(BIVN) – Puna councilwoman Jen Ruggles was unable to find support from a single councilmember for her resolution asking the county and the state to acknowledge they have “historically discriminated against low income and native Hawaiian communities of the Puna and Ka`u districts, as established by the Office of Civil Rights’ September 28, 2000, ruling.”
The Hawaii County Council Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development voted 8 to 1 to give the Resolution 205-17 a negative recommendation, despite hearing from several residents who testified in support of the measure The councilmembers bristled at the tone of the reso, finding it divisive and unproductive. Some took exception to the mention of native Hawaiians in the language of the resolution.
Ruggles tried to defend her resolution, which also pledged “the Council’ s commitment to addressing, and preventing discrimination against disadvantaged populations.” The measure “states that limited police services, substandard roads, and a lack of medical facilities, water, and sanitation in the Puna and Ka`u districts have been recognized by the Federal government, and commits the Council to addressing this disparity.”
NOTE: The above video shows only the public testimony at Tuesday’s meeting. We will post the council discussion soon.