By Keli‘i Akina
As we proceed to be taught extra concerning the tragedy in Lahaina, the precedence ought to be clear: We should proceed to assist the victims of the hearth.
Cleanup and help — among the many hardest duties of all — are already underway, and can proceed to be the middle of emergency efforts for a while to return.
Sure, many people need to know extra about the reason for the hearth and what might need gone improper within the response. Finally, the info will come out. However for now, we have to deal with essentially the most rapid issues.
Gov. Josh Inexperienced and Maui Mayor Richard Bissen have introduced a collection of measures to assist Lahaina households. I particularly need to reward the mayor for waiving property taxes for the affected property homeowners — together with giving again the cash from those that already paid. This can be a sensible and beneficiant measure that may present actual monetary aid to victims of the wildfires.
The governor, in the meantime, has used his emergency powers to assist convey medical care to Maui and discover locations for displaced households to reside. I particularly admire the best way by which he cleared the best way for out-of-state medical professionals to take care of the wants of these affected by the tragedy.
Furthermore, the governor has been very attentive to considerations about scams concentrating on Lahaina property homeowners and doable issues in rebuilding the world.
In response to these considerations, the governor has instructed the state lawyer normal to impose enhanced penalties on anybody who tries to reap the benefits of the victims whereas buying property within the affected space. This can be a reasoned and centered strategy that ought to assist shield Lahaina property homeowners from fraud or predatory actual property schemes.
Some folks have advocated a moratorium on all property gross sales within the affected space, however that might be overly broad and danger hurting the very folks it intends to assist. A lot of these persons are going by the worst days of their lives. Any moratorium might put them by extra ache and issue. That’s not what anybody needs.
Wanting forward, we must always take the time to consider one of the simplest ways to make sure that a rebuilt Lahaina is affluent and secure.
My colleagues and I on the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii already are researching and discussing suggestions we are going to make — particularly concerning state and county insurance policies that might assist Lahaina and the remainder of the affected areas on Maui recuperate.
However in the meantime, let’s keep centered on the cleanup and help efforts on Maui, to assist the survivors of this horrible tragedy regain their footing and rebuild their lives.
As I discussed in my column final week, in case you are on the lookout for methods to assist, Honolulu Civil Beat has posted an inventory of organizations which can be actively concerned within the restoration efforts, which you’ll see right here.
Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.