I am very dismayed at the recent guest editorial by John Fielding entitled “Politics of the River Street Project” (Hawaii Reporter – 1/12/10).

Mr. Fielding comments and accusations are highly exaggerated and factually inaccurate. Mr. Fielding is clearly making the homeless issue political on behalf of Bishop Larry Silva in order to force the City to build a homeless shelter on City land.

It is indeed regrettable that Mr. Fielding believes he has the right to dictate to the Chinatown community as to the use of public land in Chinatown. In my 27 years in public office, I have become familiar with these types of people who use intimidation, politics and “story telling”-type tactics to impose their views upon others.

I am disappointed that Bishop Silva has chosen Mr. Fielding as his representative in this matter. Mr. Fielding’s behavior and emotional instability reflects poorly on Bishop Silva. In our form of democratic government, the Chinatown community has the right to participate in any discussion pertaining to the use of public land in their community.
Within the past few months the City’s proposed River Street Project has been an emotional issue among the Chinatown residents and businesses.

This proposed project will serve to undermine our current, on-going efforts to revitalize our Chinatown community. Over the past several years, great effort has been put into transforming Chinatown into a safer, cleaner and more vibrant community. Throughout its history, Chinatown has more than shouldered its share of crime and homelessness.

As the elected Councilmember for my district, which includes Chinatown, it is my sworn duty to faithfully represent my constituents; and I will continue to do so. In accordance with his opinion, I encourage Mr. Fielding to lead by example and open up his residence to the homeless.

‘Rod Tam is a Honolulu City Councilmember representing District VI’

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