Hawaii State House
Hawaii State House
POSTPONE CLASS OF 2020 GRADUATION A FEW MONTHS INSTEAD OF CANCELING!
Aloha, I know most of you heard that HIDOE recently canceled the class of 2020 traditional ceremony, I’ve created this petition to protest for Christina Kishimoto along with the rest of the HIDOE to allow our tradition graduation ceremony to happen at a later time. I understand that due to uncertain times and our current situation, During this pandemic that right now is not the time for a graduation . At this time we’re asking if the HIDOE can push it back to a later date, even if it’ll be a few months later, we ask that the HIDOE does not cancel graduation. It’s not fair, just like any other class the class of 2020 has been waiting there whole lives for graduation the moment we all look forward to since kindergarten, for some students graduation will be one of the biggest mile stones, before entering adulthood hood, proudly walking across that stage with a cap and gown listen our, family, friends, and community cheer for us is one of our life long accomplishments, that we will cherish forever. It’s not fair to cancel it after all the hard work and dedication that all class of 2020 seniors put in though out all the years, for the HIDOE to just cancel it all of a sudden. on behalf of the class of 2020 seniors we ask HIDOE to push our graduation back a few months instead of cancel it. ONLY THE HIDOE HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THAT!
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors in Hawai'i
Currently in the Aloha State, conversion therapy for minors is legal. Conversion therapy is the barbaric "therapy" treatment aimed at converting lesbians and gays to heterosexuality as well as transgender individuals to the gender they were miss-assigned at birth. Such treatments are and have been criticized as a form of pseudoscience and torture. By banning conversion therapy for minors will help ensure that LGBT youth know that their sexual orientation and/or gender identity are fine just the way they are and there is nothing to "fix". Here are the side effects from conversion therapy:Depression, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, social withdrawal, suicidality, substance abuse, stress, disappointment, self-blame, decreased self-esteem and authenticity to others, hostility and blame toward parents, increased self-hatred, feelings of anger and betrayal, loss of friends and potential romantic partners, problems in sexual and emotional intimacy, sexual dysfunction, high-risk sexual behaviors, a feeling of being dehumanized and untrue to self, a loss of faith, and a sense of having wasted time and resources. We need Hawai'i to join the other states that have banned conversion therapy. Those laws are court tested and U.S. Supreme Court approved! The American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American School Counselor Association, and the National Association of Social Workers have all come out against conversion therapy. This is why we are asking the Hawai'i State Legislature to ban conversion therapy for minors.
Tina's Law: Domestic Violence Offender Registry
On the morning of November 24th 2017, Tina Stewart was brutally murdered by her boyfriend. Tina's boyfriend beat her to death; beating her to the point that he broke both of his own hands. On the day of court the judge stated, "This individual has a history with violence and why wasn't this known?". It was at the moment, Don Estes, Tina's Uncle, made a promise to his niece, he would do everything in his power to change the law so there wouldn't be a next time that a judge, girlfriend, boyfriend, or anyone have the need to ask why they weren't aware of someone's violent history. It's time to make a difference. It's time to take a stand. And, it's time to change the law! We have a registry for sex offenders and we even have a registry for animal cruelty across the country. Why do we not have one for individuals that are abusing men, women, and children? Tina's Law would require any person with a history of domestic violence, violent offenders, and individuals with Protection Orders Against them to be registered; similar to sex offenders. We need to hold these individuals accountable for their actions. Making this change in the law across all states would prevent someone that's been charged (as mentioned above) from moving to another state and starting over, as if they've never been convicted of a crime. This would be a national registry so hiding or moving to another state is not going to keep anyone from knowing their history with violence. If you're convicted of domestic violence, you will go on the registry. If Tina had known about her boyfriend's violent history, she would have never gone out with him. This law will save lives! We need your help by taking a stand with us to change the law. We're not only asking you to sign the petition, we're asking you to also share the petition and help us with making a change.
Stop Bringing Nonresident Students to Hawaiʻi During a Pandemic
DO NOT DONATE: MONEY GOES TO CHANGE.ORG AND DOES NOT GO TO THE PETITION AUTHOR OR ANY EFFORTS REGARDING PETITION. We will update the petition with any actionable ways to support as needed. On August 7, 2020, Business Insider published an article entitled “2 Princeton grads just bought out hotels in Hawaii and Arkansas and are betting on college students paying them $15,000 to study in a ‘bubble’”. It stated that cofounders Adam Bragg and Lane Russell launched “The U Experience” in which 150 students will pay to be hosted at the Park Shore Waikīkī hotel for the duration of their online Fall semesters. On August 8, 2020, we were made aware of a separate project similar to “The U Experience,” named “A Semester At the Sea.” This Maui project intends to begin hosting students at the Kāʻanapali Ocean Inn on September 1, 2020. Both companies promise to provide their students with meal plans, exercise facilities, mental health services, complimentary WiFi, laundry services, off-campus excursions, etc. According to the previously mentioned Business Insider article, most students who have already applied to “The U Experience” are from California and New York. These plans to allow 150+ students, mostly from the continental U.S., to relocate to Hawaiʻi during a global pandemic are extremely concerning to the Kānaka Maoli and other current and former Hawaiʻi residents and locals for several reasons: Both programs are scheduled to open to students this coming Fall 2020, yet the public was made aware of these plans only recently. The lack of PR and transparency around these projects is concerning and leaves community members with unanswered questions. The “A Semester At the Sea” website does not clearly state who is directly involved in the planning and coordination of this project. Similarly, “The U Experience” has yet to address the concerns voiced by many in the local community. They have gone as far as blocking and deleting comments on social media accounts. This short notice leaves those of us on Oʻahu and Maui with little to no time to provide feedback. COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across Hawaiʻi, with an estimated 3,346 cases since the start of the pandemic. Today, August 8, is the third consecutive day