July Kokua Council Meeting
Kokua Council seeks to empower seniors and other concerned citizens to be effective advocates in shaping the future and well-being of our community. With particular attention to those needing help in advocating for themselves. The council is open to the public. To sign up for the council please contact Rick Tabor at 808.797.2111. Rick Tabor is the Operations Manager for Right at Home Pearl City and is an active member representing in-home caregiver agencies and also an ambassador of Hawaii Meals on Wheels. Those also in attendance; Michelle Cordero-Lee, CEO & Doug Matsuoka, IT Specialist along with various Kupuna (senior) advocacy representatives ranging from the Hawaii State's Senior Citizen's Ombudsman, to the Publisher & Editor of the Generations Magazine (a Resource for Life), Percy Ihara, Kathy Wyatt, RN, Hale Hau'oli Hawaii, and HAWAI‘I EDUCATIONAL POLICY CENTER's Dr. Jim Shon. The Kokua Council Director led this meeting that was very well attended.
Presenting the candidates for Lt. Governor
All candidates for Lt. Governor were invited and tackled key questions for our candidates and attendees.
Lieutenant Governor candidates participated in the July Kokua Council "debate" and discussion on the future of the LG office and what skills, knowledge, values and policies each brought to the LG office. In attendance were;
Bernard CARVALHO (D), Will ESPERO (D), Josh GREEN (D), Kim Coco IWAMOTO (D), Steve LIPSCOMB (R), Jeremy LOW(R), Jill TOKUDA (D)
Topics for each Candidate included the following:
"The Lieutenant Governor is an office without significant purpose or power. What new duties or powers would they--the candidates--want the Legislature to give to the LG?"
Each candidate was asked to address one or two of the following issues that impact seniors:
- Adequate funding for State and County Kupuna services.
- The government’s untimely payments to service providers.
- Improved oversight of licensed care homes and new aging in place operations.
- Consumer Protection for seniors condos.
- The transparency of the legislative process
- Improving the Kupuna Caregiver's bill
- The implementation of more effective regulation and penalties against abusers of children and elders.
Takeaways from the Kokua Council Meeting
There were many take-aways from each candidates platform and presentation;
- The Kupuna Bill is still not funded the way it was initially intended. It nearly died on the table after being rolled out as an underfunded bill, last July. It was resurrected, Thank you for sponsoring that, Senator Jill Tokuda. However it is now set to reimburse families $70 a month instead of daily, as the bill was originally intended.
- The rate of Kupuna homelessness is rising daily in Hawaii.
- Affordable, accessible healthcare for our Island's Kupuna is a huge concern. Dr. Josh Green's primary focus.
- Condo association issues seem to be playing a huge factor in our Island's affordable housing issues. Kim Coco IWAMOTO's primary history & focus.
- Kupuna safety during Island emergencies, is a concern for Mayor Bernard CARVALHO
- State Senator Will ESPERO seems to be running on the environmental preservation, affordable housing, consumer protection and various other issues for the people
- Steve LIPSCOMB is a retired military officer from the mainland. His focus was on less government and better management of Hawaii's tourism industry.
- Jeremy LOW is a research analyst who's platform is based on Hawaii's State Constitutional Officer, the Lt. Governor should take a more active role in streamlining government tripling teachers salaries while reducing state taxes. His premise is that businesses will contribute, instead of taxpayers.
The Kokua Council does a great job organizing relevant meetings for its members. If interested in being a part of the Kokua Council or more Kupuna information, give Rick a call at 808.797.2111.
The next Kokua Council meeting will be on Monday August 27, 2018 from 11:30am-1:00pm. Representatives from Hawaii State's Condo Owner's Advocacy will be the presenters.