November 6, 2014: ¡Sí, se puede!

Maikaʻi nō, Maui County. After $8,000,000 of corporate campaigning, the measure still managed to pass. Celebration is real and well earned. It was a close vote, so it is vital that we also work to prevent and to heal any fractures our communities may be facing right now. Let us humbly stand in the truth to address what concerns may arise.

>> JOBS: We must kāko'o our entire community in this transition. This means standing in solidarity with our farmworkers and calling bullshit on Monsanto when they try to use our people as pawns in their expensive political game.

There is no sound reason jobs have to be lost. Monsanto and Mycogen may continue farming all crops other than GE as well as finish with whatever experiments are currently in the ground. According to the law, they may use approved chemicals if they choose. They do this elsewhere at inordinate profits.

Farming is laborious. Thus, if they are actually farming, laborers should be in high demand. Look, they just dropped $8 million on an ineffective propaganda campaign. Surely they can find a way to preserve their assets whilst protecting the lives of their farmworkers.

Let me be clear here - ANY attempt by these chemical companies to leverage the livelihoods of their employees in order to gain political traction is unnecessary, irresponsible, heartless, ruthless, selfish, foolish, dishonest and a down right abomination. No one, no initiative, no entity is forcing Monsanto et al. to close their doors. Maui County remains an economically viable location to do agri-business. The ONLY entities responsible for what jobs may or may not be lost in the wake of this win are the biotech companies themselves.

As massive biotech corporations, they have a legal obligation to their shareholders. They must do their due diligence, such as developing a contingency plan that accounts for the clear political environment against GE, the clear market shift towards organic, and clear public opinion fearful of GE. By ignoring these factors (whether by arrogance or choice) and not having a post-GE trajectory that respects the lives of their employees is, simply put, bad business practice.

>>> People don't need to lose their jobs. If they do, that blood is on Monsanto's hands, not ours and we will be there to support those whose livelihood was unnecessarily taken from them. I will not be held accountable for Monsanto's arrogant refusal to get their shit together just because I'm protecting my family and this 'āina from irreversible health consequences <<<

Biotech has everything it needs to turn a profit without the presence of GE. So, just as we won the battle to protect the health of our people and our 'āina, we must rally to protect the lives of those who Monsanto et al. may use as pawns. In the spirit of farmworker and labor leaders such as Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, Si se puede! Yes, we can! We just proved it yesterday, and the struggle continues as we reach across the aisle to stand in solidarity with our farmworker brothers and sisters!