for her constituents. These are just a few of her many accomplishments so far in her first term.

Importantly, I see in Keani a leader who lives her life as a public servant. She is committed to the notion of a government driven by the principle that her office is the people’s office. There is a sincerity in her actions, a heartfelt authenticity that compels me to cast my vote for her reelection. A vote for Keani is an assurance that together we will all become active players in determining our common future.

Greg Kahn


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