A diverse group of nonprofits including the Sierra Club of Hawaii, Unite Here! Local 5, Hawaii Appleseed Center and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation has organized a series of community meetings this month focused on environmental, economic and social justice.
The Hawaii People’s Congress, as it’s called, is seeking input from community members and local leaders, input that will be shared at a two-day statewide convention Dec. 2-4 in Honolulu.
The longer aim is to put together “a political and organizing strategy” to guide “ongoing coalition action” for the next two years.
“The People’s Congress is bringing people together to focus on systemic barriers to justice that many activists and organizations hit up against in their work —no matter what issue they are working on,” said Anne Frederick, executive director of HAPA, the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, in a press release.
Donna Wong, executive director of Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, said, “As an island state, we are isolated from each other. Coming together helps us all learn what is happening on other islands, what we have in common and how we can help each other. These island forums are important because they are provide an opportunity to match faces with voices, get updates on issues, renew and make new friendships.”
Other organizers include AiKea Movement, Aloha Aina Project, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaii Center for Food Safety, Hawaii People’s Fund, Hawaii SEED, Hawaii Teachers for Change Caucus, Life of the Land and Maui Tomorrow.
Forum topic areas include civics (good governance, getting money out of politics, clean elections, criminal justice reform), economics (affordable housing, cost of living, fair wages, land use, tax policy) and environmental (marine, water quality, stream restoration, waste, sustainability, climate change, energy, pesticides, GMOs) and much more.