For 10 years, it was my honor to serve as your mayor. Prior to that, I served in public service for the County of Kauai for 25 years, first as a civil servant in the Department of Parks &Recreation then with the County Agency on Elderly Affairs and then under Mayor Baptiste as the director of Parks &Recreation.
As a lifelong public servant, I truly appreciate those who feel the call to serve our island and its people. In 2020 we have an opportunity to elect someone to represent Kauai in the United States Congress who shares, understands and appreciates our island values.
State Senator Kai Kahele is this person. From his service to our country as a lieutenant colonel in the Hawaii Air National Guard through his time as a state senator for Hilo, I have great confidence in both his dedication to our island communities and his leadership capacity.
This is why I am urging the people of Kauai to elect Kai as our next U.S. congressman. As a Hilo boy, whose family comes from the fishing village of Miloli‘i in South Kona, Kai understands that the needs of Hawaii’s rural communities are different from those of Oahu’s urban core.
We need a representative who appreciates the unique challenges facing the people of Kauai, from Haena to Kekaha, and who is willing to stand up and fight for us in Washington. I have no doubt Kai is that person.
We will be facing serious challenges in the years ahead. From affordable housing to climate resilience, there are many community issues that will need federal support and funding. We need someone who will help bring in U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding so we can build more homes for our kupuna and young families.
We need someone who will help us secure federal highways money and other funding to make our communities more resilient to sea-level rise and severe storm events. We need someone who can help direct U.S. Department of Agriculture funding to our local farmers and food-producing lands.
Kai and I both believe in “Action with Aloha.” This means ensuring that decision-making by our government is compassionate and respectful of our islands’ cultures, yet this aloha must also be strong. Our leaders need to be champions for our communities. They need to be servants of the people and make decisions rooted in culture and connected to aina.
I plan to continue to find a way to serve the people of Kauai and the people of Hawaii. Wherever that road takes me, I know I am more likely to be effective and successful with Kai Kahele representing me, my ohana and our island community in Washington D.C.
We need “Action with Aloha.” We need Kai Kahele in Congress. Please join me in supporting him.
Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. is a Kapaa resident and former Kauai mayor.
Source: The Garden Island