Maui News

Go “All-In For A Better Hawai‘i” Legislative Launch

January 15, 2020, 11:06 AM HST
* Updated January 15, 11:12 AM
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Three community groups joined in partnership to encourage participation in the US Census and voting during a rally at the Hawai‘i State Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday.

The themed event, “All in for a Better Hawai‘i,” was launched by the Pacific Resource Partnership, the Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative, and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.  The  State of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Government Complete Count Committee and the US Census Bureau also provided support.

“2020 is an especially important year for Hawai‘i with the US Census and elections,” said Mike Formby, PRP Executive Director. “We want to kick off the year bringing awareness to what makes 2020 special.  It’s about the census, it’s about voting and it’s about civic engagement.”

“One of the most important ways we can engage as citizens of Hawai‘i is through the Census. Each person who is not counted means a loss of $1,800 per person, per year in federal funding over the next 10 years,” said Micah Kāne, HCF’s CEO and president. “Let’s make sure that Hawaii gets the funding it deserves for our nonprofits, education, health care, infrastructure, and so much more.”

The group also established a text reminder service with the public invited to text OHANA to 808-650-7744 to get reminders about participation in the 2020 Census.

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“We also created the KĀKOU app to get an e-directory of Hawaiʻi’s elected officials at their fingertips and we added a few features this year to help our residents get information on the US Census,” said  Formby.

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The KĀKOU civic engagement app was created by PRP in 2019 to increase public participation in the legislative process by giving Hawaii residents an easy way to weigh in on the decisions that impact their lives, their communities and the state. It contains a directory to all the state’s elected officials, legislative calendar, Census 2020 information, voter registration, and information on KĀKOU’s nonprofit partners.

April 1, 2020 is Census Day, however notices and forms will start arriving in the mail in March 2020. Households will have the option to complete the online form, mail the paper form, complete the questionnaire over the phone, or provide the responses to an in-person Census Bureau employee. More information can be found at census.gov.

“Employers play a key role in ensuring that our state has a complete Census count. Businesses can take the opportunity to encourage their employees, families of employees, and customers to complete the Census as well as to volunteer with organizations that are helping to reach rural communities,” said Duane Kurisu, chairman of the board of the Hawaii Executive Collaborative. “Ensuring that our state reaches a complete count is critical to the financial support we will receive for our households over the next 10 years.”

Sen. J. Kalani English speaking on the importance of participation in the 2020 Census and civic engagement. PC: PACIFIC RESOURCE PARTNERSHIP

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