2019 ends with peace between inclusive playground proponents and opponents

(HONOLULU — Dec. 14, 2019) — The building of an inclusive playground at Ala Moana Regional Park has been one of the most controversial issues of 2019. Proponents want to build a playground where all children can play together. Opponents argued that they were taking away beloved green space from “The People’s Park.”

The divisive proposal resulted in harsh personal attacks from both sides of the issue. Proponents were accused of being large political donors using their influence to build a personal playground on public land. Opponents were labeled as lacking compassion for children with special needs and disabilities. After witnessing these harsh personal attacks, Councilmember Kym Pine spoke about the need for all stakeholders to come together.

“Can’t we come together for the children?” Pine said, speaking to both groups at the last full council meeting December 4. She voted in favor of moving the Ala Moana playground for children of all needs to Kaka‘ako. “This is Hawai‘i, we must come together to find what unites us and move forward.”

Pine promised to work with representatives of both sides to find a compromise.

“Today, we end 2019 with peace,” said Pine. “We will continue with the dream of providing a safe place to play for children of all abilities. I am extremely proud of everyone who has come together for the kids. This is a great day.”

The compromise providing for relocation of the proposed inclusive playground to Kaka‘ako creates a single unified group of playground supporters and allows the initiative to move forward in a positive direction.

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine represents residents of District One (ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nānākuli, Mā‘ili, Wai‘anae, Mākaha, Kea‘au, Mākua) and is chair of the City Council’s Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism.

Erika Engle
Communications Director, Councilmember Kymberly Pine
Honolulu City Council, District One
530 South King Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Main 808.768.5001

12-14-19 Playground compromise FINAL.docx