Letter From The Editor

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Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, I think everyone can agree that the 2016 presidential campaign was vitriolic and to put things simply, really kind of terrible.

But if there is one silver lining of the whole thing, I think it’s in a newfound engagement in politics. Whether we were cheering for Clinton or Trump, we were at the very least paying attention.

To guide people in taking the next steps to be involved in politics, the Oahu Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation hosts a workshop, Civics IS Sexy: Community Voices Getting Louder, Jan. 21. The workshop’s been running for the past two years, but event organizers —Surfrider’s Rafael Bergstrom and Stuart Coleman — told me that this is the largest registration they’ve had so far. That’s in part, they speculate, because of the recent election.

But to be clear, Bergstrom and Coleman aren’t pushing any particular agenda. They simply want to ensure that people know how to get involved in the legislative process.

“We want people to actually come together and have input on (issues) that are going to affect us all,” Bergstrom says.

You can read more of what Bergstrom and Coleman have to say about the workshop on page 6.

The event, by the way, was named after a TED Talk by educator Eric Liu — and because, as Coleman says, the idea of participatory politics gets people excited.

“I always love seeing people get that a-ha moment where they kind of remember … ‘oh yeah, it really is supposed to be about us and our involvement.’ And you see that people are really kind of turned on by it,” Coleman says. “Once you get turned on to the idea that you have that power, it really is just incredibly exciting and empowering for people.”