We're now more than halfway through the 2015 Legislative Session and as usual, it's been an exciting one. With hundreds of people coming out to testify on various issues, protests at the Capitol, and more, every day is unique and challenging.
As always, please contact me at 586-6830 or email@example.com if I can help you or your family in any way. You can also follow me on Twitter @senmikegabbard, Instagram @sengabbard, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/senmikegabbard.
My next Listen Story meeting will be a legislative session wrap-up held May 16 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Kapolei High School cafeteria, next to the teachers' lounge.
There was a packed house at the State Capitol for the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard launch on April 1! Hawai‘i Green Growth co-hosted this event, along with my Energy & Environment counterpart in the House, Representative Chris Lee and myself. Over 160 leaders attended, including Legislators, cabinet members, congressional delegation staff, Hawai‘i Green Growth members, and representatives across government, the non-profit sector, business, education, and the community. I believe Hawai‘i has a real opportunity to be an international leader in sustainability, and the Aloha+ Challenge Dashboard has the potential to help get us there.
The Dashboard is a new online tool that tracks how well we're doing achieving our sustainability goals, and will help decision-makers going forward to gauge Hawai'i's progress. It's designed to measure six sustainability targets (at state and county levels), set forth by the Aloha+ Challenge: clean energy, local food production, natural resource management, solid waste reduction, smart growth and climate resilience, green jobs and education. So far, just two targets clean energy and solid waste reduction are being tracked and measured. The other four are slated to launch in 2017.
The Hawai‘i State Senate honored Permablitz Hawai‘i on March 24. Blitz, from the German word for lightning, means a focused application of energy. A Permablitz is when that energy is focused on installing a garden that's based on permaculture design principles for sustainable living and land use. It's an informal day-long gathering where a group of people come together to create or add to edible gardens at a home, school or other public space, while sharing skills related to permaculture and sustainable living. At the same time, the participants build community networks and have a lot of fun. Permablitz is a reciprocal volunteer network; if you help in three blitzes, you have an opportunity to get your own space, or a space of your choosing blitzed. Pretty cool!
The State of Hawai‘i hosted the 3rd annual Hawai‘i Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW) during Feb. 22-March 2. HISAW shares information and promotes public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared "the single greatest threat to Hawai‘i's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai‘i's people." An "Awards Ceremony" was held in the Capitol Auditorium on March 2. Several awards were presented (including one to Hawaiian Airlines) from the Hawai‘i Invasive Species Council (HISC) along with joint Honorary Certificates from the Legislature.
Recently, my colleagues and I in the Senate honored and congratulated the American Heritage Girls (AHG) as young wahine who are being trained to become women of character and integrity. The only two AHG troops in the state were at the Hawai‘i State Capitol during Session on March 16: Troop 1 and Troop 50. Troop 1, consisting of 40 girls, was the first troop formed in Hawaii, and is chartered by Calvary Chapel West Oahu. Troop 50 has 35 girls, and is chartered by Waipio Grace Brethren Church. Six girls were on the floor to accept the certificates on behalf of their fellow troops.
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