Hawaiian Affairs Caucus members serenade outgoing Democratic Party Chair Cante Carpenter at the 2014 State Democratic Convention.

The Hawaiian Affairs Caucus

The Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i is founded on Hawaiian cultural values of aloha, mālama ‘āina, ho‘okipa and kuleana.  Our work and interaction within the ‘ohana, in the community, and with one another will reflect these values.

Our Mission

Founded in 2006, the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus is one of seven caucuses established by the Democratic Party of Hawaii to represent historically disempowered or under-represented constituencies due to current or past inequality under law. The intent of the Party was to ensure constituents of Caucuses and our causes of civil rights and equality kept a high profile in the Party, and that our traditionally disenfranchised or underrepresented constituencies had a voice at the table of Party leadership.

The Hawaiian Affairs Caucus supports and promotes cultural values of aloha, malama aina, ho’okipa, kuleana and, above all, pono.  It seeks to address issues of self-determination and rights, including protection of Hawaiian cultural practices and sacred sites, pono economic development, distribution of wealth to those segments of society most in need, protection of Hawai‘i’s natural resources (on the ‘āina and in the kai), and accountability of public servants identified as Democrats to the mission and goals of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i with regard to the above objectives.


  • Elect democrats to the U.S. Congress, Hawaii State Legislature, and City Government leadership positions who understand Hawaiian history and concerns, and introduce and support laws addressing these concerns.
  • Improve upon the representation of Native Hawaiians in leadership positions in political and governmental positions
  • Support the rights of native Hawaiians and the preservation of native Hawaiian culture
  • Support Native Hawaiian rights to self-determination in the formation of their chosen  governmental entity.
  • Support recognition of Native Hawaiians as indigenous people as provided by the U.S. Constitution determination.
  • Support the international rights of the Native Hawaiian people.
  • Support the continued engagement and empowerment of the Native Hawaiian community in decisions related to county and state affairs.
  • Support the growth of Native Hawaiian farming, agricultural and healing practices. We value and wish to foster the preservation of our host culture.
  • Support Hawaiian language immersion schools that contribute to the revitalization and continuation of the Hawaiian language and appropriate assessments that accurately reflect Hawaiian language immersion students’ progress and support the Hawaiian language immersion program.
  • Support Hawaiian-focused schools and courses that provide culturally-based education in order to maximize choices in life and work.
  • Support educational programming and efforts that embody Hawaiian values, language, culture and history as a foundation to prepare students for success in college, career and communities.

The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i

Founded April 30, 1900 by supporters of Queen Liliuokalani: John H. Wilson, John S. McGrew, Charles J. McCarthy, David Kawānanakoa and Delbert Evener Metzger. The Party promoted the Jeffersonian philosophy and home rule. The first convention was held on May 16, 1900 and attended by 500 people. The party’s platform is based on the values of liberty and social justice, with compassion and respect towards the individual.

Prince David Kawānanakoa attended the 1900 Democratic National Convention in Kansas City, becoming the first royal attendee. At the convention, Kawānanakoa formed an affiliation between the Democratic Party of Hawaii and the Democratic Party of the United States. Further, Hawaiian nationalism has been one of the Party’s founding principles and the DPH was founded, in part, to bring Hawaiian representation to government.