Aloha, Maui County. This is an important election. Please vote! November 6, 2018. We have several great community-minded candidates to choose from. The more of these Ohana Candidates elected into office, the sooner we will see legislation for the health of the people and our fragile environment. Spotlight: Tasha Kama:
Long time, Hawaiian, community advocate, Natalie “Tasha” Kama, has been doing social justice work for over 30 years. She and her colleagues have been focusing on affordable housing, Hawaiian Sovereignty, Hawaiian Home Lands, both county and state issues, and tells us that making changes in our society is all about participation and being accountable. Tasha currently serves as a policymaker on the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. She has served as a commissioner of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, where she helped to facilitate the historic transition of volunteers becoming salaried commissioners. She served on the Hawaiian Sovereignty Advisory Commission to the governor during Waihee’s and Cayetano’s administrations, giving advice to the governor on the direction of the movement. She also worked for Faith Action for Community Equity, a social justice organization, achieving the translation of the state driver’s license test in 12 languages to create equity and social justice for all. Tasha says “We need to think about things in the way of what’s right for everybody to become a successful society.”
Tasha believes that many community members feel disenfranchised from years of not having their voices heard by policymakers who have forgotten their roles as public servants, who serve private interests and not the common good. Tasha views her role as county council member to serve, and to listen, and as a means of inspiring more people to get involved in civic engagement. She believes in government for the people by the people and because the hands of a few currently drive our politics, she hopes that people will rise up and take mass action together to make these important changes, together.
The word ohana, to Tasha, as a native person, is about what happens in a family when people work together as a team. She sees the Maui Ohana Candidates, as her family, and as an opportunity to work together collectively for the betterment of the community. Tasha tells us that Hawaiian culture is based on community focus, in contrast to capitalism, which is all about “what I myself can earn, get and accumulate.” Hawaiian culture creates an atmosphere of abundance by focusing on the distribution of wealth for all rather than the capitalist accumulation of wealth at the cost of others. Hawaiian culture recognizes that how we take care of the ocean, the environment, and the land is how we take care of the human being.