Populism: It’s in the air. On the Legislature’s opening day, hundreds of citizens held a “We, the People” rally in defense of the environment, food security and democracy. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, in his “We, the People” inaugural address, a reenergized Barack Obama reaffirmed his commitment to equality, social justice and fighting climate change. The President followed the lead of his wife, Michelle, whose evocation of humble origins, hard work and education in her speech at the party convention marked the turning point of his campaign.
In his State of the State address the next day, Gov. Neil Abercrombie proposed to increase the minimum wage and fund early childhood education and watershed protection. On the national level, Hawaii has got some fresh energy, with Brian Schatz in the Senate and new Rep. Tulsi Gabbard already placed on the Democratic National Committee. It’s time for Hawaii to become something of our own determining, rather than just a tourist and luxury second-home destination, a military outpost and the U.S. cradle of genetically engineered seed.
In her cover story about issues facing local government, Karleanne Matthews includes information as to how we can get involved. She’ll be providing other opportunities in her “Civix” column every week.
By the way, have you read much about GMOs, Vandana Shiva and last week’s rallies in the mainstream press? Didn’t think so. That’s why the Weekly is here. With your support, we’ll continue to speak the truth to power, despite growing media monopolization (see Joan Conrow’s article, pg. 5).
So stay engaged. Keep sending us your letters and questions, commenting at [HonoluluWeekly.com] and following us on Twitter at @HonoluluWeekly and on Facebook and Tumblr. We’re proud to be your voice.