Think About It: Hearing Voices - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 24, 2013

Think About It: Hearing Voices

One of the unfortunate things we're known for in Hawaii is not voting. In 2012, only West Virginia had fewer eligible voters actually show up to cast their ballots in November. Just 52% of our eligible voters bothered to show up in November last year. But if you ever doubted whether or not your voice or your vote matters, I have $100-million reasons for you to think again.

That's how much money will be saved in design and construction costs of the new rail stations thanks, in part, to regular folks coming forward and giving their input at community meetings about the rail project. Yes, adding their two-cents about standardization of station sites will ultimately help to save about $100-million as the platforms are devised, constructed, and maintained in a uniform fashion over the coming years. When the community and the financial people spoke, the rail gurus listened. While the rail project may remain controversial, this example of public and private input is a good sign that shows where common folk can actually make a difference.

There are meetings this week and in late July in communities directly affected by the rail and its stations, and if you've got a stake in this major undertaking, you might think about giving up a couple of hours and weigh in on your concerns. It's your right to get involved, and it's your future that might be affected by this project, so don't just sit by idly and then complain. And when the time comes to register to vote next year, take the 10-minutes of time that process takes, and then do your civic duty at the polls in August and November. Does your input matter? $100-million in savings on the rail project indicates it sure can. Think about it…

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