I enjoy particularly working on social justice, environmental and community-building issues.
In 2021, after three years of building community awareness and lifting up voices from the community, Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) became a reality in Hawaii. Together with Vote By Mail(VBM), AVR will help ensure greater participation in our democracy. Work on elevating the importance of supporting public health measures such as a tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages continues into 2022. The pandemic makes this ever more urgent especially for communities especially hard-hit by COVID-19.
2018 saw the passage of the nation’s first ban on the neurotoxin, chlorpyrifos. Working with the coalition including the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawaii SEED and others in what was, for many, a multi-year grassroots effort, was an honor and an education.
In 2017, supporting the efforts of Hawaii Appleseed led to tax fairness legislation that lessened the disproportionate tax burden on low income workers.
2017 also saw the passage of Kupuna Care, legislation that provided some financial assistance to help families caring for seniors and ailing or disabled family members at home.
Campaigns in 2016 included supporting the work of KUA, an innovative, community-based initiative for protecting, restoring and caring for Hawaiʻi’s unique native species, ecosystems and island way of life.
2014/2015 issues included promoting renewable energy (geothermal); raising the profile of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, advancing mediation in place of litigation, and supporting the DIVEST UH movement. The workings of democracy, the role of neighborhood boards, and the need for greater transparency have also been the subject of my attention and writing.
Worked with Native Hawaiian LGBT rights advocates, Tambry and Suzanne Young, social justice activists from Massachusetts, Patricia Gozemba and Karen Kahn and other allies on passage of Civil Unions in Hawai`i. Supported the push for marriage equality in Hawaii and the call for a more welcoming stance from the Catholic church. Helped gather support for, and usher in, the Sustainable Business Corporations (B-Corps) Act in 2011, making Hawaii one of the leaders in encouraging corporations to commit to the Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profits. Worked with the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation and others on a bill to place a fee on plastic bags that would help fund clean up of the waterways and conservation. This effort helped raise awareness and add momentum to efforts to address the hazards of plastic bags clogging and fouling the island’s waterways and the ocean.
As a dissident Catholic, I continue to speak out for an end to patriarchal practices in the church and greater fidelity to Gospel values.