POSTED: 02 JANUARY 2008 - 5:30pm HST

Seeking Public Comment: Moku Districting

image above: design of possible bumper sticker for Moku District promotion by Jonathan Jay

by Jonathan Jay on 1 January 2008

Aloha 2008! It is now a new year and elections are only 11 months away. Posted for your review and comment is the present provisional status of language and mapping for the intended Moku Districting Kaua`i County Charter Amendment to go onto the ballot this fall.

Mahalo nui loa for your interest, support, and active participation to get the County Council elections changed from the present Island-wide "at-large" elections where much of the island is unrepresented by the present council, and important issues are falling through the cracks - take your pick, there are many.

It is hoped a change to the traditional & sustainable Moku Districts with regionally specific elections, will better bring all of Kaua`i to the table to address the needs of the island. Council members living in a region, elected by residents of that region should be more intimately familiar with issues of their region, and be more accountable to their voter/neighbors.

Additionally, it is hoped that dividing the island into smaller human-scale pieces will make it easier for more citizens at the grassroots level to capably participate in electoral politics, thereby increasing the pool of talent able to serve the island.

However, a few things are needed first:
1) Your Feedback! If you have comments, questions or feedback about the present state of the proposal, please contact me:

2) Feedback from Others! If you know of any grassroots organization or hui you think might be interested in participating or have some valuable insight to this effort, please send me their contact info and send them my way.

3) By the end of February, it is my hope that the details of the Moku District Charter Amendment will be finalized and a broad consensus be accepted by the community. It takes an island to change the charter!

4) Beginning in March, after finalization of ballot language, signatures will begin to be collected - roughly 2,000 are needed to qualify to be on the November ballot - not that much!

With even minimal organization, this should be pretty easy to do in short order.

Two-thousand signatures works out to about 300 for each of the seven Moku Districts. If there are 10 people working per Moku District, and everyone gets one signature per day, we will be done on a month! You can think of it as your gift to the future of Kaua`i!

Mahalo Again, Jonathan Jay

[Editor's Note: Below is a proposed ballot for an amendment to the Kauai County Charter that would introduce council seats by districting. An MS Word Compatible version is available by clicking here.]

Seven Seated Districts for Kaua’i County Council
(with Na Pali held “in Common”)


Effective 2010, shall the County Charter of Kaua`i be amended such that each of the seven County Council Members are selected by Moku District Voting, with one member residing in and elected by voters residing in each Moku District, from each of the seven seated districts, as derived from traditional Hawaiian Moku, Kalana and major watershed boundaries as shown above?

Section 3.02 COMPOSITION
There shall be a council of seven (7) members selected by district in the Primary, and elected by district in the General Election who shall each reside in each of the seven separate seated Moku/Districts as shown above by eligible voters residing in each of the districts in the Primary, and General Elections. The Seven Seated Moku/Districts are as follows:


To be eligible for the council, a person must be a duly qualified, registered voter in the District they wish to represent for at least two years immediately preceding filing candidacy papers for election.

Any councilmember who removes his or her residence from the district from which elected, shall immediately forfeit the office.

C) Should a councilmember be removed from any of the seven council positions from which that person was elected, any replacement appointee must meet all requirements of a candidate for that position.

The first election by separate districts shall be in the primary election of 2010
In the Primary, voting shall occur by Moku/District. Eligible voters in each of the Moku/Districts the County of Kaua’i may vote in their individual District contest, for any of candidates for council on their ballot, or may write in an additional name of their choice. The two candidates in each district receiving the highest number of votes shall advance to the General Election.

In the General Election, voting shall occur by Moku/District. Eligible voters in each of the Moku/Districts the County of Kaua’i may vote in their individual District contest, for either of the two candidates for council on their ballot, or may write in an additional name of their choice. The candidate in each Moku/District receiving the highest number of votes shall represent that Moku/District on the County Council.

The Moku and Kalana district boundaries are determined by tradition and watershed boundaries. As such, they are fixed and require no reapportionment or re-districting.

see also:
Island Breath TGI: Ahupuaa Planning 6/13/07
Island Breath TGI: The Village as Core 6/27/07
Island Breath: Local Politics 5x2=10  2/17/07