Failing to Prioritize People’s Needs Fails Us All

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In this week’s Civil Beat, there was an article about the public housing situation. It’s not a new story at all. It is getting funding cut to it and is deteriorating or dilapidated in some cases. Many people depend on this and without it, these folks would be on the streets.

Many legislators have been in office for quite sometime and I’m sure are well aware of this problem. According to CB, some of the units shoot out black water from the plumbing or are pest infested causing allergies and asthma. If a private landlord allowed people to live in these conditions, they’d be investigated and fined. However, because this is the state, there is no such urgency or accountability for these issues. The keiki and kupuna who call these units homes must just tolerate it.

Shouldn’t this be an urgent priority for our lawmakers? There is a really high probability of someone getting ill or hurt living in substandard conditions. Isn’t this something that the health committee should consider a priority?

Sadly, the needs of the most vulnerable of folks will not likely be heard. Instead, our politicians like Senator Josh Green and Representative Chris Lee turn their heads to the loudest of people. These activists have more than enough food and have enough free time to get on a plane to protest island to island. They have enough disposable income to be able to buy more expensive food. Ironically, these people’s needs are the priority.

There may indeed be illnesses as claimed but it has not been ascertained. All of these illnesses seem to be based in speculation and politicians want to base their laws upon a guess. This actually fails to find the real causes before it turned into law. How does this help anyone? It doesn’t.

Instead of really looking at all sides of the issue and only listening to the squeaky wheels, our leaders fail the ones who need their support the most. Where’s the true leader who can say what is needed the most to the loudest? Are they willing to step up to address the real priorities? Where is that person for these folks who are the 1 in 5 who live in poverty and have to worry about stretching their dollar each month?

Leaders sometimes have to make unpopular decisions at time and not duck from what is right. Yes, GMOs and pesticides are the hot topic now, however the data collected shows otherwise.

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