Friday, November 9, 2012

From Ben Cayetano

Mahalo Nui Loa

Dear Friends,
This was my ninth and last political campaign, and by far it has been the best.  You made it that. Your passion, commitment, and the time you were willing to give to a shared vision of our city inspired and energized me.

Be proud. We were a true grassroots movement, people of diverse backgrounds united with a single voice, in the best tradition of democracy.  Please never forget that.  Never allow yourself to be silenced. Remember this experience the next time you feel the need to stand up and speak to power.  Speak, and speak loudly.

We may have fallen short in this election, but we succeeded in exposing a new type of politics which some would seek to impose here, in which special interests and secret money combine to spread falsehoods to crush dissent.

Let us fight this before it can take root on our islands and further erode the aloha we cherish and makes us unique in the world. At issue is our identity as a community and in this there can be no compromise.

Winston Churchill famously said “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried." In my nearly 40 years of public service, I have found this to be true. Moments of victory and defeat are but just steps in a long ongoing journey which relies on an informed and engaged citizenry.

Stay engaged. We have made a difference. And if this campaign encourages you to become even more active in support of your beliefs, then it truly has succeeded.

It has been a pleasure, an honor and a privilege.  I wish you the very best and I thank you from the deepest core of my heart.

Much Aloha,