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Mayor also represents national mayors at New Hampshire arts policy forum


            Mayor Mufi Hannemann this week visited his alma mater, Harvard University, to take part in a major climate protection forum in Boston.  The forum was sponsored by the Harvard Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM).  It was attended by mayors Greg Nickels of Seattle, Doug Palmer of Trenton, and Martin Chavez of Albuquerque, as well as Hannemann.


            Mayor Hannemann described key components of his administration's 21st Century Ahupuaa sustainability plan and contributions to the battle to lower greenhouse gas emissions.


            He said, "We in Hawaii are dependent on imported fossil fuels for 93 percent of our energy needs, import 85 percent of our food, and have as many autos as we do residents.  That's why these issues are so important to us."


            He also answered questions about the USCM's national efforts:  "We need to get more people involved in the critical issues of climate protection and sustainability, especially our young people.  Eighty percent of all Americans know about and believe that global warming is occurring, but less than 40 percent recognize it as a major priority."


            The forum was attended by new mayors from across the United States, as well as Harvard faculty and students.  All were given the opportunity to ask questions of the four-mayor panel.  There was a general consensus by the audience that the USCM was to be lauded for its leadership on climate issues.


            Hannemann, as chairman of the USCM's standing committee on tourism, arts, parks, entertainment, and sports, also participated in the ArtsVoteNH forum in Concord, New Hampshire.  The U.S. mayors were praised for leading the charge in supporting the arts by Bob Lynch, president and CEO of the Americans for Arts Action Fund, one of the event sponsors.


            The mayor was instrumental in having tourism and arts made part of the USCM's 10-Point Plan, which outlines city priorities to be presented to the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, and Presidential candidates.  Honolulu was touted as an example of how local support of the arts has set a high standard for other cities and regions to follow.


            Mayor Hannemann also underscored the importance of exposure to the arts as a key to the early education process, saying, "It's a fact that children who receive significant grounding in art education go on to do better in other subjects than art-poor students.  We need to stimulate creativity in our young people in order to help them succeed."


            He and the U.S. mayors are calling for the establishment of a cabinet-level secretary for arts, culture, and tourism.





Bill Brennan, 527-6928
Friday, November 30, 2007

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