Homelessness in Hawaii Poll: Leadership and Coordination

Published: Aug. 9, 2015 at 3:31 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 10, 2015 at 1:57 AM HST
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Homeless tents along Kapalama canal
Homeless tents along Kapalama canal

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Both Governor David Ige and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell sat down with Hawaii News Now and the Star-Advertiser to discuss the results of the poll on homelessness in Hawaii.

When asked to rate various community leaders and organizations, the pollsters had below average marks for the Governor, Mayor, state legislature and city council.

"We do know that we haven't been doing a great job" conceded the Governor.  Caldwell added "I know a lot of people are frustrated by the pace of this leadership group, I think the group itself is frustrated by that."
Caldwell has been vocal and steadfast in his approach: the sit/lie and stored property ordinances he deemed "compassionate disruption".  However, according to the poll results, 32% of respondents think it's Ige who should be leading the fight against homelessness, compared to only 18% for Caldwell.
"I know that I have been criticized for not being more outspoken or brash, but I've chosen to serve the public in this way for 29 years" said Ige.  He continued, saying he believes in leading in the spirit of collaboration.  "When we work together, we can get to a better, more sustainable solution."
However, the public said via the poll the state is NOT working together well enough with the city and county.  Only 3% of respondents said the two are working very well together, compared to a combined 69% saying the coordination is "not very well" or "not at all well."
"It's clear, they want more done than what we're doing" said Caldwell.
Despite the poor marks, both Caldwell and Ige feel optimistic that the newly formed leadership team will have impactful results long term.
"What I like is the governor has called us all together, and I think to make the huge difference we need to make we do need the state, we need the county, and we do need the federal" said Caldwell.
"We all have different resources we can bring to bear on the challenge.  We have different assets and capabilities" added Ige.

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