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Friday, May 1, 2020
Petition: 'Let Hawaii Work!'
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:45 AM :: 2723 Views :: Tourism, COVID-19

New petition urges lifting of lockdown so Hawaii residents can get back to work

From Grassroot Institute, April 30, 2020


HONOLULU, April 30, 2020 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has launched a petition drive calling on Gov. David Ige to lift the state lockdown and "Let Hawaii Work."

The petition was posted without fanfare on social media last night and already has been signed by hundreds of Hawaii residents, many of whom are weary of being confined to their homes and desperate to return to their jobs and businesses.

To add your voice, go to the #LetHawaiiWork petition page on the institute's website by clicking >>> SIGN PETITION HERE <<<.

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Let's lift the lockdown and "Let Hawaii Work"

From Grassroot Institute, May 1, 2020

If you are feeling increasingly frustrated by the COVID-19 lockdown and its effect on civil liberties and the economy, you’re not alone.

Over the past several weeks, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has been watching the actions of the governor and county mayors with concern, alert to the hazards that come with balancing freedom with safety.

On Sunday, we were featured in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser news article in which I warned that the economic and social damage of the lockdown could, at some point, exceed the damage of the virus itself.

If you think the warnings about the loss of freedom are alarmist, consider the suggestions being weighed by the government when it comes to reopening tourism. They include ankle monitors and GPS tracking of tourists — something that Grassroot Policy Director Malia Hill called “positively Orwellian” in a Wednesday Honolulu Civil Beat news article.

For many in our state, the civil liberties issue pales beside the economic one. With unemployment skyrocketing and no real plan for getting the economy back on track, locals are beginning to wonder how much longer we can go on like this.

More than anything, people want to be able to get back to work.

They want to be able to earn a paycheck again, start serving customers again, and just get the economy moving. While aware of the need for health and safety measures, they also want to be able to work within those guidelines to … well … work.

That’s why the Grassroot Institute has launched a new petition with a very simple message: “Let Hawaii Work.”

We are asking Gov. David Ige to make it his top priority to get the economy back on track. We want to see him start easing restrictions in a sensible way so that people can work again.

Ultimately, Hawaii works as a state when we are able to pursue our own dreams and careers. When we are cut off from doing so for too long, the whole state suffers.

It’s not that we don’t understand there are risks. We know it is difficult to balance health concerns with economic ones. But we also believe that it is time to let the people take charge of striking that balance. 

As I told the Star-Advertiser, “In my view, given the freedom and flexibility to do so, most individuals are quite capable of deciding how best to protect themselves against the coronavirus.”

Gov. Ige and the four county mayors need to understand that this isn’t a fringe movement. They need to know that their constituents are willing and able to take responsibility for their health and safety while returning to work. They need to see that there are thousands of Hawaii residents who feel this way.

And we can help them see that. The Grassroot Institute launched a petition drive Wednesday night to send a message to our leaders that we are ready and able to get back to work. If you would like to help make that happen, please go to this special page on our website and sign the petition. Then share the petition with your family, friends and neighbors. 

We don’t need to throw open the doors of the state and eliminate every safeguard at once. But the time has come to lift the economic lockdown and Let Hawaii Work.

E hana kakou! (Let’s work together!)

Keli'i Akina, Ph.D.


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