I want to start by acknowledging the staff of the House Minority Caucus – thank you for your hard work and tireless dedication to our members. The work we accomplished this session could not have happened without you.
And thank you to all House staff whose work makes everything that takes place in this building possible.
To all of my colleagues, congratulations on your work this Session. Our job is more than the speeches the public sees on this floor and in what gets covered in the media. The real work takes place in the countless hours we spend in committees, in our communities and at our desks.
Our job is to find practical and actionable solutions to our State's problems. Thank you for doing that hard work.
To the members who gave me the opportunity to be their Minority Leader, thank you for always valuing our diversity. Thank you for respecting each other despite our many differences. And, thank you for giving me the freedom to aggressively redefine what it means to be a minority member in this body.
Every criticism we received was outweighed by encouragement from Hawaii voters who are tired of partisan politics, who don't want to hear token opposition, and who want their leaders to be constructive, not destructive.
And, to the Majority Leadership Team, thank you for giving us a seat at the table. Thank you for utilizing our solutions, for passing our bills and for providing for our schools. A minority can't be productive participants unless it is accompanied by a majority that's willing to ignore labels and listen. This Majority was. And together, we've done what Washington can't.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to end by thanking the people of Hawaii for giving each of us the opportunity to play a small role in this sometimes messy 200 year experiment called democracy.