EPISODE 2  |  BIOS & TRANSCRIPT

Love of the Land:
The Aloha 'Āina Party

Pua Ishibashi was born in Hilo, and raised in Waiohinu Kaʻu, Keaukaha Hilo, and Kaumana Hilo. He is a direct descendant of Kalaniʻōpuʻu (Aliʻi Nui, governing chief, of the Island of Hawaii, c. 1729-1783). He can trace his genealogy to the first inhabitants of Hawaiʻi who arrived in Ka Lae (South Point) Ka‘u. 


In the last seven years, Pua has focused on mālama ʻāina and land stewardship. He currently works as a Land Agent with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and was previously employed by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) as Hawai‘i Island land manager. Pua is also a Co-Founder of the Aloha ʻĀina Party, that became an official political party in Hawai‘i in 2020. The first Hawaiian Political Party in over 108 years. Pua, along with two friends (Don Kaulia and Desmon Haumea), established the party to benefit the Hawaiian Community and the State of Hawai‘i. All Founders are members of the Royal Order of Kamehameha.

TRANSCRIPT

Pua Ishibashi: When we have within Hawaii, the highest unemployment rate, the highest of homeless rate, the highest median home values in the nation are the highest costs of living in the nation. We don't believe government is taking care of the people are loving the people as they should.

 

Kaitlyn: Hey, I'm Caitlin and I'll be your host for today's episode. Thanks for listening to FRESH offthevote for grassroots podcast, the mission to make politics exciting and accessible. Our team is 100% self identified Asian American Pacific Islander youth ready to make waves for the November 2020 election. We create the podcast as a home for conversations on the different key issues of the US election and to discuss voter and civic engagement strategies for API's by API's. To today we're talking about the currency of Hawaii, a new third party and how culture and history directly affect politics today. So currently, I'm in the Bay Area, and I assume most of our listeners here from what we call the United States mainland, the mainland being the 48 contiguous states. We often forget about Hawaii, we assume it's this paradise because we are visitors on vacation. But the reality is that Hawaii has faced and still currently faces many challenges. While Hawaii is popularly thought of for its beaches and shaved ice. The city actually has the third highest unemployment rate, the second highest rate of homelessness, the highest median home values and the highest cost of living in the nation. Hawaii's better turnout rate isn't great. The six hour time difference between Hawaii and DC allows the advent of technology and the 24 hour news cycles to process voting results so fast by the time you drive to the polls, the results are likely to have been finalized and with the Democratic Party dominating for the past six Yours there's a culture of apathy and sense of why participate in a system that has never served me and will never serve me properly. So a little about me. I'm a fifth generation Chinese Japanese American. For generations on my dad's side have been in Hawaii since being brought over to work at the plantations and are still on Oahu today. My dad moved to the mainland for college and stayed. But every year I've gone to visit my family staying at my grandma's and I am visiting the cemetery and Buddhist temple in Kailua and just eating all around the island. Even though my dad has told me about living with his grandparents and doing all they could to conserve their money because they didn't have much listening to my grandma talk about her frustrations with the state debt over the Honolulu rail transit projects and seeing homeless encampments driving into town. I still forget the reality of Hawaii at times. So a little historical context before we dive into our episode 1778 sugar has been a major export from Hawaii's trade system. In 1893, a group of nationalized Americans working as sugar planters overthrew the Hawaiian Kingdom in hopes the McKinley tariff on sugar would be void if Hawaii was annexed against the world, the monarchy and the vast majority of the people, President William McKinley signed a resolution annexing the islands, which eventually led to statehood in 1959. Aside from the problems I mentioned earlier of homelessness, unemployment and the cost of living Hawaii has also recently been facing a clash between culture and government with the Mauna Kea our telescope on the island of Hawaii. LaMacchia is viewed as one of the best places in the world for astronomy due to its height as the tallest peak in the Pacific and government wanting to expand the Monica observatories with a 30 meter telescope or TMT. But Monica is sacred ground Native Hawaiians and people began protesting the construction of the TMT gaining worldwide attention and igniting a spark that evolved from protecting the sacred land to the monarchies overthrow illegal annexation. And anything questionable in between. So we spoke with poor Ishibashi, he felt that spark and co founded the Aloha and a party, a new political party focused on not only advocating for the Native Hawaiian community, but everyone on the islands.

