Dear Senator Malama Solomon,
Thank you for all of your hard work during this legislative session. As a resident of the Big Island, I look to lawmakers like you to pass legislation that preserves, protects, and enhances our way of life here in Hawaii.
A very important bill that does just that, and is on the cusp of becoming law, has just been assigned to aSenate Conference Committee that you will Chair. I am writing to implore you to give “SB2274: Relating to Sustainable Living” a hearing.
You are likely aware that SB2274 has been thoroughly reviewed and has passed through all six committees in the House and the Senate with overwhelmingly positive testimony. My understanding of the purpose of conference committees is to negotiate over the House and Senate amendments. Please allow this process to happen.
Support for this legislation has been demonstrated by well over 100 testimonies from organizations and individuals; the Hawaii County Council, who unanimously passed Hawaii County Resolution 302-12 urging the Hawaii State Legislature to pass this exact type of legislation; Governor Abercrombie who in his 2014 State of the State Address envisions the Hawaiian Islands as “a learning laboratory for scalable, innovative mitigation, adaptation policies and techniques, providing a model on local and regional collaboration.”
At the Hawaii Sustainability Conference last week, Al Gore expressed that “the way we have to respond [to a changing world] is going to require a set of changes that are beyond our routine…our way of life is at stake, our grandchildren are at stake, the future of civilization is at stake.”
A large, growing number of residents on your island, including constituents from your district promote sustainable living. As a staunch supporter of home rule for each county, it is your kuliana to pass SB2274 to give the counties of Hawaii and Maui the power to determine what sustainable activities are permitted.
Senator, l live in an ecovillage that has been visited and praised by the Mayor, the Hawaii County Council Chairman and at least six Council members; we have letters of commendation from Governor Abercrombie, Senator Inouye, Senator Akaka, Senator Schatz, Representative Hanabusa, and many others. Across our island there are numerous organizations operating or planning sustainable living research and we need this bill to permit us to do these activities in compliance with the law and under the regulation of our County Planning Dept.
In conjunction with over 700 members of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance, l have worked for four years to get this legislation passed. l care for my daughter and all children, and l am greatly concerned about the world our generation is passing on to them. Please consider the future of our whole island o’hanaand let this bill move forward so that we can work together to find some solutions to the tremendous problems facing all passengers in our Big Island canoe.
President, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance