If you haven’t heard, Maui Mayor Alan is giving his annual State of the County Address tonight. Mostly for nerdy fun, we did some quasi-scientific data analysis of Arakawa’s last three State of the County speeches (the only ones we could find on the County of Maui’s website).
This consisted of running the speech texts through the free online Wordle word cloud generator, which assigns size values to words in direct proportion to their use. In other words, the more Arakawa uses a word, the larger it will appear in the word could. Doing this, we came up with some pretty surprising results.
As you can see from the word clouds below, Arakawa likes using the words “County” and “Maui.” Yeah, we were surprised, too.
Seriously, though–we can make a few observations if we ignore Arakawa’s frequent mentioning of the County of Maui (which happens every year). For instance, here’s the word cloud for Arakawa’s 2012 address:
As you can see, in 2012 Arakawa spent a lot of the speech using words like “building” and “need.” This is because Arakawa’s speech that year was facility- and infrastructure-heavy. He talked a lot about big plans to add solar panels to county buildings, replace the Waikamoi Flume and generally make the county more “efficient.”
But the next year, Arakawa’s speech priorities changed:
That year, the mayor’s speech had an entirely different emphasis: “community” and “people” being most apparent (he also did a lot less talking about “building”). The speech still had plenty of infrastructure plans, but it also included context and explanation about the people who would implement, and how they would affect residents.
This theme continued on into 2014, an election year:
As you can see, “community” now dominates Arakawa’s speech (the word “building” doesn’t even appear here). What was once a wonky, technical address has transformed into something friendly, even soft.
“Looking towards the future, we want more than just to recover, we want this community to thrive,” Arakawa said at one point in the speech. “We can do it because this community has created a positive momentum, and we need to ride that wave as long as we can.”
So what will Arakawa’s speech tonight hold? Hard to say–he won an overwhelming reelection a few months ago, but has lately become embroiled in some pretty nasty fights with the Maui County Council.
Anyway, you can attend tonight’s speech free of charge. It will be at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center’s McCoy Studio Theater. Doors open at 4:30pm, and the speech is scheduled to run 5-6pm. There will be a light supper for guests, but since seating is limited, you should get there early.
You can also watch the speech at home. It’ll be on Akaku Channels 53 and 55, and live-streamed at Akaku.org.
Word clouds generated using Wordle.net