 

Helen: First of all, it'd be really awesome to hear your own self introduction,

 

Pua Ishibashi: A law, a law of koco. My name is wil Ishibashi. Coming to you from the rainiest city in the nation, Hilo, Hawaii, on the slopes of Mauna Kea. It's about 45 minutes from my house. So I appreciate this opportunity to share some of my mum not all manao meaning thoughts, awfully thoughts of wisdom, one of the three cofounders of the aligner party, and I am currently running for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the island of Hawaii. I think what may be interesting, My last name is Ishibashi. So all this the Japanese the first Ishibashi came from Japan. I'm third generation he married a pure Hawaiian. And when my grandfather was three years old, on that first Ishibashi that came from Japan got kicked in the head by a horse while you were shooting the horse, so none of my Japanese culture got passed on. Because you know, he was gone ethnically culture wise, my Ishibashi family were very tied into the Hawaiian culture. So by nationality 40%, Hawaiian 40% Japanese and 20% mix of a lot of stuff, including German and Norwegian. So like most people are a lot of people in Hawaii. I'm all what referred to as boy dogs mixed breed

 

Kaitlyn: quiet archipelago has a unique demographic makeup. The 2010 census shows that the islands are 25% White, 2% African American, 37% Asian American, 10%, Hispanic and 10 10% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. 24% of the population is two or more races, the Native Hawaiian population has decreased significantly over time in the 1970s. Native Pacific Islanders made up half the population prior to the 1893. Military overthrow. Hawaii was an independent kingdom. Hawaii is currently the only state with an Asian American plurality and many people in the state have Asian ancestry. This is likely due to the waves of Filipino Japanese and Chinese immigrants during the 19th century brought over for labor on plantations. There are also many Portuguese and Puerto Rican laborers too. So when we often talk about labels and categories such as Asian American Pacific Islander, we think of New York, California, Texas. Hawaii's demographics almost entirely embody many of the tensions within this Asian American Pacific Islander label. Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander speaks an entirely different set of challenge. lunches to the label Asian American Mayor race. Pooja and the story of Hawaii's politics remind us to pay more attention to the disaggregated data.

 

Helen: Could you talk a little bit about what the party is? And how did it become recognized and 2020

 

Pua Ishibashi: Is an organization called the Royal Order of command. Now, this organization was established during the period when Hawaii was still a kingdom. I'm a member of this organization. About 10 years ago, we started talking within one of the chapters of this organization as far as what we could possibly do for the Hawaiian community. And we talked about creating a political party. And as we continue the discussions, it became very clear to us that if you wanted a viable political party, it can't be something that's focused only on the Native Hawaiian community that it has to be a party for everybody. Well, we didn't know at what period we wanted to do this when things happened with Monaco back in 2014 2015. That's what sparked us to make the commitment to move forward with a third party. That was the initiative or incentive, what was happening with manorcare for us to move forward with the law in the party. The law and a party has five basic principles. So the first principle that we have is called recognize the divine. We believe one of the most important human rights is the freedom to worship or not worship as we please who, what, when, and where this right is protected under United States Constitution. under the First Amendment under the Bill of Rights, we believe the divine is something that's important for everybody. So my divine might be Christianity for somebody else. It might be Buddhists, or the Native Hawaiian religion or faith. That's our first principle. The second thing we have is called a law Kanaka. Kanaka means human. A lot of people make the mistake Assuming that Kanaka means Native Hawaiian, but by definition, it means human. So we believe in a law Kanaka to take care of the people. When we have within Hawaii the highest unemployment rate, the highest homeless rate, the highest median home values in the nation, the highest cost of living in the nation. We don't believe government is taking care of the people are loving the people as they should. So our second principle is a law Conoco. third principle that we have is called mallamma Aina. mallamma means to take care of by no means the land as well as the ocean, I guess you can say we're very environmental orientated but we take it to the next level. We believe that the eye now in the ocean and the land has a spiritual force and that we need to take care of that force. And I think a lot of cultures have that same concept or similar concept. And we believe that if you take care of the einer that I know will ultimately take care of you. The fourth principle is government accountability and transparency. We believe that if you're in government, or if you're a politician or a government official, you have a fiduciary duty to do what's in the best interests of the people. And if you are doing your fiduciary duty, obviously you can't or shouldn't be doing it in secret. And individuals and politicians, they need to be held accountable for their acts as well as their their inax. The last principle is something that's really unique within the law in a party, we call this whole point of Portal. So the term whole point opponent is a Hawaiian word. And the word means to make right. So whatever is wrong, we tried to make it right. That's the essence of oponopono.

