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Friday, June 10, 2011
442nd Vet on Redistricting: Military is part of our Community, should be counted
By Selected News Articles @ 3:25 PM :: 8551 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment

Testimony before Redistricting Commission June 9, 2011

Aloha,

My name is Richard Lee Fale, I am a resident of O'ahu's windward north shore and I am a combat veteran of the United States Army serving with the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. I am here to offer my testimony to strongly encourage the State redistricting commission to not only include all military Service Members in their considerations for drawing the new boundaries of our districts, but all people who live in our community.

Sorting through different groups and deciding who to include, or who not to include in consideration for representation, I believe should be a non-issue. All should be included. Even though we have decided who can and who cannot vote, that issue should not interfere with who should get represented. My father is not a U.S. citizen, and though he does not have the right to vote, I believe he has the right to representation. Some of my younger siblings cannot vote but I believe that they should have the right to be represented and to be considered as a person when deciding who gets representation.

We know that the census only counts the actual bodies in an area. This means that all the Service members here in Hawaii, from the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, regardless of where they are from, were not counted in their home State. This means, that the only place the census takes account for them is here, because this is where they are, so this is where they will be counted.

Today, as we move forward, I am very concerned about those who may or may not be included in consideration of who gets representation. Under the parameters we used for the last redistricting of the State, the following are true:

Danny Friddle who sexually assaulted an infant under the age of one, his own daughter, and received a life sentence, is counted towards those who get representation.

But SGT Malietoa Steffany, a purple heart and bronze star recipient, who tended to the wounds of his fellow Soldiers before receiving aid for the seven pieces of shrapnel lodged within his body, after being attacked with an improvised explosive device, would not be considered for representation.

Another individual living just down the road from me, convicted of 1st degree burglary and 1st degree sexual assault was counted towards those who will receive representation, but SPC Rhett who died in combat, who was part of the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield was not.

I could list for you hundreds of villains who have done many cruel and evil things throughout our communities who still deserve the right to be counted for representation, I would just hope that our heroes, our brothers and sisters who wear the uniform full time, can and should be at the very least be remembered, considered and counted towards receiving representation here in our great State of Hawaii.

Thank you.

 

* * * * *

June 9, 2011

Regarding apportionment counts for Hawaii

I am swayed by arguments to keep the state apportionment count in sync with the federal census and resulting congressional apportionment count taken as of April 1st, 2010.

In this “snapshot” of our population, one was counted as living here if one was sleeping here, working here, stationed here, going to school here, retired here, imprisoned here, etc.; if one displayed some permanence of residence and was not just “visiting.”

Most people instinctively respond that everyone should be counted. It’s a natural reaction emanating from a basic sense of fairness and without political calculation.

The census, being a snapshot of Hawaii’s population at a particular point in time recognizes that populations are always in flux, so a new count is taken every 10 years. It serves us well enough in determining legislative representation, despite whatever anomalies occur.

Those who desire a specific result are unpersuasive and transparently in favor of helping a particular constituency. People who live here should be represented, regardless of political consequences.

Consider:

• If one lives here, whether stationed, schooled or jailed, one is affected by laws enacted here. If a proposed law affects a “disenfranchised” community, that group can safely be ignored if it lacks representation. Individuals counted as living here for the census are not counted as living elsewhere. They are entitled to representation in the legislature.

• They pay taxes here. They attend schools here. They travel the roads, enjoy the parks, beaches and other recreational facilities. They dine out. They go to libraries and movie theaters. They participate in civic life and community events.

• It is said that many do not vote here. Well, many born, raised, schooled, and employed here have never registered to vote, have never voted and never will vote. Some never vote for philosophical reasons; some to escape tax authorities; some to escape jury service. These individuals are counted.

• Furthermore, the “extraction” of certain persons from the census block counts is an “uncertain” proposition and leads to arbitrary and inexact results.

• Regarding some absolute standard of permanence of residence, iwi and ashes notwithstanding, we’re all here temporarily.

Mike Palcic, Honolulu

---30---

RELATED: Reapportionment Commission rejects Multi-Member Districts, hears testimony in favor of counting Military Personnel

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