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MAYOR HANNEMANN AWARDED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION,

URGES SUPPORT FOR TRAVEL AND ARTS

 

MIAMI -- Mayor Mufi Hannemann was presented today with the 2008 Mayors Climate Protection Award for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of Honolulu's 21st Century Ahupua'a environmental protection program.

 

            The US Conference of Mayors presented the award at the group's 76th Annual Meeting, held this year in Miami, where Mayor Hannemann spoke about the need to support the arts and the travel industry.

 

            "I'm very pleased that the US Conference of Mayors has recognized our hard work to make Honolulu an environmentally friendly and sustainable city," Mayor Hannemann said. "We take environmental protection very seriously, and we will continue to be good stewards of our precious island and its natural resources."

 

            Honolulu was one of four large US cities to receive the award today.

 

            The City was praised for its Sustainability Plan, the "nuts and bolts" application of the principals outlined earlier by the Mayor's Vision for the 21st Century Ahupua'a. The document is the first comprehensive sustainability plan developed with full participation of all affected City departments. It sets ambitious goals over a ten year time frame and identifies specific programs, responsibilities and methods for measuring progress.

 

"We must benefit from the wisdom of our Polynesian ancestors combined with the technological innovations of today to make our island home sustainable and self sufficient for future generations," Mayor Hannemann said.

 

 Hawai'i's original inhabitants developed a sophisticated and successful resource management system based on the ahupua'a land division that supported a population more than half as large as it is today. The concept of the 21st Century Ahupua'a is to develop a culturally appropriate strategy for restoring balance and sustainability to our island home.

 

"We must continue to learn from our Polynesian predecessors and renew our commitment to self-sufficiency and to the protection of our precious 'aina," Mayor Hannemann said.

 

Mayor Hannemann is a member of the USCM Advisory Committee and the chair of its Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports Committee, one of the USCM's largest committees.

 

The committee today approved resolutions urging Congress to:

 

        support expansion of the US Visa Waiver Program to facilitate foreign travel to the US by residents of South Korea and other nations, which would greatly benefit Honolulu and many other cities with strong tourism industries;

 

        approve the Travel Promotion Act, which would establish the first substantial international marketing campaign to promote the US overseas as a travel destination;

 

        and to restore full funding to the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Office of Museum Services after years of harmful budget cuts.

 

Mayor Hannemann also today briefed the committee on a proposal to establish a task force of mayors and private industry representatives to support Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games; and to set up a similar task force to help address problems created by the recent closure of Aloha Airlines and other carriers amid rising costs for jet fuel, which are harming the visitor industry in many cities.

 

Mayor Hannemann was the driving force behind the Ten Point Plan that the USCM adopted for presentation to presidential candidates, addressing a variety of issues that are important to our nation's cities.

 

At the committee meeting, Mayor Hannemann discussed the positions of Senators John McCain and Barack Obama on issues related to travel and the arts, which are among the USCM's priorities.

 

On behalf of the USCM, Mayor Hannemann, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and Miami Mayor and incoming USCM chair Manuel Diaz met last month with Senator McCain, who said he was very sympathetic to concerns about the airline industry problems and pledged to do all he could to assist.

 

Mayor Hannemann today reported that Senator Obama is very familiar with the USCM's call for assisting and strengthening the arts, and has incorporated the arts in his campaign platform.

 

Senator Obama is also a co-sponsor of the Travel Promotion Act, which Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye has championed. Senator Obama has pledged to support Chicago's bid to host the Olympics, and is scheduled to address the conference in Miami tomorrow.

 

Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

 

Friday, June 20, 2008

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