On March 12 the Aloha Aina Party became Hawaii’s newest political party and the first Hawaiian political party in over 107 years.

Founders Don Kaulia, Pua Ishibashi and Desmon Haumea have remained steadfast and committed to make the AAP a reality, even after two failed attempts in 2016 and again in 2018.

With a no-fear can-do attitude, the founders were inspired and empowered by the words of their kupuna James Kaulia, who said, “Never cease to act (to do good) because you fear you may fail” said by Queen Liliuokalani and “Do not be afraid, be steadfast in aloha for your land (and people).”

To become a political party, founders had to provide the state with a petition with no less than 757 signatures from registered voters. AAP supporters collected signatures on every island and at venues such as marches, mountain tops, surf meets, farmers markets, parking lots, and even the side of the road. The Royal Order of Kamehameha was also supportive of the AAP with many members signing the Petition.

The author announced the formation of the Aloha Aina Part in Hilo at the Kamehameha Statue on March 13. Submitted/2020

This was a grassroots movement with no money and no marketing besides social media and word of mouth. 
AAP efforts were ultimately successful when the founders were notified by the state on Feb. 12 that they met and exceeded the number of signatures required. This news was met with tears from founders supporters, tears of joy and gratitude to ke Akua.

Need for Change

Today, surveys indicate historic and trending lows: 77% of Americans, including those in Hawaii, are not satisfied with their political parties, elected officials and county, state and federal governments.

People are tired of the political corruption, lies and broken promises. They are tired of politicians putting politics, special interests and development money over the people, environment and culture. They are tired of decision making void of true community input, and they are tired of a nation and state divided because of divisive political leadership.

People are tired of the political corruption, lies and broken promises.

Political dissatisfaction and not participating in the voting process is especially true among Native Hawaiians and Hawaiian Nationals (Hawaiians). Hawaiians have had their kingdom stolen and were disenfranchised and marginalized as a people in their own land.

It’s no wonder why Hawaii has the lowest voting percentage in America at 47% (2016), in comparison to Minnesota as the highest at 74.5%. Hawaii’s non-voting “majority” has no representation and no voice, politicians simply do not represent non-voting groups.

Not participating in the voting process only fosters and perpetuates inequalities and detrimental conditions for the people of Hawaii in general and Hawaiians in particular.

A New Way, A Better Way

The Aloha Aina Party represents a new and better way to conduct the business of politics. It will be the people’s party, it will be an agent for change, and it will be like no other party in Hawaii and the world.

The AAP is founded on and promotes traditional Hawaiian values such as living aloha and being pono. It is inclusive, and nurturing, and it will celebrate diversity and address the needs and concerns of all the people of Hawaii.

The AAP will recognize the divine, aloha the people, malama the aina, demand government accountability and transparency, advocate for hooponopono and restore what was lost as it relates to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893.

What’s Next?

Now that the AAP is official it will field candidates for every elected office in the state of Hawaii for the 2020 elections, and begin the process for needed change from the inside out.

Many of the issues we face today are the results of poor political governance over many decades. We know that changing the system and status quo will not be easy and will take time and effort. But, we must press forward towards a brighter day for ourselves, our children, and the future generations of Hawaii.

We can do this as we all work together, together we rise. For more information about the Aloha Aina Party, visit alohaainaparty.com.

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