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Maui Causes #91 Maui Hemp Institute | Maui Causes

Aloha and greetings from Sam Small,
Executive Director of the new MAUI CAUSES.

I had the privilege recently of serving as the Media Director for the SHAKA Movement and Vote Yes Maui, working to craft the advertising campaign that helped bring Maui’s historic GMO Moratorium electoral victory. Our targeted and simple but well-produced print, radio and television ads helped beat the Agro-Chemical giants Monsanto and Dow in spite of their $7 million dollar advertising budget that outspent us almost 100-to-1.

A big part of our success was the participation of a coalition of small local not-for-profit groups that focus on a variety of progressive and transformational issues facing Maui’s community: land use, water rights, cultural practices, clean air, clean water, agricultural practices, and many more. The participation of all these groups made the difference. They deserve our praise and our support. And that’s what MAUI CAUSES is designed to do. With your support, MAUI CAUSES can, in turn, support these groups by creating media that amplifies their individual agendas.

With your support, MAUI CAUSES will be a not-for-profit media production team who’s mission is to create media for other not-for-profits.

Our island is locked in a hundreds year old stranglehold by plantation powers that never did and still don’t serve the greater good. Only the people, standing up for what is right, on issue after issue, against the powers that be, just as we stood up against Monsanto and Dow, can bring the kind of change that Maui needs and deserves.

The light shining on Maui as a result of our extraordinary win against Big Ag provides us a platform from which to promote alternative agendas that serve the real people of Maui, not the plantation families, not the politicians and not the corporations.

One such initiative was launched recently by Retired Senator & Surfing Ambassador Fred Hemmings. Fred has proposed to take control of Hawai”s insanely expensive electricity rates by converting Hawaiian Electric’s monopoly into a Public Non-Profit Power Utility. That’s an idea who’s time has come and it deserves to be promoted aggressively. With your support MAUI CAUSES can help do that.

Another cause worth fighting for is getting Brian Murphy out of Maui’s prison. In 2009 HAWAII’s State Legislature issued a resolution congratulating Brian Murphy for operating his Paia dispensary Patients Without Time and “assisting Hawai’i’s certified medical marijuana patients with the acquisition of their medical marijuana.” In 2014 Maui’s Courts sentenced Brian to a year in jail for his good deeds. The MPD and prosecutor conspired to block the judge from learning that Brian distributed MEDICAL Marijuana. Facing 250 years Brian pleaded no contest and got the maximum allowable penalty, instead of simple probation. Ironically, Brian himself suffers from seizures that he successfully controls with pot. Denying him that in prison for a year is a cruel and unusual punishment. Brian needs to get the word out for everyone to sign a petition to Governor Ige for a compassionate pardon. With your support MAUI CAUSES can help do that too.

With your support, MAUI CAUSES can do a lot. As a multi-media production team MAUI CAUSES can cost effectively produce and distribute relevant informational content on these and many of the issues facing Maui today. Social media marketing is a convenient and cost effective way to get the message out, and so is Akaku TV. Many of you saw some of the 14 weekly TV shows I hosted on Akaku TV for SHAKA that addressed issues around the GMO Initiative. We’re planning now to revive that weekly show under the MAUI CAUSES banner. Each show will profile another local not-for-profit initiative.

I’ve been a hands-on media producer since 1979, wearing all the hats; writer, producer, director, cameraman and editor. With the addition of modern web marketing, TV and graphics production is the only work I’ve even done. I ran my boutique media production company, Small Wonder Video Services, in NYC for 20 years before I was asked to build and operate an in-house broadcast and commercial production facility for Prudential Financial. They knew my hands-on style of production would save them millions so they literally fired their advertising agency and made me a Vice President. For eight years I produced, directed and edited over 250 national TV spots in the US, Mexico and Japan.

Maui provides, they say, and it sure provided me with worthy adversaries in Monsanto and Dow. We all got to see just how corrupt our local government really is and it brought to light the wide range of public issues that deserve to be addressed. Modern mass media is a tremendously powerful tool for raising awareness for not-for-profit initiatives but it requires specialized skills and equipment that are beyond the scope and capabilities of most small organizations. With your support MAUI CAUSES can do it.

MAUI CAUSES is truly in it’s infancy and will soon initiate the paperwork for our own Not-For-Profit status. In the short term we expect to find a temporary umbrella under one of Maui’s many other not-for-profits but until then contributions, though appreciated, are not tax deductible.

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