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Voter Owned Hawaii Retracts Statement on Publicly Funded Elections

Aloha,

Unfortunately, we had inaccurate information regarding the impact of redistricting on the Big Island pilot Fair Elections program.  We were under the impression that redistricting would nullify the program.  That was incorrect.

We still need to pass language that was contained in HB 2700 HD1, and we’re going to be working to get that language re-inserted into another bill.

Thank your for staying with us and for all of your help.  We’ll let you know what are next steps are asap.

 

Mahalo,

Voter Owned Hawaii

http://voterownedhawaii.org

808-457-8622

 

http://www.facebook.com/voterowned.hawaii

https://twitter.com/#!/VoterOwnedHawai

Councilman Pete Hoffman on Perceptions, Credibility and Redistricting

Commentary by Councilman Pete Hoffman

The once-every-ten year convening of the County’s Redistricting Commission tends to cloud the significance and importance of its work. No one should underestimate the impact this commission’s decisions have on County politics. In some cases, the drawing of district boundaries causes little alteration, but as the recent commission’s efforts have demonstrated, profound changes can occur by ‘moving’ district boundaries only a few streets in one direction or the other. In a very fundamental sense, the determinations reached by the commission form the basis for the political structure the County will endure for a ten year period. If these determinations are questionable, public participation is likely to suffer, and the perception of a less than transparent County government affects all individuals involved.

The 2011 version of the Redistricting Commission provides a useful model to examine. In general, the commission performed outstanding work in fielding any number of potential boundary changes and in facing a variety of community generated complaints and suggestions. No one can argue that the commission failed to consider public comments. Overall public perception of the commission’s efforts I believe was positive, even in the face of criticism regarding the ‘last minute’ boundary change affecting the Hilo area. But it was just this incident that causes concern, particularly if this situation would have directly impacted the political opportunities of the commissioners personally.

Make no mistake; public perception of this process is extremely important. It is not to be treated lightly. While it would probably be impossible to eliminate all circumstances that would generate misperceptions regarding the validity and transparency of the redistricting process, anything that can be done to tackle obvious pitfalls should be wholeheartedly embraced. That forms the basis for my sponsoring Bill 192 which calls for a proposed Charter Amendment to be placed on the ballot in November of this year, prohibiting the members of the Redistricting Commission from running for County Council positions for one term (two years) after the redistricting plan has been adopted. This change, obviously, does not apply to the members of the recent redistricting effort but would affect future commissions.

This is not an original concept. Most municipalities (city and county) on the mainland have some restrictions for individuals who participate in redistricting programs. The State of Hawai’i currently mandates that members of its Reapportionment Commission (which draws the State Senate and State Legislature boundaries) can’t run for those offices for four years after they’ve served. I feel this might be too much of a restriction to impose on otherwise qualified individuals. The two year exclusion seems to me to be a better limit.

The restoration and maintenance of credibility in our County government are tasks for all elected officials and community leaders. Where we can take action without causing undue turmoil, we should. Bill 192 addresses only a small aspect of this effort, which is not currently addressed in any manner in our Charter. If approved for placement on the ballot in November, this measure affords the voters a chance to eliminate a perception that would impact adversely on the credibility of our County government.

PETE HOFFMANN

County of Hawaii Redistricting Meetings

Map of Hawaii highlighting Hawaii County

Image via Wikipedia

Here is some information on upcoming redistricting public hearings and regular meetings that are open to the public. If you have any questions about these meetings, please contact Karen Eoff at (808) 323-4264 or by email at keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us.

  • September 23, 2011, (Friday) – WHCC, Kona @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  • October 1, 2011 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m. @ Pāpa‛aloa Gym, 35-1994 Government Main Road, Laupahoehoe, HI 96764 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 1, 2011 (Saturday) 2:00 p.m. @ Waimea Community Center, 65-1260 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela, HI, 96743 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 6, 2011 (Thursday) 6:00 p.m. @ Kamana Senior Center, 127 Kamana Street, Room 1, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 11, 2011 (Tuesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Pāhoa Neighborhood Center, 15-2710 Kauhale Road, Pāhoa, HI 96788 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 12, 2011 (Wednesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Nā‘ālehu Comm. Cntr, 95-5635 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nā‘ālehu, HI 96772 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 15, 2011 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m. @ Hilo Council Chambers, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 15, 2011 (Saturday) 2:00 p.m. @ Kea‘au Community Center, 16-186 Pili Mua Street, Kea‘au, HI 96749 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 17, 2011 (Monday) 6:00 p.m. @ WHCC, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 20, 2011 (Thursday) 6:00 p.m. @ Yano Hall, 82-6156 Mamalahoa Hwy. Captain Cook, HI 96704 – Pub. Hearing – PLEASE NOTE:  CORRECTION TO OCTOBER 20TH PUBLIC HEARING AT YANO HALL MEETING TIME IS 6:00 PM (NOT 2:00 PM AS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN)
  •  October 21, 2011, (Friday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  •  November 3, 2011, (Thursday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  •  November 10, 2011, (Thursday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting (Decide on Draft Plan)
  •  November 21, 2011 (Monday) 6:00 p.m. @ WHCC, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 – Pub. Hearing
  •  November 22, 2011 (Tuesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Hilo Council Chambers, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  November 30, 2011, (Wednesday) – 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting (Decide on Final Plan)

