May 9, 2011


                    Inclusion, Representation, and Political Process  
In a state that has become increasingly a template for diversity and pluralism—even becoming veritably a paradigm for the whole American nation on ‘how to live a life in harmony with others’—the most recent acts of the Abercrombie administration of inclusion and representation are calculated political acts that will deliver results.

And the results will be good—and no less. 

We take note here of the sustained effort on the part of the state government to include and to represent—twin issues that are linked up with the fact of life in 
the islands.

We do not have yet the final analysis of the 2010 census but we are certain that 
in some aspects, the demographics of the state has changed.

We see here an increased trend of the number of people descended from the 
Philippines, even as we see an increased trend in the number of the indigenous 
people of Hawaii.

What these things tell us is a clear message: that we will have to continue to 
dance the delicate dance of inclusion and representation from today and onwards—in the years to come. 

Diversity, after all, is what defines us in Hawaii.

And the celebration of that diversity is what makes us as a political community. 

Inclusion has its twin, and that twin cannot be without the other: representation.

Who is included in the state of affairs is always a difficult question.

Who is represented in the way we run our government is another difficult 
More and more people of Philippine descent are getting into the corridors of 
power now, and the access they have in many aspects of the political decision-making process can only tell us one thing: that somewhere, somehow, we have a voice.

That voice is our voice. 

And this is good news.

And this good news is welcome news for us all.

And it is welcome news because it is high time that we truly take part in a more 
substantive way in the political process we call responsible citizenship.

While many of us have gone away from the Philippine homeland, our adoptive land has the same right to impose upon us now the same obligations that Hawaii, and the United States, demand from each of us. 
While many of us still go through the ritual nostalgia that makes us ‘feel good’ 
some of the time when we think of the former homeland and dream of the political process that includes us, we need to underscore one fact of our life now: that we have come to this new homeland and that we are ethically bound to give our share in its governance.

For America is now our homeland as well.

With the new faces included in the Abercrombie administration coming from the 
ranks of the local-born people of Philippine descent and children of immigrants 
and immigrants, we hear a voice from our ranks.

And that voice is loud.

And that voice is clear.

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