Our Islands, Our Future

Nisei Veterans Memorial Center recently welcomed former Governor George Ariyoshi, Hawaii’s longest-serving governor, to its ‘Afternoon with the Author’ Zoom series. In Ariyoshi’s newest book, Hawaii’s Future, he talks about leadership on Maui, the importance of values, and how things we do now will have a great impact on the future. An American lawyer and politician, Ariyoshi served as the third governor of Hawaii from 1974 to 1986. He is the first American of Asian descent to serve as governor in any U.S. state.

Concerned about Hawaii’s future, Ariyoshi has spent many years pondering his latest book. It is an insightful guide for today’s leaders and residents to examine Hawaii’s past while asking readers to discover ways to create a better Hawaii. “There are many issues of concern,” he said. “For example, the oceans and our land need to be taken care of. Stewardship is key. The philosophy of agriculture and education are vital now. Plus, it is crucial to engage the community. Setting policies alone does not make a community good, it is reaching out and working with the people.”

As a three-term governor of the State of Hawaii, Ariyoshi set in motion a series of wide-ranging policies that became his legacy. He noted, “During my 13 years as Hawaii’s chief executive, I adopted responsible fiscal strategies, maintained progressive trade relations and steady tourism growth, optimized the development of ocean resources, worked on land preservation and conservation, and strengthened Hawaii’s presence in the Pacific”.

A firm believer in planning, Ariyoshi said his concerns for Hawaii have grown more urgent than ever. “When I was in office, state planning was an important part of the government agenda,” he emphasized. “It is important to pay attention now and ask the question, What about Hawaii’s future? I think we need to look ahead at what needs to be done. We must also consider climate change and homelessness issues in order for us to have a good Hawaii. Every person in the community should work together, participate and be useful to make our state great for our future generations.”

We are never too young or too old to care, participate, and contribute to our community.

Former Governor George Ariyoshi