 

Kaitlyn: When we asked her about the Aloha, aina party and its principles, he would often use Hawaiian language words such as Pono, Pono, and aloha, Kanaka and bulama. Ayana, sometimes the Hawaiian language and certain concepts and philosophies are more effective than using English words. Sometimes you can't explain fully what words mean without the cultural context. But as a witness, you can tell that these words reflect a deep sense of connection between people spirit land and language. Having these principles guide the party, its platform may resonate with people in a deeper level.

 

Helen:  sovereignty definitely is like challenging to talk about, especially like you say, so you're like part Japanese, right? And so there's, there's a sense of everyone's, like, mixed together now. And it's very hard to determine the boundaries of something.

 

Pua Ishibashi: I think sovereignty or some form or sovereignty is very important not only for the Aryan community, but for the entire state of Hawaii. You know, our model is war malkia or Chi Kapono, which means the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. So we believe that if righteous ness is not on the land, if the land If the people if the dynamics if the environment is not portable, balanced and correct, both the people and the land cannot prosper. So we believe that until we appropriately address the issue of sovereignty, and what happened to the Hawaiian community, Hawaii, its people and his lands and his oceans will never truly prosper the way we feel it can and should. So, you know, a lot of this stuff goes very deep. You know, there's a deeper level in all of this. And another thing I just wanted to mention real quick, you know, as part of that dynamics, when Captain Cook king, he introduced a lot of diseases as a result of those these diseases in a very short period of time, the Hawaiian population was reduced by 90%. That's another part of the dynamics in the culture being lost. It was not only a cultural thing, where the powers that be came in and basically he legalized the religion and the language The dance, but we just had a lot less people. So you can imagine 90% of your population base dies, how much knowledge and wisdom and experience was lost with that 90% Hawaiians have been devastated in many, many ways. We've never been able to get back on our feet. And we're hoping that political craftivism in part can help, you know, bringing us back on our feet again, exactly how that will be addressed, or what form of restitution or restoration that needs to be determined by the people. But as a party, we want to recognize that wrong and we want to, you know, we would like to correct or move towards correcting that wrong. So those are the five foundational principles of the law party.

 

Helen: How did you guys recruit the candidates? I noticed on your website that not everyone is native Hawaiian. Right.

 

Pua Ishibashi: So as far as recruiting, I don't think we really recruited candidates. It's really people that came to us They looked at our website, our five foundational principles and our values and our platform. it resonated with a lot of people. And a lot of those people realize that if they want to change, they needed to be the change we seek. And if you look at the candidates, none of these candidates have been in political office. There is no professional politicians here. A lot of these people are just very, very simple people. And when I say simple, I don't mean uneducated or ignorant, but they're just simple people. A lot of these people are like farmers who live very closely to the land, but they want to make a difference. If you

 

Kaitlyn: check out the party's website, you'll see a list of candidates who are running for positions ranging from state legislature to Mayor and trustees. What's interesting is that while the party is deeply rooted in Native Hawaiian values, not everyone is originally from Hawaii. A few people are longtime transplants from the mainland. Many of them are very passionate about issues such as improving education and preserving the Man,

 

Helen: when you guys campaign Do you campaign like as groups, right like individually because you guys are like a very new party.

