`Ano`ai kakou… Let me begin by expressing my warmest Mahalo to all those who supported me in the General Election. Your kokua has allowed me to return to OHA to serve you for another four-year term. A very special Mahalo nui to Ke Akua for his divine guidance and love that he has bestowed upon me and my family.
Now that the election is over, the time has come for all us to come together in spirit and give the Akaka bill the final push it needs to become law. The bill will provide powerful protection from the constant threat of lawsuits to all of our Hawaiian trust assets. This is the reason why I have always supported the bill. What we face today as Hawaiians is no different than what occurred over the past 100 years. We are still fighting off assaults on our culture, the deterioration of our rights to our lands, and attacks from racist organizations.
Let us begin to work together for the cause of recognition. Let us begin to agree on the things that we can agree to and set aside the things we differ on and move forward together for the future generations of Hawaiians yet to come.
This was an unusually difficult race with so many people running for the three at-large seats. As I traveled around the state, I listened to many questions that people had about Nationhood that I could only conclude that OHA was not doing enough to educate the people in our home state about sovereignty. What would sovereignty mean to Hawaiians and, just as importantly, how or will it affect the non-Hawaiians. This situation has got to change. Trustees are going to have to speak up and make this happen.
What is also needed is your participation. You must challenge EACH TRUSTEE to be accountable to you. It is unfortunate that you cannot assume that trustees will do this on their own. Like any governing entity, from time to time, especially when one faction has been in power for too long like it has been at OHA, “the people” need to become actively involved. Otherwise, complacency occurs and the abuse of power is inevitable.
As we close out the year of 2010, I would like to wish each of you a very safe and happy holiday season, and may the Lord in his grace bless each of you and your families and take you safely into 2011. Have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Aloha Ke Akua.