HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Councilman Ikaika Anderson raised eyebrows — but received no official admonishment — for using lewd descriptions at a recent council meeting to criticize a lack of action on homelessness.
“What all of this amounts to is not being able to move forward with something pertaining to one council district is sitting around in a circle jerk playing a game of grab ass," Anderson said, during an address to the full council on Nov. 14. "Now, if folks want to do that, Mr. Chairman, and dick around that’s fine.”
The statements came during a heated moment at the council, during which the Windward Oahu councilman expressed frustration over the city’s inability to enforce two new ordinances designed to push homeless people to shelters.
The laws would allow police to clear sidewalks of obstructions — such as homeless people’s tents or shopping carts — and cite individuals living in public spaces who refuse to go to shelters when they are available.
The reason the city can’t enforce the laws?
The council majority, led by Chairman Ernie Martin, has been blocking enforcement by demanding that the mayor’s administration first provide specific plans for dealing with homelessness in all nine council districts.
Up for a vote at that Nov. 14 meeting of the council was a resolution that rejected plans the mayor had put forward.
Anderson had hoped to find a way to start enforcing the laws in his district immediately. But that proposal failed before the council, leaving Anderson fuming.
Moments after making the comments involving sexual references, he left the council chamber without further comment.
Despite the nature of Anderson’s comments (a “circle jerk” is a form of group sex), he and other members said that they had received no complaint from the public.
Martin said “a couple” of members "expressed their disappointment and questioned whether any of our council rules on order and decorum were violated.”
But Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said she wasn’t aware of anyone being offended, and pointed out the Anderson was very upset. Similarly, Anderson said no one had brought any concerns about it to his attention.
In a statement issued to Hawaii News Now on Tuesday afternoon, Anderson said his constituents are angry and frustrated over the homeless issue and the city’s inability to enforce the two laws.
On the comments he made, he said, “I sincerely apologize if I offended anyone; that certainly wasn’t my intent.”