Moving forward with aloha
By Nohelani Uʻu-Hodgins
It has been one month since our community suffered great loss from the traumatic Maui fires.
The saying, “it takes a village,” has never been more relevant than it is today. Community members, private and public enterprises have put their differences aside to help those in need.
Unfortunately, rumors derived from fear, negligence and insensitive comments have also impacted our community. Mālama, aloha and inspiration towards the community are what is needed during this trying time.
The ongoing priority is to mālama our families and friends who have been directly impacted by the fires. I ask that we move with aloha in everything we do and allow those affected to have the time they need to grieve.
The council’s Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency Committee, which I chair, has been assigned the responsibility to begin consideration of a recovery and resiliency plan when and only when the Kula and Lāhainā communities are ready. The council referred Resolution 23-194 to committee for this purpose.
An announcement on this resolution is yet to be determined.
All eight standing council committees will help create legislation to help Maui Nui’s people adapt and rebuild with a shared vision. The committees will need guidance and research from experts in many fields to produce an effective course of legislative action.
It will take a unified effort to address our communities’ short- and long-term needs. Cultural sensitivity and environmental sustainability are critical for durable economic resiliency.
We are all walking through unchartered territory, but there has been an overwhelming amount of support from our community members, neighboring islands and people around the world.
If you would like to share your insights and aspirations for recovery, please write to the Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency Committee at 200 S. High St., Wailuku 96793 or email@example.com. You may also visit www.mauicounty.us for upcoming committee agenda items.
I would like to express my gratitude for everyone who has donated, volunteered, been involved in the groundwork and those who offered their living spaces to our community on this road to recovery.
A special mahalo goes out to our first responders. No words can adequately express my admiration and gratitude for their courageous actions while serving and protecting our community.
Additionally, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to all those affected by the fires and extend my heartfelt aloha to the families that have lost loved ones. May you cherish them forever in your heart.
Although Lāhainā has suffered much loss, the spirit and pride of the people still stands strong.
We need each other now more than ever as we face unprecedented challenges. It is my hope and belief that the people of Maui Nui will continue to work together and bridge any gaps that could cause divisiveness.
Our community’s commitment to each other is a true testament that proves right by the saying, “Maui nō ka ‘oi.” If you or someone you know has been directly affected by the Maui fires, please visit https://www.mauicounty.us/ for a list of available resources.
*Nohe Uʻu-Hodgins is the chair of the Government Relations, Ethics and Transparency Committee. She holds the County Council seat for the Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia residency area. “Council’s 3 Minutes” is a column to explain the latest news on county legislative and community matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.