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County Democrats resolution for fair representation

The Hawaii County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii has adopted a resolution to secure fair, equitable representation for the residents of Hawaii County.

The resolution reads:

The Hawaii County Committee (HCC) of the Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) – at its Sunday, June 10, 2011 meeting – unanimously voted to request that the 2011 Reapportionment Commission support fair, equitable representation for all residents of the County of Hawaii in the 2011 Reapportionment process.

As documented in the 2010 Census Public Law 94-171 Data for the State of Hawaii: “Population Growth Within The Neighbor Island Counties Was Faster Than The Population Growth In the City and County Of Honolulu as well as the entire State of Hawaii.”

In keeping with the U.S. Constitutional one man/one vote fairness doctrine, this population growth warrants the addition of a 4th Senate seat for the County of Hawaii.

However, the 2011 Reapportionment Commission has voted to include nonresident members of the military when computing population data prior to redrawing political districts. This negates the creation of a new senate seat for Hawaii Island.

While members of the HCC honor and strongly support nonresident members of the U.S. military for their dedication to our safety, security and freedom, we believe that nonresident members of the military are just that – nonresidents of the State of Hawaii. These individuals do not consider Hawaii “home” – they live and vote elsewhere.

Further, in 1992, a Hawaii Constitutional Amendment changed the population base to be used for reapportionment from “registered voters” to “permanent residents” and this position was validated by the Attorney General assigned to the 2001 Reapportionment Commission. There is at this time no justification for ignoring the Hawaii State Constitution, and all of the 2011 neighbor island advisory councils concurred by reconfirming that nonresident members of the military should not be included in the population base.

Therefore, the HCC asks the 2011 Reapportionment Commission to reverse its decision to include nonresident members of the military.

Further, if necessary, we urge the State Democratic Party to pursue all legal options including filing a lawsuit, if necessary, to overturn this Reapportionment Commission decision that denies Hawaii County residents equal representation under the law.

This is not a political party issue. Rather, we believe this decision deprives Hawaii Island voters of fair and equitable representation by denying the addition of a 4th Senate seat for our island and retaining it on Oahu.

A copy of this resolution is to be immediately submitted to the 2011 Reapportionment Commission, the Hawaii County Reapportionment Advisory Council, the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, members of the DPH State Central Committee, and all Hawaii County elected officials.

Statistical Data
(Excerpted from the 2010 census highlights presented by DBEDT to the 2011 Reapportionment Commission)

Between 2000 and 2010, Hawaii population grew by 12.3 percent and C&C of Honolulu population increased by 8.8 percent. Population on the neighbor island counties, however, rose at a faster pace than C&C Honolulu. As a result, their shares of the state’s population has increased.

This continued a trend that began in the 1980s. The fastest growing counties between 2000 and 2010 were Hawaii and Maui counties, with a 24.5 percent and 20.8 percent increase respectively.

The C&C of Honolulu now has 70.1 percent of the state’s population, slightly down from 72.3 percent a decade ago. The combined share of the three neighbor island counties grew from 27.7 percent to 29.9 percent between 2000 and 2010.

Hawaii County’s population share grew to 13.6 percent (up from 12.3 percent), Maui County ’s population share increased to 11.4 percent (up from 10.6 percent), and Kauai County ’s population share increased to 4.9 percent (up from 4.8 percent).

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