Sunday, July 05, 2009


Wrapping up my holiday back in Ann Arbor. I fly out tomorrow morning, and I'm trying to tire myself out tonight so that I sleep on the plane. I need to hit the ground running: Tuesday morning is the first candidate's forum, Tuesday lunch I meet with the Advertiser Board and try to win their love, and Tuesday evening I need to get my butt back to practice.

The whole family is here. Beth had a rough delivery but is doing well, Anne had her child three weeks early - just in time for me to meet him! - but is handling it like a pro, and John and Valerie have finally set a date for their wedding. I've spent a lot of the days cooking, first for the Fourth picnic (I tried a variety of Mediterranean meze, which ... I liked, at least ... but the Coney dogs were way more popular), then helping Sue prep food for Jeff and Anne. I'm staying with Jim and Jen, & their new house is right off our old neighborhood, so I've gotten the chance to wander through the past a bit.

I forgot how green and lush Michigan was. And how flat. But the township has changed so much that I can't say I miss it. The farms are gone, and now there are endless subdivisions of ugly new mansions. A lot were built on spec, and some of the neighborhoods are disturbingly quiet, full of giant houses next to vacant fields and empty cul-de-sacs. Our old neighborhood seems to be falling into disrepair. Some people are keeping up their houses, but one has been completely abandonned and others are fighting a losing battle against nature.

It can all be so sad, but it is also all so pretty and green. Now it seems that this whole construction boom was just a game. People bought and flipped houses, and never intended to live in any of them, and now we have more houses than people here & the game is over.

Into The Breach

I did it ... I put my name in for the Council Seat. There are sixteen of us - the former incumbent, one well-known Democrat, two union guys, a handful of Republican regulars, a horticulturist, and moi. It's a mail-in election, and the campaign season is only a few weeks long, so there's a fair amount of randomness in the system. My goal is simple: I need to make an strong impact in the debates, and I need to get some positive media attention - and at least move up from the "also running" list.

I refuse to stand on the corner and wave signs, and I'm going to hold off on fund-raising until I see how the first week of debates go. I won't spam my friends. Nathaniel Kinney (29, lawyer for the union) is trying to get all the candidates on twitter, and I was tempted, but I think I'm going to maintain my anti-Twitter stance. I just can't see myself twisting myself into someone I am not for the sake of a campaign - and if there is any campaign where we can present ourselves honestly, without cliche and facade, it will be this one.

Someone new will be elected; I don't think people want the same old faces again. The papers portray this as being between Kobayashi and Matsunaga. The papers are wrong. There are whispers that Kinney has Mufi's backing. He definitely has money and supporters from somewhere. The general mood is, give us someone new. I need to get to the top of the 'new' pack.

Below, my first announcement:

Aloha all!

As some of you know, I've registered as a candidate for Honolulu City Council, District V, representing Kapahulu, Kaimuki, Palolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Manoa, Moiliili, McCully, Kakaako, and a portion of Ala Moana and Makiki.

This is a Special Election that will be decided by mail-in votes. You must be registered by July 8 for this election.

OK then.

First Campaign Promise: I won't be spamming my email list with endless updates. You'll get this one, and then one more if there is a public debate or if I decide to hold a benefit. That'll be it. I set up a website at Go there for more information. For people who want to get actively involved, or just want to get lots of emails, write me at

Some big names have entered the race, and there is some big money behind them. My hope is the hope of all long-shots: get a strong grass roots campaign going. Luckily, it's a crowded field, and therefore there is room for political newcomers to make an impact. My concern now is getting my name out there by focusing on core ideals.

For now, check out the website, let me know if you have any ideas or feedback, & if you like it pass this along to your email lists! I'll be tweaking the website over the weekend, and then trying to get some media coverage early next week.