MAUI POLITICAL TRACKER
Local Issue Tracker: Agriculture, Pesticides, GMOs
Agriculture Issues Overview
With the end of Maui’s sugar cane industry in 2016, this is a time of major change for agriculture on the island. At stake is the future of over 30,000 acres of ag land in Maui’s Central Valley. Many residents are hoping for a shift beyond the colonial legacy of monocrop, pesticide-intensive, industrial agriculture, toward a new model that will provide healthy local food for island residents. In addition to providing for greater resilience and food security, producing our food locally would also minimize fossil fuel use for transporting food from the mainland and beyond.
Article 11 Section 3 of the HI Constitution defines the State government's responsibility with respect to agricultural lands: "The State shall conserve and protect agricultural lands, promote diversified agriculture, increase agricultural self-sufficiency and assure the availability of agriculturally suitable lands."
The Political Tracker serves as a tool for monitoring our legislators' actions on agriculture and related issues of pesticide use and GMOs. Within the Maui County Council, the Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture Committee deals with these issues. At the State level are the Environmental and Agriculture committees of the House and Senate. Also important to track are campaign contributions from GMO and agrochemical companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta, and others,.
For a more detailed overview of agriculture, pesticide, and GMO issues see the Local Issues section of the website.
Toward True Democracy
Are you concerned about the state of political affairs at the local level and beyond? Are you drawn to do something about it? The Local Political Tracker is a collaborative tool for informing ourselves and each other, and reclaiming the democratic process. By monitoring key local issues and elected officials we can promote more transparent, accountable, and effective governance. True democracy requires more than just voting. It depends on an active and informed citizenry, and each one of us can do our part.
The Political Tracker concept is simple: as a volunteer you agree to monitor, or "adopt" one or more local issues, government bodies, or elected officials. You gather information, either by attending meetings, reviewing meeting minutes or video footage available online, summarizing news articles, or conducting interviews. You then post your notes via the Data Entry form below.
TRACKER DATA ENTRY FORM (for registered Tracker volunteers)
To post information to the Political Tracker one needs to first complete the volunteer registration process:
TRACKER POSTS ON AGRICULTURE, PESTICIDES, GMOS
Listed below are local Political Tracker posts -- notes collected and entered by community volunteers. Posts are arranged chronologically, with the most recent post on top. Clicking on the purple post title will open the post in a separate window, and from there any registered site user may comment on the post. The Tracker is meant to provide factual information, and sources can include news articles, meeting minutes, interviews with experts and officials, etc. The Community Forum section of the website provides a space for open discussion on issues.
There's an interesting article in today's Civil Beat: http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/02/will-hawaii-restrict-pesticides-require-more-disclosure-from-big-ag/