 

Pua Ishibashi: So last week I was assigned waving on a wahoo with actually two other candidates. So we kind of teamed up and joined forces which I think is different because most times when you see candidates campaigning and sign waving, they're just doing their own thing you know without law in a party. We really like to look at ourselves as a family. ohana. ohana means family, a family orientated organization and even within the different candidates, you know, we try to support each other as best we can.

 

Kaitlyn: Okay, I'm sure some of you here sign waving and think what's up with that in Hawaii right for elections. It's signed by Meantime, candidates, friends, family and general supporters stand on corners or on bridges over highways waving and throwing Shockers and holding their signs. Just driving around I and into town. I've seen signs for school board positions to Mayor and everything in between Really not sign waving is the unheard of thing to do. Truly everyone does it. Now with COVID-19. Many candidates across the nation have had to shift the ways they campaign because of social distancing roles, even through zoom aloha is finding ways to support each other and work towards their vision.

 

Pua Ishibashi: You know, we have regular zoom meetings as candidates, we have the officials of the party that give us their motto, and direction and input. So I think as a party is something that's really different from other political parties, we're different. We want change and a party based on traditional Hawaiian values. And we're really pushing aloha in everything that we do and being porno The most common definition of honors being righteous, but porn also means being balanced and being correct. And that's what we're trying to do with the law and a party.

 

Helen: Can you just explain to our listeners, what aloha means just so we're all clear,

 

Pua Ishibashi: you know the common definition or both Law is the Hawaiian word for Hello is also the Hawaiian word for goodbye. You know, it's a multi purpose use type word. But a law is, as a Christian, I think the closest word that I'm aware of would be charity. You know, it's a pure love of individuals. I think that's a character trait that Hawaiians and people avoid are recognized for being very loving and being very open people. And maybe that's one reason why we don't have anything left because there's so aloha to everybody. Everybody came in and a lot of people took advantage of not wanting people in the culture. Aloha is love. We believe that loving alloys and strongest power in the universe more powerful than fear, more powerful than hate, and we believe that this is a gift that we have within the islands and it's something that we need and want to share with the rest of the world. We believe all can change the world.

 

Helen: You know, starting this party, it means you you feel like the current system is something How do I say this? Like, why would you start a party if you could just participate in the current system? because too many of us in like, I guess, mainland America, we see like only two parties pretty much. And so the rise of like a third party, some people are pro for that some people are against that. And I just wanted to hear your thoughts on like, why, why now? Why this party versus just participating in the other primaries? Yeah, that's

 

Pua Ishibashi: that's a very good question. Obviously, if we were happy with the current system, we wouldn't have tried to do something different. If you look at politics nationally. I believe it was like over 60% of the people in America are not happy with the current political system. These are Democrats and Republicans, Hawaii has been monopolized by one political party, the Democratic Party for the last 50 to 60 years. So If you're happy with everything happening in Hawaii, then you know it would be reasonable to credit the Democratic Party for that if you're not happy with the things that's happened in Hawaii, then again, the democrats who are in power would need to take responsibility for that. We import 90% of our foods, including 60 plus percent of our sea foods, and we're, you know, surrounded by by water. So we're not happy with the current condition of the State of Hawaii, there needs to be change. And this is really what the ally in a party is based on change and bringing something new and better to the state of boy, not just the Hawaiian community, but everybody in the State of Hawaii.

