All In for Kirk Caldwell for Mayor 2012

Politics is never fun. It’s tough, messy, and most often unrewarding. So, I don’t get involved in politics. Instead, I just get involved. My company Pono Media has been retained by the Kirk Caldwell for Mayor 2012 campaign to provide social media strategic support. As with all of my freelance clients, the decision wasn’t immediate.

Since early-2011 I began spending more time with Kirk Caldwell talking story about everything from the 2010 election, the power of social media, the future of Hawaii, personal growth, local traditions, and our common favorite past-time surfing. Each time we got together; I learned more about him as a person, a citizen, a resident, and his vision as a leader.

Having spent most of the past year studying and practicing empathetic listening as a design thinking coach, it was refreshing to talk story with Kirk. He’s very likable, but more than that he spent a lot of time listening to me and my vision as a community member. Too often, especially the past several months, people feel not only are our leaders not listening, but they don’t even hear us. This is not the impression, feeling, or otherwise I get from Kirk.

The Issues with Rail

While there are candidates, community members, and media that will make rail the focal point of the 2012 mayoral election; Kirk knows this race is about more than just one project. But, let’s discuss this issue first. Since the 90s, I have been a supporter of rail and I continue too. I see the benefits, not for my lifetime, but for those of the generations to come.

Plagued in environmental complaints and legal challenges, it took 37-years for the Interstate H-3 to be completed. For the record, I’m not saying that the environmental complaints and legal challenges were incorrect or unnecessary. I believe it caused necessary due diligence for such a large scale project. My Nanny and Papa (my maternal grandparents) were supporters of H-3. They could see the transportation benefits of H-3 while empathizing with the cultural impacts. When H-3 officially opened, my Nanny and Papa had already passed away years before. They were visionaries for their grandchildren, for me and my cousins, for the next generation.

I conclude that the beneficiaries of a rail system on Oahu will be generations that may not yet be here with us now.

Kirk has never hidden the fact that he supports rail. But, as he examines the evolution of the project over the past two years, he, like me and other residents have grown concerned. My biggest concern is the lack of information being provided to the public and the almost cavalier attitude towards the selection process and decision-making overall. I am a true believer that information empowers people and even if given multiple sets of information, people are smart enough to make the right choices.

The Issues with Infrastructure

Our infrastructure cannot be ignored any longer. Sure, it’s been given some attention, but it needs some serious tender, loving care. In my discussions with Kirk, the infrastructure across the City & County of Honolulu is extremely important to him. In his brief stint as Acting Mayor of Honolulu, Kirk got to work. He addressed our ever-growing pot holes problem (and they even got filled with new material), took ownership and action for other issues like homelessness and garbage. If you recall, in 2010 these were huge major issues in both the mayoral and gubernatorial races. And, Kirk, a candidate as well, was doing work as the acting-mayor from July 10 – October 11, 2010. In a coconut shell, he was already doing the job he’s campaigning for this year and was well on his way to an effective and successful administration.

The Issues with Jobs

In every conversation and conversations I’ve been able to observe, Kirk talks about the importance of jobs for the people of Oahu. Let’s face it, we need ’em in all industries, departments, neighborhoods, nooks and crannies. In case you’re snickering, I do know that every. single. candidate. will be promising more and better jobs. So, the true believers in this issue will be the current employees of our City & County of Honolulu.

All In for #CFM2012

The front line of the social media team have already been hard at work for months, developing content and building a community for #CFM2012 (Caldwell for Mayor 2012).

There are several others working behind the scenes to build a community for #CFM2012, but we are continuously and actively recruiting. If you’re interested in learning more and being a part of the #CFM2012 community, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

(Disclosure: Kirk Caldwell for Mayor 2012 is a client of my company, Pono Media. My work with #CFM2012 is independent from my work with Oceanit.)