Commentary – Open Letter to Senator Solomon on House Bill 111

Dear Senator Solomon,

I respectfully ask that you give a hearing to the Sustainable Living Research Bill (HB111). This Bill had almost unanimous support from State Representatives as it recently passed through three House committees. Among over 200 testimonials, only one was opposed. We believe it is time to give residents more tools to implement the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan legally.

HB 111

Twenty-six years ago I co-founded ‘Bellyacres,’ an artistic ecovillage in the Puna district on the Big Island. Today, we are a demonstration model for sustainable community development. In the last year, we have been visited and praised by our County Mayor, the Chairman of our County Council and several university groups.

We have also received glowing commendations from all of our senior State leaders:

Gov. Neil Abercrombie wrote, “Bellyacres encourages renewable non-petroleum based energy, sustainable cultivation, and resource processing [and] serves as the gathering place for a community of 1200 homes and 3000 residents.”

Sen. Daniel Inouye said, “since 1987 Bellyacres has worked diligently towards building a sustainable eco-friendly community [providing] a positive enriching and safe place that helps motivate the entire community with a focus on self-sufficiency.”

Sen. Akaka commended us for “a long list of public service [with] many outstanding accomplishments.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz stated “the service provided by Bellyacres for the Hawaii public is exemplary.”

Congressional Rep. Colleen Hanabusa noted that we are “an international example for artistic ecovillages due to [our] community-based, community-owned, and community-run ideals” and thanked us for being “an example of public service by encouraging a stronger community.”

Bellyacres, plus hundreds of organizations and individuals promoting sustainable development statewide, need legislative changes to allow our activities to be permitable and regulated by our County administrations.

The benefits that the Sustainable Living Research Bill (HB111) offers to the State are very clear, so please support us with this initiative.

Sustainably yours,

Graham Ellis

President, Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance., RR2 Box 4524, Pahoa, Hi 96778, www.hawaiisustainablecommunity.org

 

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