 

Kaitlyn: So how do third parties work exactly. Registration rules differ on a state by state basis, but generally there are lots of structural constraints around forming third parties, and oftentimes election boards and local governments controlled by politicians belonging to existing political parties aren't too keen on letting new parties through. We asked people what the process looked like in forming a third party in Hawaii.

 

Helen: I watched a video and it discussed the process of becoming a legitimized party in Hawaii. Could you describe that process?

 

Pua Ishibashi: So to become a political party in Hawaii, you need to complete a petition. The petition is based on a percentage of the numbers that vote. So I guess in a good way, Hawaii doesn't vote for the lowest voting state in the nation. But what's good for us is as a percentage, we only needed 750 registered voters on our petition. And as little as that seems, it was very difficult. So in 2016, we did our first attempt, and we were short by 70 signatures and that really hurt. We put a lot of time and energy into that. And one of the big issues here are many of the signs of the petition came from an area known as Puna. And most of those individuals live in rural areas, and they utilize peel boxes. So when they sign the petition and use a peel box, we didn't realize that those peel box of petitions would be invalidated. And we probably lost or well over 300 or so. signatures in 2018. We try it again, I think half heartedly because we're still kind of licking our wounds from 2016. We were short again, the founders got together moving into 2020. And we recommitted ourselves to make sure that we can get the 750 signatures that we needed, we needed 750, we got well over 1600 signatures. And on March 12, we were recognized by the State of Hawaii as an official political party. So we're very excited. We didn't have a whole lot of time from the period of becoming Official political party to gain in our candidates. But we're excited that we have 15 out candidates running within the political party. Everything from one individual who's running for United States, also representatives to state senators and a bunch of state representatives. We're very excited. We feel it is a good beginning for a new party, and we believe will only get stronger in time.

 

Kaitlyn: In the United States, running in an election is an increasingly expensive endeavor. Even at a local level, other than TV ads, social media ads, campaign operation and staff costs. Money has become a form of free speech, and the now famous 2010 citizens united first federal election commission FEC case the Supreme Court ruled that independent expenditures by corporations and labor unions are a form of protected speech under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. If you remember back to this past year's Democratic National debates on TV, the field of 20 plus candidates Was whittled down based upon national polling and individual donations. Money gives you a chance to be heard. Although large amounts of spending can't guarantee a win for you in normal election, there is no doubt that there is a ton of pressure for even smaller campaigns to fundraise. According to 538. Early fundraising can have a serious effect for Challenger and newcomer candidates. If people don't already know them that well, for smaller emerging movements like the Aloha and a party. This likely rings true.

 

Pua Ishibashi: Because we're the new kid on the block. People have been very reluctant to give us funding. It's hard to do anything without money. The people in power are the Democrats. That power base is not going to support a political party. That may be a threat. At some point. I don't think they're looking at us as a threat right now. I think they might be a little bit surprised that we were able to feel 15 candidates but it's been very difficult to raise funds. In a environment that's monopolized by one political party, which goes deep, it goes into the unions that also have power and also have money and they have a lot of people that vote within the unions.

 

Helen: I noticed on your website, there's a specific page dedicated to like how to vote, how to get registered, because maybe many people don't know how to get registered to vote. And you have this principle saying voting is your Giuliana, I don't know if I'm saying that correctly. And you say your voice and your vote matters make a change. Could you elaborate more? What is voting is your Juliana and why you guys put that on your website. So

 

