Our Vision Our Aina
Here on Hawaii Island we import eighty percent of the food that we consume. Flipping this statistic is a must if we want to be self-reliant. As a restaurateur Ippy has a very close relationship with the local farmers and understands how hard they work and how important they are. COVID-19 has shown us the grim reality of our current situation. When the tourists leave, the hotels close and the barges slow, we should still be able to eat & survive in a sustainable way that does not destroy our precious ecosystem. This is not something that we can simply accomplish overnight. To achieve this Ippy has a longterm multi phase plan that allows strong political policies to create a sustainable agriculture oriented economy in Hawaii. We have to first create an environment that allows farmers and ranchers to thrive, this includes longterm affordable water, less restrictions, more slaughterhouses, smart government programs, education grants, large-scale co-ops and agriculture oriented policies. Understanding that we have to invest in our future will be key in fixing this problem and achieving our goal of a self fed Hawaii.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to open a small business in our community. Ippy personally experienced this when a broken fire hydrant caused a four month delay causing the near loss of his business while trying to cut through the red tape. We must simplify the permitting process and become a state that encourages new small businesses not deters them. Ippy is very passionate about getting more locally owned businesses up and running. One option of doing this would be accomplished by setting up programs in the community to help new applicants with creating a business plan, securing funding and walking them through the much too complex permitting process that is currently in place. During these uncertain times, when COVID-19 is shuttering many small businesses, it is now more important than ever that we try to facilitate the opening of more locally owned small businesses. This would create more jobs as well as stimulate local economic growth.
The State of Hawaii depends heavily on petroleum for its energy needs. We lead the nation in our dependency on oil for energy. That is not a statistic we can be proud of. In fact, Hawaii's electricity prices are three times higher than the average U.S household. We have an ample amount of renewable energy sources that we can take advantage of including, ocean currents, wind and solar just to name a few. If properly organized and developed this renewable energy can lead to a cleaner & more self-sustainable Hawaii.
The Community Development Plan serves as the forum for community input into things like roads, parks, natural resources, infrastructure and public facilities. Ippy believes this is a clear vision into what the community wants and will work tirelessly with the CDP to make sure that the community's needs are met . One important project would be securing the funding to create a storm shelter, allowing people to stay in a safe environment if their homes are destroyed in a natural disaster. During COVID-19 Ippy has been feeding hundreds of hungry Kupuna and community members in need and it has been very eye opening to see how many people need help, a long term solution would be community gardens & kitchens. Allowing a space where members of the community can grow food, cook meals and learn the value of feeding ourselves would be a huge benefit for our district. These types of changes are necessary for the ever-growing population in our district.
One Major concern of Ippy's is how many politicians are simply writing off tourism. Tourism is a large part of our economy. Yes it is true that we must be able to diversify our economy and not depend so heavily on tourism. However there is no reason that the tourism industry can't flourish and still allow other sectors of our economy such as agriculture and renewable energy to grow as well. A large majority of the workers in our district depend heavily on tourism in one way or another and we must work to help bring back that large part of our economy and the thousands of jobs that it creates. Ippy agrees with Lt Governor Josh Green that a safe quick testing system would help ensure the tourist and local's safety allowing more visitors to feel safe and travel to Hawaii.