Protecting 'Āina Restoring Pono Walter Ritte

 

 

Together, we must rebuild our economy based on the values of Aloha ‘Aina, instead of the values of extractive industry. It has been my life’s work to make Hawai’i more sustainable, based on the wisdom of our kupuna, and I will continue to do so in the legislature.

I will fight for: 

A New Green Economy 

  • Establish a Conservation Fee for visitors that will fund Conservation Corps jobs, providing career paths for our youth in science, ecology and field work. Jobs in ecosystem rehabilitation, and indigenous responses to sea level rise such as rehabilitation of wetlands, sand dunes and fish ponds instead of seawalls.
  • Invest in agricultural practices that sequester carbon, and large-scale state-wide composting systems that reduce the release of methane, slowing climate change and rebuilding our depleted soils.
  • Establish a carrying capacity for popular but sensitive areas, and regulate the number of visitors allowed, to protect the environment and the quality of experience for locals and visitors.  This has been successful in Hanauma Bay and for sunset at Haleakalā, so we should expand to places like the road to Hana and Molokini. 
  • Seek Aloha ‘Āina investors, bringing “conscious capital” that truly serve our communities’ needs on the communities’ terms.
  • Create fresh and salt water hatcheries to stock fishponds, reefs and rivers.

Housing

  • Use precious tax dollars to subsidize truly affordable housing, by non-profit developers or in community land trusts on vacant State & County owned lands, that will benefit residents for generations instead of becoming investment properties.
  • Take immediate action to put Hawaiians on DHHL lands, and empower them to build the kind of homes and communities that suit their specific family needs

Education

  • Make teacher pay raises a priority.
  • Emphasize more education in trades, based in sustainability and Hawaiian indigenous knowledge.  Let’s use our education system to raise a generation skilled in things like sustainable infrastructure, organic farming, ahupua’a management, and community based shoreline management including fishponds.    
  • Organize programs that bring ‘ohana and community back into the schools

Agriculture

  • Funding that directly supports infrastructure and equipment to scale up local food production, including things like food hubs, feral pig and deer fencing and USDA organic certification.
  • Mandate that schools and state institutions purchase local when possible.  
  • Encourage home gardens, gathering, hunting and fishing.
  • Defend water rights for East Maui and Na Wai Eha, restoring stream connectivity and abundant agriculture in our East Maui and Na Wai ‘Eha communities

I will make decisions at the state legislature in the interests of District 13, to protect and enhance the rural country lifestyle of Pa’ia, Ha’iku, Keanae, Hana, Kipahulu, Kaupo, Moloka’i, Lana’i, and Kaho’olawe, and in the interests of Keeping Country Country.  I will refer to policies and priorities in the Pa’ia/Hai’ku, Lana’i and Moloka’i community plans, and actively engage community action groups. 

I will be District 13’s voice in Honolulu on community-specific issues:

Pa’ia/Ha’iku/East Maui

  • Purchase of Hana Ranch. 
  • Supporting kalo farmers.
  • Support interests of local business as we continue to diversify our economy.

Moloka’i

  • Protect water rights 
  • Purchase of Molokai Ranch 
  • Implementing the Molokai Subsistence plan
  • Plan and funding for invasive species removal from reefs and land
  • Youth Conservation Corps who can work to stock the north shore rivers with fish, shrimp and hihiwai, work with Kalaupapa National Park to remove invasive plants from Waikolu Valley and plant taro in existing terraces
  • Establish a hunting and deer management plan.

Lana’i

  • Support efforts to rebuild their fishponds and restore their historic sites
  • Continue building infrastructure to support regenerative ag. 
  • Help organize community groups to provide a voice for the people.

Kaho’olawe

  • Leave her alone, observe and learn how the powers of nature heal that island.