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    March 2018
    S M T W T F S
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Public Invited to Community Town Hall Meeting With Sen. Russell Ruderman

The public is invited to join Senator Russell Ruderman as he hosts a Community Talk Story Session in Kea‘au to discuss state legislation, community priorities, and how the public can participate in the legislative process with a look towards the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.

Ruderman Town Hall Meeting

The talk story will be held at the Kea‘au Community Center on Thursday, December 12th at 6pm.  Please join your senator for a lively session to provide your feedback in this democratic process.

For more information, please call Senator Ruderman’s office in Honolulu at (808) 586-6890 or toll free at 974-4000 (then enter 66890) or by email: senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.

This event is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

2013 Hawaii Legislative Session Begins – Opening Day Speech By Representative Scott Saiki

Hawaii House Representative Scott Saiki

Hawaii House Representative Scott Saiki

Mr. Speaker, Colleagues and Guests,

I would like to begin this morning by thanking some people.

First, and I know I can say this on behalf of all members, thank you to the residents of our respective communities who have given all of us the opportunity to represent them in the Legislature.

Second, thank you to our families and friends – many of whom are seated with us today. They are the ones who stand by us and believe that we are trying to do the right thing. They make more sacrifices than we do. We thank them for their support and presence in our lives.  

Third, there is a member of our Democratic caucus whom we would like to recognize. He is grounded and strives to teach House members to be grounded themselves, to be responsible and to be practical and philosophical. He serves his community, our State and our body with distinction. Thank you to Representative Calvin Say and his family for their service and sacrifice throughout the years.

[ lei presentation – Rep. Luke ]

Finally, there is another House member whom I would like to thank. This Representative also serves with distinction and with steadfast allegiance to our democratic process. He has been a statesman and has made our transition an orderly one. Thank you to Representative Marcus Oshiro.

[ lei presentation – Rep. Awana ]

Mr. Speaker, we are all here because we have a common goal. We want to ensure that the State of Hawaii is and continues to be a place where we all live in safety, with dignity, and with fair opportunity. This is not a partisan concept – it is embraced by all.

Every legislative session, thousands of students from elementary, middle and high schools throughout the State visit the State Capitol. They usually tour the building and observe our House floor session. The members also meet with them and usually give them a mini civics lesson.

There are two subjects that we discuss with students that I believe are pertinent today.

The first subject is the symbolism of the State Capitol. The building itself represents a volcano that is surrounded by coconut trees and the ocean. Our House chamber is decorated in earth tones and a sun lamp. In contrast, the Senate chamber is shaded in ocean blue with a moon lamp.

I have to say that it is more appropriate that earth colors are on our side – because everyone agrees that the House is the more grounded body in the Legislature.

But don’t tell the Senate President I just said that.

Because we have more members and smaller districts, we have a constant check on the pulse of our community.

Mr. Speaker, the second subject that we discuss with students is the legislative process. We explain that the Legislature is an independent and co- equal branch of government and that legislators pass laws. What we don’t really explain is how the Legislature and legislators do their work.

Maybe that’s on purpose. Everyone knows the saying about the similarities between lawmaking and sausage making. But perhaps the lawmaking process doesn’t have to always be that way.

As we keep mindful of the memory of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, we should remember his qualities as a statesman who placed the bigger picture and the greater good ahead of personal politics. A colleague of his, Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, recently said this of Senator Inouye:

“He was a counselor to younger members like me, a great listener, and a Senator who always put his nation and the people of Hawaii ahead of partisan politics and his own ambition.”

Mr. Speaker, we should follow Senator Inouye’s lead, for we know

that the public wants us to work together to produce results.

There are 51 members in this body. Each brings experience and perspective. We will rely upon each member to play a meaningful role in the Legislature.

After all, that is what we are all elected to do.

Simply put and geographically speaking, our State is too small, and our challenges too large, for there to be division within the people’s House.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to conclude by introducing the newest members of our body. It takes a lot to be a candidate for public office – to put your name and reputation into a public arena – and worse yet, to sign wave every morning and pau hana.

I would like to begin by introducing our two quasi-freshmen.

19 Former Representative, Former Senator, and Current Representative Bert Kobayashi

30 Former Representative, Former Councilmember,

and Current Representative Romy Cachola

Mr. Speaker, we also have five true freshmen who take their work seriously and want to make a difference. Please join me in welcoming them.

District 3 Richard Onishi

6 Nicole Lowen

9 Justin Woodson

11 Kaniela Ing

27 Takashi Ohno  

34 Gregg Takayama

I want our freshmen to know that we senior members of this body will support them, serve as examples, and work to advance them as leaders.

Mr. Speaker, I know that this will be a productive legislative session that will produce good results for our State.

Thank you very much.


Senator Gilbert Kahele Begins “Talk Story” Forums on the Big Island

Hawaii Island’s District 2 State Senator Gilbert Kahele begins the first of five “Talk Story” forums this Wednesday August 31st in Volcano at the Copper Center at 5:30PM

Senator Gil Kahele

State Senator Gilbert Kahele begins the first of five "Talk Story" forums this Wednesday August 31st in Volcano at the Copper Center at 5:30PM

Building upon the completion of a successful legislative session as Hawai’i Island’s District 2 freshman State Senator, Senator Kahele is using these forums to hear the concerns of his constituents as well as help him prepare for the upcoming 27th Legislative session in January. He will provide a re-cap of the 26th Legislative session as well as address specific issues pertaining to individual communities where the forums will be held.

Members of the community can email the Senator with issues and questions for the forum. He will make every effort to address those questions and report on the findings of those issues at the forum.

Senator Kahele’s Fall “Talk Story” Forum Dates and Locations are:


August 31st 2011, 5:30-7:30PM at the Cooper Center


September 21st 2011, 5:30-7:30PM at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility


October 14th 2011, 5:30-7:30PM at the Ocean View Community Center


October 26th 2011, 5:30-7:30PM at the Pahala Community Center


November 16th 2011, 5:30PM to 7:30PM at the Waiakea High School Cafeteria

Email your issue(s) to: senkahele@capitol.hawaii.gov or call/fax in your issue to: 1-808-586-6760 (Office) 1-808-586-6689 (Fax) Please let us know which forum you’ll be attending, and send your issue no later than 3 days prior to the forum to guarantee it will be on the agenda.