State capitol: Photo by Emily Metcalf
State capitol: Photo by Emily Metcalf

HONOLULU, HAWAII – The Hawaii Legislature will welcome lawmakers from the 13 Western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming to Honolulu July 30-August 2.  More than 500 people are expected to attend, drawing elected officials from Western states including Hawaii, the Pacific region and Canada. The meeting rotates annually among states and provinces in the Western region.

The event is the 64th annual meeting of the Council of State Governments-WEST (CSG-WEST).  CSG-WEST is a nonpartisan organization that brings Western legislators of both parties together to share best policy practices, cooperate on regional issues and participate in legislative effectiveness training.

Hawaii Representative Marcus R. Oshiro is the 2011 CSG-WEST chair.  Oshiro, Senator Brian T. Taniguchi, Speaker Calvin K. Y. Say and Senate President Shan S. Tsutsui are hosting the meeting.  Governor Neil Abercrombie has been invited to welcome conference participants at the opening session.

George Kam, known as an ambassador of Aloha, opens the conference with insights into Hawaiian culture and sense of place.  CNN’s Candy Crowley will take a look at national politics and the implications for Western states. Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will give his perspective on global security and defense.  Joel Kotkin, author of the critically acclaimed “The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050,” will examine how we will live and work as the U.S. population increases by one hundred million.  He’ll also address the question: Is the West still the future of our nation?  Dante Chinni, author of “Our Patchwork Nation,” will speak to the organization’s WESTRENDS board on the 12 different community types and their relevance to Western states.

Numerous local experts will share their expertise with visiting lawmakers.  The Hawaii Legislature joins with the world-renowned East-West Center to offer sessions with leading authorities on Asia-Pacific trade and economic development. Lessons in energy independence will be offered by Hawaii Lt. Governor Brian Schatz and industry leaders. A college and career readiness forum will include information about Hawaii’s P-20 Partnerships for Education. Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm will join Robert Coombs of the national CSG Justice Center to discuss ways to reduce recidivism through corrections reform.

Hawaii Rep. Bob Herkes will discuss Hawaii’s nationally acclaimed role in preventing mortgage foreclosures.  Hawaii Rep. Kyle Yamashita will chair a forum on economic development.  Rep. Ryan Yamane chairs a health forum that will feature local experts on pandemic flu and health innovations. Hawaii also will offer lessons in invasive species management with a discussion moderated by Hawaii Rep. Clift Tsuji. Hawaii’s Superintendent of Education Kathryn Matayoshi will lead an evening of conversation with Women in Politics.

 

 

For more information about the 64th CSG-WEST annual meeting, click on www.csgwest.org

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