Thereʻs a very good chance that you have no idea who I am. My name is Nathaniel Kinney.
I am interested in finding out what concerns Hawaiʻiʻs tech industry might have at the City & County level. In addition, I am also interested in finding out from members of Hawaiʻiʻs tech industry, how the City government can do things differently to become more efficient.
At this point, you may be wondering, why the heck does this Nathaniel Kinney guy want to know and who the heck is he to even ask us these questions?
In response to those two questions, I now present my actual introduction. I am one of 14 candidates running for the Honolulu City Council District 5 seat. The District 5 seat was recently left vacant by the unfortunate and untimely death of our council member Dr. Duke Bainum. I bring a fresh perspective to the council. This perspective however, will not be mine and mine alone, but rather it will fall within the ownership of a collective group of ("young" and "new") people (including yourselves) who know what specifically can be done differently and how it can be done smarter.
It would not surprise me at all if, at this point, youʻre convinced I am not going to win this election because two of my opponents have much more name recognition than I do. You would be correct, they currently do have name recognition. However, in the next few days and weeks, as we all campaign, I am convinced that for those keeping tabs on this special election, that you will become more familiar with my name and my vision for Honolulu.
There are a number of organizations that have heard my vision and now endorse me. Among these organizations are:
- Hawaii Firefighters,
- Hawaii State AFL-CIO,
- Hawaii Carpenters Union, and
- Operating Engineers.
Endorsements, as Iʻm sure you know, are important. That I, a 29 year-old "new" candidate, was able to get these endorsements, when there are career politicians with much more name recognition than me means something. What it means is, that these long-standing organizations are not happy with current law makers and career politicians. These organizations want someone with a fresh perspective and who can bring new ideas to the problems we face. We cannot continue doing what we have been doing. My fear for our city is that, electing the same people into office is going to yield us the same results.
We cannot afford the same results during these tough economic times. During a term of high unemployment levels, our city government has decided to:
- increase property tax rates,
- increase vehicle registration fees, and
- increase the bus fare.
I do not envy the difficult position our city government is in. I do want to be a part of the solution. With your support, I am confident that we can develop smarter and more innovative solutions to our problems.
During these tough economic times, increasing taxes should be our last resort. Our first plan of action should include "audits" of the way we operate. Are we using the most efficient technology that allows our government to work more quickly? Are we changing our behaviors to reduce/eliminate government waste and energy consumption?
I know that there are ways that we can re-build a more efficient government without cutting jobs. We have to work smarter. We may have to move people around to different departments of the city government (as we become more efficient), but I know that there is more that we can do than what we are doing now. I also know that our local tech industry can help us get out of this mess.
I now return to where I began. How can the Honolulu City Council help you, the tech industry, and would you mind sharing with me how the tech industry can help make our government run smarter and more efficiently?
Thank you very much,