Pua Ishibashi: a lot of this is kind of deep stuff. When Hawaii was overthrown, and it became a territory the US gave Hawaiians the right to vote, but the people in power tried to tie in the right to vote with things like well, you needed to speak English. This which was in a problem because most Hawaiians are already speaking English, you needed to be literate, which wasn't too big of a problem, but you also needed to own land. And a lot of the Hawaiians were landless at the time. So things were done in such a way that those in power tried to restrict the vote from the Native Hawaiian community. So the only only means chiefs and chiefest is the roll individuals but the people that are cuyana to help take care of the people they fought for the vote. They fought to make sure that native Hawaiians would be able to vote at one level who Yana means responsibility. But at the higher level, who Liana means an opportunity, an opportunity to serve. So when we say voting is not only your right, it's your right to the United States Constitution. But for Hawaiians, it's your cuyama because even our family of old understood the importance even after the overthrow. They didn't just throw in their towel. They understood the vote was a means to benefit the people just like the blacks who fought hard to get the vote because they understood that by getting the vote, you know, it could better their lives. And of course, like the blacks, the powers that be tried to restrict that vote from them as long as they possibly could. So, you know, our aliy fought for the vote for us, and it's our responsibility to vote, and it's our opportunity to vote. We need to take advantage of that for our people for current and future generations.

 

Kaitlyn: We ask Pooja if the Aloha party could be considered a populist movement, a fight for the people against the elite.

 

Pua Ishibashi: There's a lot of dynamics here. You know, the overall dynamics is people want change. You know, I think they're looking at that with Obama. They were looking for change, and then they were looking at that when Trump got in. They want to change I'm not saying anything negative or positive about Trump. But as a nation, I think we're still looking for change. So we understand that. And that desire for change is especially strong in Hawaii with everything else that's going on in in American government, which I think is like a big mess. And it's depressing. It's shameful, I think how politics is being run nationally. So anyway, with all of that overhead, then you look at Hawaii that has a monopoly for the last 5060 years, you look at how ease very dismal status in many negative things, you know, and then you mix it into Hawaiian dynamics. You got the overthrow that happened, that's still hurting a lot of people. You know, there's something that's called historical and generational trauma. And if you look at the kind of going off off track here, but if you look at Native Hawaiians as an ethnic group, we have the highest suicide rate young people have been chosen. That's out of wedlock. We're only 20% of the population but 40% of the incarceration rate, if you look at everything that's negative Hawaiians are at the top. And if you look at everything that's positive, you know, social economic status, home ownership and things along those nature, we're at the bottom. So, you know, I'm just bringing that up because you have that dynamics of the majority of the people in the nation are unhappy with politics. Yeah, Hawaii, been very frustrated with its current status as a one party system. You know, we're not taking advantage of that per se, but we know it exists. And we're hoping people rise to the occasion and take advantage of their opportunity to vote and make a difference. You know, I've come across people through the Lorena party that they they tell me, these are Cuckoo Cuckoo means older people. What's up cuckoo and I'm not sure maybe 16 out, but people kupuna have come up and told me that they've never bought All of their life, they've never voted all of their life but because of the law in a party because they feel that maybe now we can make a difference.

 

Helen: You tell us what position you're running for. And what exactly is the significance of that position. So back

 

Pua Ishibashi: in 2014, I coined, I like to say I coined the phrase because I've never heard it before I coined the phrase hooli da system. So hooli means to turn in Hawaiian. And die is just Pidgin for the UN system, of course, refers to all the political system, we believe arm as Native Hawaiians that, you know, for a very long time, we were throwing stones at the 10th from the outside, throw stones at the 10 can can be effective to a certain degree, but it seemed to be in the tent and at the table, you know, as I helped to create this new political party and I thought about hooli the system you know, I considered what agency needs the greatest change within the state of Hawaii. And it became very clear to me very quickly that it would be the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 2018 and 2019, Ohio was audited by the state auditor and they found mismanagement of millions of dollars and a lot of other issues are decided to get their own audit, independent audit. And that audit was completed in 2019. And found the same issues and concerns mismanagement of millions of dollars of funding. Currently, Ohio is being investigated by the attorney general's office and Federal Bureau of Investigation the FBI so all is not in a good place right now. It needs change. It needs new leadership, what we say ponal or righteous or balanced leadership, and that's why I'm running for or trustee it's, it's something I've never considered before. I'm really way out. outside of my comfort zone and outside of the box, but I think it's something that needs to be done and I'm willing to try to be the change that we see.

