The public is invited to wave signs in support of “clean elections” 5-6 p.m. Friday in front of Hopaco at 280 Makaala St. in Hilo.
“In 2008, Hawaii became the ninth state in the country to implement a comprehensive public funding (clean elections) program. A program was created for the Hawaii Island County Council elections beginning with the 2010 elections,” said spokesman Justin Avery of the sponsoring Global H.O.P.E. (Hawaii Organization for Peace and the Environment)
“That program was successful, with the majority of winning county council members financed by the program,” said Avery. “House Bill 2533 is currently making its way through the Hawaii State Legislature. It would create a clean election program for state representatives.”
“This bill is one of the most significant democracy reform measures currently before the Hawaii Legislature,” said Carmille Lim, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii. “House Bill 2533 has the potential to change Hawaii’s political landscape by requiring the candidates who opt-in to this program to focus on the concerns of the average constituent, instead of large donations from the wealthy donors and special interests who currently have a stronghold on Hawaii’s politics.”
“The ‘clean elections’ bill from last legislative session, HB 1481, was killed in conference committee by Oahu legislator Clayton Hee. Supporters of the bill are determined to pass clean election legislation this session,” said Avery.
Supporters include The League of Women Voters, The Sierra Club, Common Cause, Public Citizen, Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the Honolulu Weekly.