Local Connection: Progress on Homelessness

Local Connection: Progress on Homelessness

By Rick Blangiardi

It's natural for politicians to want to protect themselves on tough issues…and homelessness is one of the toughest.

So we at Hawaii News Now and our colleagues at the Honolulu Star Advertiser were gratified last week when our top political leaders joined us to talk openly about the crisis of homelessness and their challenges in taking it on.

I want to personally thank Governor David Ige, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha, and their teams, for participating in a lively, straightforward conversation.

The questions that they answered and those questions that could not be answered with certainty will help guide us in planning our coverage.

It was an historic moment and it clearly took some courage for these elected leaders to overcome their usual caution with media.

Star-Advertiser President and Publisher Dennis Francis and I have agreed that our two news organizations will place unprecedented resources on this issue. We promise illuminating coverage that will increase our community's understanding…provoke its compassion and maybe anger…and help us generate the political will to face tough choices ahead.

And…as much as we appreciate the participation of the Mayor and Governor in our initial planning we promise we will not hold back in demanding from them accountability and action…until we can all agree that homelessness is under control in our state.

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