160713 HAC Chair’s Report

HAWAIIAN AFFAIRS CAUCUS
General Membership Meeting
July 13, 2016, 6:00 p.m., ILWU

Chair’s Report

Caucus Marketing Materials: Membership brochure, banner, and website launched, thanks to webmaster Blaine Fergerstrom.

Democratic Party of Hawaii Convention: Our caucus participated at the Democratic Party of Hawaii convention with an exhibit that featured items from the Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, leaflets on health from Papa Ola Lokahi, and a summary of issues by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation.   Forty new members signed on. Mahalo to Rhonda Roldan who coordinated the exhibit; and to members, Aulii Dudoit, Benton Pang, Lei Kihoi, and Kitty Simmonds who helped with staffing the exhibit.

A significant accomplishment at convention was a change to the Bylaws that now allows for Caucuses to elect their representatives to the State Central Committee. Before this change, caucuses could only certify candidates subject to election by all delegates to the Democratic Party of Hawaii convention.

Information on the Platform, Affirmative Action, and Resolutions can be found at the Democratic Party of Hawaii website, hawaiidemocrats.org.   New DPH Chair is Tim Vandeveer, Vice Chair is Dolly Strazar.

Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Candidate Questionnaire and Meet and Greet: We launched a candidate questionnaire to provide opportunity for candidates to inform us and the public of their platform and their support for Native Hawaiians. Responses can be found at our website: www.hawaiianaffairs.org. We are also hosting this evening’s Meet and Greet social with the candidates. Need help from every member to spread the word about all of these wonderful candidates.

Hawaiian Affairs Caucus Democratic Party Platform Provision: In response to a website notification that the Democratic Party Platform Committee welcomed comments and recommendations on the National Platform, we noticed that the current Platform only mentioned Native Hawaiians in one sentence at the tail end of the section on Tribal Sovereignty. As a result, we quickly got to work and with several hands, developed Platform language consistent with the Democratic Party of Hawaii Platform on Native Hawaiians. Thanks to the advocacy of Colleen Hanabusa who was Hawaii’s representative to the national Platform Committee, our proposal passed. There is now a specific section on Native Hawaiians in the national platform. We are honored today to have Ms Hanabusa present to share that experience.

Native Hawaiian Constitution: The Na‘i Aupuni convention completed its work in February that produced a draft constitution for ratification by Native Hawaiians. Grassroots efforts are now being made to secure the necessary funding to enable the ratification. Guest speaker today on this subject is Kūhiō Lewis, member of our caucus and our representative to the State Central Committee.

Future Plans:

Voter Registration, Poll Volunteers: All caucus members are asked to encourage their families to register to vote and to vote. Additionally, there are opportunities to help on election day and to receive a stipend. Information is available at the Hawaii State Office of Elections website: elections.hawaii.gov. You will also find other valuable information there, such as candidate listings, poll places, etc.

2016 and 2017 Plans: The Executive Committee will be working on plans for the remainder of this year and 2017. We invite all members to submit their ideas for activities to: hawaiian.affairs.caucus@gmail.com. Issues such as Papahanaumoku, Wind ocean energy, the Native Hawaiian Constitution, Thirty Meter Telescope, Protection of Sacred Sites, Writing and Following Bills at the Legislature, etc., are examples of subjects that lend themselves to educational forums. Eventually, we will be working on our legislative agenda for 2017.   All meetings of the Executive Committee are held on the last Thursday of every month, at 5:30 p.m., at Native Books in Ward Warehouse.  General membership meetings are scheduled for the second Thursday every quarter with the next meetings scheduled for October 11 and December 14. Please mark your calendars.

Mahalo to the many hands that enable the work of the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus!