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Danny Mateo

Councilman Danny Mateo, who grew up in a plantation village in upper Paia thinks it is nice to see plantation style living coming full circle and be recognized for its common sense advantages. Tonight, the Save Honolua Coalition was treated to some words of wisdom from Mateo, who represents Molokai. Council member Mateo proudly speaks of those he represents, "Our people are our warriors and they are not averse to controversy--the Molokai community has been challenged by the best and has triumphed." Molokai alone has been successful at keeping the cruise ships away, they have fought numerous development projects which do not have the best interests of Molokai at heart, and won.

Danny Mateo came to speak to the coalition with his homework done. He knows what we stand for and offered invaluable advice. He suggests we follow through with the 501c3 process; create a management plan; meet with the current landowner; look into forming a partnership with government and community as well as private donors. He encouraged us to set a time table and work towards attainable goals; and also to consider having less meetings to avoid burn out . He believes that if we continue to reach out and share our passion and vision for Honolua with pure hearts, our desire to malama pono will become a reality. There is a lot we can learn from, "the friendly isle." Their warriors are educated, informed, involved and interested in what happens within the community. On Molokai they utilize the court system, post bulletins, hold lots of meetings, write to the newspapers, broadcast on Akaku, etc. They encourage youth participation in island issues and look to na kupuna to provide guidance and wisdom. Molokai is not naive, they know that change will come, but feel they must be the ones to dictate what form that change will take. Council member Mateo believes that those appointed to boards/commissions are vital to affect change within their community. If we can get people on those who share our views, our voices will be better heard through this process.

As seen by Danny Mateo, one of the most important challenges of this decade is to lead with determined aggressiveness. Our culture is under attack, our lifestyles are being challenged, our near shore marine environment is being polluted and our resources are dwindling. We are under constant threat from the greed of offshore speculators. To stand up against these forces is awesome, demanding work but for those of us who live here, we have no other choice, this is our home, we have no where else to, "go back to." Council member Mateo recognizes one of the major obstacles to solving our county's problems--there is no current factual data on capacity, thus preventing the council from making informed decisions. To remedy this situation, he has drafted a bill to do an infrastructure/capacity study which is being referred to the planning committee. So as Danny Mateo has come out to guide and support us, let us also support his efforts to guarantee that future generations of island residents have positive opportunities to look forward to.