Maui Mayor Returns From Inaugural Gala and Conference in DCJanuary 21, 2013, 8:20 AM HST · Updated January 21, 10:08 AM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa spent the weekend in Washington DC, as a participant in the US Conference of Mayors.
The major issue, he said, was gun control, but other topics discussed included: renewable energy, marine wetlands and trade with Asian countries.
“If there was one predominant issue, that was it,” said Mayor Arakawa from Washington DC Saturday night. “Gun control legislation was what everyone was talking about. That and all the mayors were talking about going green and creating alternative energy.”
“Maui County is already going in that direction and we just need to stay the course,” said Arakawa.
While in Washington, Arakawa also attended the Presidential Center Inaugural Gala on Saturday.
Hawaii attendees reportedly joined in a push to create a Presidential Library in Kakaako on Oahu. The mayor joined in discussions with officials from the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council about the need for more wetlands to prevent runoff around the county.
The Mayor also joined in discussion with US trade officials about developing trade relationships with Asian countries such as South Korea and China.
While in Washington, Arakawa had the opportunity to speak with Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc CEO Constance Lau, and pledged that Maui County would “work together” with HEI towards the goal of more renewable energy.
“There are a lot more discussions that we need to have when we get back but it’s good to know the county is heading in the right direction,” Arakawa said.
Members of Hawaii’s delegation also in attendance included US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, US Representatives Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard along with Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho.
“It’s a good group here. But it’s freezing,” said Mayor Arakawa.
Mayor Arakawa and his wife Ann were scheduled to fly back to Hawaii yesterday.