Community Coalition Kaua’i (CCK) was formed in the Summer 2016 to bring together individual’s from across the island to improve our understanding of some of the most compelling issues Kaua’i is facing today. We seek to explore and identify the root cause of the issues through a range of educational and exploratory platforms offered by CCK and led by experts in different disciplines. In partnership with our civic leaders and private sector, we then take this deepened understanding of the issues and work collaboratively to identify innovative and implementable solutions. Originally created as a forum for neighborhood associations and community organizations to come together and speak with one voice, CCK quickly expanded to be inclusive of any and all concerned citizens who want to see private/ public partnerships formed with the purpose of taking a proactive approach to wisely managing growth and securing a sustainable future for Kaua’i.
We, as a group, strongly feel that the reality is that the last few decades of uncontrolled growth on Kaua’i has created intense pressure on our ecosystems, widened the gap of inequality, tipped the scales of balance in the quality of our personal and collective lives, and thus undermined the very foundation of a successful and fulfilled community. We believe that growth can be controlled and intentional in terms of the direction we as an island want to move towards. We believe that meaningful and lasting change is spearheaded first and foremost by the community, then is met along the way in this endeavor by government and the private sector, collectively implementing innovative solutions.
Our work began in the Summer of 2016 with engagement in the development of the County’s Draft General Plan. By November 2016, CCK members had formed 13 working groups to review various components of the plan. And, as you can imagine, this required an enormous amount of coordination, time commitment and reconciling of comments and recommendations – all from a volunteer crew of dedicated community members. With the start of the Planning Commission’s review of the Draft General Plan, in January 2017, CCK members continued their engagement in the 7 public hearings on the Plan before the Commission, and 11 hearings before the County Council. During the entirety of 2017, the sentiment that was echoed in chambers of the Planning Commission and County Council was that the communities of Kaua’i are looking for a sustainable future where growth is controlled and managed with the idea that quality of life for Kaua’i’s residents should be a priority. The hope was to re-align the balance of power on this island from one that places it’s priorities and future direction in the hands of the large land owners and developers, to one that puts quality of life for community members first. CCK’s work is represented in the new General Plan. The changes are not sweeping, but certainly incremental and moving us in the right direction.
Realizing the importance of selecting County Council representatives and a Mayor that are serious about addressing the unchecked growth on Kaua’I, CCK was determined to turn the 2018 campaign cycle into one of a deep reflection on the issues. As such, CCK ran 8 candidate forums. Six of them were co-sponsored by organizations in different communities around the island, and each focused on a set of issues as determined by that hosting community. The momentum grew with each successive forum, whereby we were able to maintain a fairly constant crowd of about 200+ attendees per forum. The dialogue changed for the candidates, and amongst the candidates. It turned out to be a campaign season defined by camaraderie, sharing of ideas, and finding common ground.
In January 2019, through a series of meetings, CCK developed a new two-year strategic plan. The focus is on bringing the work of the past three years to fruition based on our deepened understandings of the issues, and correspondingly the ideas and solutions we have been developing over the past three years. Our intention is to work more closely with County government through regular round table meetings with the Mayor and County Council members. We intend to track the positions and voting records of our County Council members with a newly developed online Report Card. We will work towards expanding our education and solution platforms, bringing them to an even broader audience. And most of all, take look at the issues and candidates that we want to see on the ballot in 2020 that support our model of a sustainable future for Kaua’i.
We need the full force of the communities on all sides of Kaua’i to come together and take responsibility for our future. We as an island community can and have to work collectively, quickly and effectively to meet the challenges in front of us. We have no other choice. The time has come to sharpen the focus on where we want to be and widen our problem-solving lens by harnessing the collective intelligence that resides within this island community. Problems, by definition, have many facets to them and by using collaborative engagement we can tackle these complex and systemic challenges and help shape a future for Kaua’i that is forward thinking, based on a proactive rather than reactive model.
``We need the full force of the communities on all sides of Kaua`i to come together and take responsibility for our future.``
``The time has come to sharpen the focus on where we want to be and widen our problem-solving lens by harnessing the collective intelligence that resides within our Island community.``
``Using Collaborative engagement we can tackle these complex challenges and help shape a future for Kaua`i that is sustainable and forward thinking.``