Hawaii County Redistricting Software Now Online

From what I’ve been reading in the newspapers, there was some trouble getting the redistricting software made available to the Redistricting Commission.

Today the County of Hawaii released the website to the new Redistricting Online Software for Hawaii County redistricting purposes.  It seems fairly easy to use and I was able to understand it within a few minutes of reading the instructions.  Here is a quick screenshot at what folks on the Redistricting Commission will be working with.

Click to Enlarge

I’m not on the redistricting commission, however the link was sent to me and I’m not sure if it’s available to the general public.

I just sent an email off to the secretary of the Redistricting Commission asking if it was… and if it is… I’ll update this post with the link to the site.

*UPDATE*

The site is available for the general public:

https://redistricting.hawaii.gov/districting/districting.html

rajhawaii just left the following comment:

Yes, it is available to the public! Thanks for helping spread the word Damon. The site is primarily for the State Reapportionment Commission but has been made available to the counties including Hawaii County.

Please help spread the word that persons submitting plans to the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission should follow the submission guidelines for the County. They should NOT USE the “Submit” button in the application since that sends their plan to the State Commission.

Plans for Hawaii Senate and Hawaii House should be sent to the State Commission using the “Submit” button.

Hawaii Census Numbers… Big Island Has Largest Population Percentage Increase at 24.5%

Media Release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released more detailed 2010 Census population totals and demographic characteristics to the governor and leadership of the state legislature in Hawaii. These data provide the first look at population counts for small areas and race, Hispanic origin, voting age and housing unit data released from the 2010 Census.

The official 2010 Census Redistricting Data Summary File can be used to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts under Public Law 94-171. The census data are used by state officials to realign congressional and state legislative districts in their states, taking into account population shifts since the 2000 Census.

Data for Hawaii show that the five most populous places and their 2010 Census counts are Urban Honolulu, 337,256; East Honolulu, 49,914; Pearl City, 47,698; Hilo, 43,263; and Kailua, 38,635. Pearl City grew by 54.0 percent since the 2000 Census. Hilo grew by 6.1 percent and Kailua grew by 5.8 percent. Percent change data are not available for Urban Honolulu and East Honolulu census designated places because they were established after the 2000 Census.

The largest county is Honolulu, with a population of 953,207. Its population grew by 8.8 percent since 2000. The state’s other four counties include Hawaii, with a population of 185,079 (increase of 24.5 percent); Maui, 154,834 (increase of 20.9 percent); Kauai, 67,091 (increase of 14.8 percent); and Kalawao, 90 (decrease of 38.8 percent).

The redistricting file consists of five detailed tables: the first shows the population by race, including six single race groups and 57 multiple race groups (63 total race categories); the second shows the Hispanic or Latino population as well as the non-Hispanic or Latino population cross-tabulated by the 63 race categories. These tabulations are repeated in the third and fourth tables for the population 18 years and over and are for the resident population of the United States. The fifth table provides counts of housing units and their occupancy status.

These five detailed tables are available to the public online via FTP download at http://www2.census.gov/census_2010/01-Redistricting_File–PL_94-171/ and will be available within 24 hours at http://factfinder2.census.gov.  (Access 2003 or Access 2007 shells or SAS scripts are provided to assist with importing and accessing the summary file data from the FTP site.  These shells and scripts can be found at http://www.census.gov/rdo/tech_tips.  This Web page also contains special instructions for linking data downloaded from FactFinder and/or the FTP site with the Census Bureau’s geographic products.)

By April 1, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive these data for the following areas: state, congressional districts (for 111th Congress), counties, minor civil divisions, state legislative districts, places, school districts, census tracts, block groups and blocks, and if applicable, American Indian and Alaska Native areas and Hawaiian home lands. In addition, data are available for the 46 states that voluntarily provided voting districts to the Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program. Unique geographies for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are also available.