 

Kaitlyn: So there's a lot going on this year and the party has clearly picked Motorola's time to run candidates for the first time. Well, voters turnout will there be momentum from Milan akia Well, hello, I know when any seats

 

Pua Ishibashi: so a lot of us a lot of young people were very engaged in that whole movement. What I don't know that that engagement with with mana kiddo and like I said 20,000 people marching that may not sound like a whole lot to you folks. But that's a good percentage of the local population. What we don't know if that energy is going to translate to political activism by way of people registering to vote and actually voting. So that's what we're, that's what I'm excited. That's what a lot of people are excited to see if that happens or not. And it's a little scary because this is probably the most united The wine community has been for a long, long, long, long, long time. And if mama kill and the Lorena party and other things that the online community is doing, if this doesn't translate to political activism, I'm not sure what what is. So, you know, I think this is a very critical moment in time in the history of the online community, you know, are we going to keep on staying outside of the tent and throwing stones at the tent? Or are we going to wise up and do what we need to do and really try to make change from the inside out as opposed to trying to make change from the outside in?

 

Helen: If someone was listening to this podcast? What would your ask be of them? What is your request for them?

 

Pua Ishibashi: I think people need to realize the history of the islands. And why so many people are angry why Native Hawaiians are at the bottom of so many things, that there's a direct connection between Native Hawaiian community Current status of all the negative things that there's a direct correlation to the overthrow what we see now, you know, when you have 42% of the incarcerated population are being represented by Hawaiians. That's just a symptom, you know, to address the symptom, we need to go to the root. And the root is the overthrow and how do we address that? You know, that's very complicated. So that's the understanding. What's the ask, you know, the ask is educate yourself, whether you're here living in the islands, whether you're Native Hawaiian, or whether you're visiting the islands, or you just want to educate yourself a little bit. I think it's important to know the history of the Hawaiian community, and why we are in the position we are now. And the ask is if you're in a position to assist in this quest, register to vote and vote, educate yourself, look at your candidates, look at where they come from, where they stand, and how they will move there. respective communities forward.

 

Kaitlyn: And that concludes our conversation with puah. I want to leave you with some thoughts. First of all today is tied to the past, systemic oppression isn't a one day phenomenon. This is a direct correlation. The challenges that native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders face in our country can relate back to ways that people were included or excluded from access to certain resources. apathy may not just be apathy, rather, if you feel that a system continuously still disadvantages you. Participation can feel exhausting and a waste of time. As Paul mentioned in our interview, there's been a surge in civic engagement with a Monica movement, but he isn't sure how long this momentum will last and whether it will lead to greater voter turnout in the elections. However, isn't everything a risk? I think the essence of many people asking why third party or why push for indigenous involvement in politics or in many Hawaiians cases? Why try it within the system that does not serve us and has never served us? The answers are not straightforward. Politics and civic engagement is always an opportunity cost and gamble. Many see third party politics as kind of a doomed effort. They either think that movement is so tiny it won't win, or they think third parties take away kilos and hurt elections. But remember, the emergence of these movements is likely a sign of persisting or growing problems within our political system. Perhaps a system that does not best serve certain groups of people like indigenous populations. I really admire how the AAP is pushing towards change within the system. We want to wish poor and is aloha no party team Good luck this upcoming week and their primaries. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Fresh Off the Boat. You can follow us on Instagram at Fresh Off the Boat. Follow us on Spotify, Apple podcast Stitcher, wherever you get your podcasts we upload every single Monday and we have a ton of fresh content coming to you guys. So Stay tuned. Again, we're a bunch of young Asian American Pacific Islander youth who are passionate about the subject and passionate about civic engagement. We run on contributions from viewers like you. So if you have any ideas of other content you want to see or hear from us, hit us up. We greatly appreciate your contributions support. Thank you again and see you guys next Monday.

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You. Me. November 3, 2020.

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