that Hawaiʻi’s death toll from the virus has grown and there were approximately 231 new cases diagnosed, the majority of which are on Oʻahu. In the event that the students who arrive to enter these programs test positive for COVID-19, the already overcrowded medical facilities and the front-line workers on Oʻahu and Maui will be put at an even greater risk. Most of these students were stated to reside in California and New York, two areas with some of the highest rates of COVID-19, and we cannot allow possible exposure to compromise the health and safety of our vulnerable communities. Students on Oʻahu from Pre-K through High School were notified that starting on August 17th, the first four weeks after their school’s opening are required to be completely distance learning. On other islands the start dates for schools have been delayed to August 17th with similar distance learning requirements. If our students, children, and family members on Oʻahu are required to learn from home for their first four weeks of school, 150+ students from high-risk COVID-19 areas cannot be allowed to vacation at a hotel here in Hawaiʻi. Across Hawaiʻi, most parks, beaches, and other public areas are now restricting access in an attempt to lower COVID-19 numbers. Because of this, the students of the proposed programs will not be able to take part in the advertised off-campus excursions, which run counter to the “bubble” narrative. Nevertheless, these businesses are advertising these paid opportunities to bypass such restrictions and explore the islands while taking their classes online. These underutilized hotels could offer resources and housing to those in need in Hawaiʻi. They could also be used as isolation housing for those diagnosed with COVID-19 who live in multigenerational homes. This is being completely overlooked by those involved in these projects. Hawaiʻi continues to have some of the highest unemployment rates due to COVID-19 and even more people are at risk of or experiencing houselessness and food insecurity than before. Native Hawaiians and other BIPOC, especially those of the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities, make up more than half of Hawaiʻi’s houseless population, yet are the least served by government-funded programs and organizations. Again, these bought out hotels could be repurposed into safe and stable havens for those in Hawaiʻi who desperately need housing and resources, yet these projects disregard these issues, and instead cater to students desperate for an in-person, on-campus vacation experience. “The U Experience” and “A Semester At the Sea'' perpetuate colonial violence and Native Hawaiians’ displacement from their ancestral homelands. Colonization and gentrification have priced Native Hawaiians and locals out of Hawaiʻi and these proposed programs exacerbate the issue. Native Hawaiians have already experienced a cultural genocide and had their population decimated by introduced disease, and these plans disregard that history and current vulnerability of Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders due to COVID-19. Unlike most Hawaiʻi DOE public K-12 schools, the University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa and Hawaiʻi Pacific University systems are enabling COVID-19 exposure and spread by bringing outside students to the islands. These local institutions are opting for hybrid-style classes over an entirely online curriculum which entitles students to go to campus. This could be contributing to the dramatic increase in case numbers. “The U Experience” and “A Semester At the Sea” will only add to this problem and could result in substantial harm. Plans like these should never have been approved in the first place. We are appalled by the insensitivity, ignorance, and irresponsibility and suggest that all resources and housing that would be utilized by “The U Experience” and “A Semester At the Sea” be redirected to house and support those most in need. Local organizations are already repurposing underutilized resources to increase their capacity to shelter vulnerable families and could help more of the community with additional facilities. Instead of accommodating an incoming population of nonresidents, we need creative solutions to address community vulnerabilities and move us on the path towards recovery and resilience. These requests will also be directed to any future hotels, organizations, or individuals who propose similar plans on Oʻahu, Maui, or any other Hawaiian Island. Any corrections, added input, and additional information received will be updated in this petition. As information regarding “The U Experience” and “A Semester at the Sea” is new, corrections and edits to proposed plans, and to those who will be receiving this petition, may need to be made and updated based on input received from community members. Contact Information for Petition Creator - Lexi Figueroa @lexiif on Instagram List of information regarding both projects and individuals who’re involved- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-lRwQrkUmuf592G9W4iU4F5r0jcHx3JPGL5J6q-Vnvk/edit
Please Help defend Maui Brewing Company!
I need your help! The Covid-19 epidemic has changed the world as we know it. Countless beverage producers, from coffee roasters, to breweries, to distilleries, have turned part of their production schedule & capabilities into producing hand sanitizer. Maui Brewing Co. was no different. They saw there was a need, not just on Maui but on the whole series of islands of Hawaii where hand sanitizer was in desperate need. That is the key word to this: DESPERATE. In response, MBC remained committed to helping the islands. They freely shared the hand sanitizer they were able to produce quickly with the community, and donated over $25,000 worth to charities, first responders, emergency personnel and other essential heroes in the community in the hopes to do its part to help. Even though his business was crippled, especially with the sit-down-restaurant side of business closing, Garrett Marrero and his team distributed hand sanitizer with the purchase of any product (food, N/A options, merch, spirits, or beer), while still gladly giving it away to whomever showed up, purchase or not. Instead of applauding his efforts, the Liquor Board of Hawaii immediately began an investigation, without warning nor courtesy communications after his many years of working alongside them, in an attempt to hinder his efforts. Now after an ‘investigation’, the Department of Liquor Control of Maui County is charging him with a violation and he stands to face a fine, suspension of liquor license, or worst of all: his license being revoked, possibly extinguishing the fire of passion and community of the vision of Maui Brewing Co. Garrett’s compliance with Department of Liquor Control rules & regulations has always been immaculate & somehow now, his good deed is going to be punished!!! Maui Brewing Co., the hundreds of employees, & Garrett need your help!!!! Please help & rally behind Garrett & his ‘Ohana. · By signing this, you are showing that you support Garrett Marrero Maui Brewing Co., Island Sodas, Origin Coffee & Kupu Spirits. · You are telling the Department of Liquor Control that you are a witness to the work Maui Brewing Co. has done over the years. · You are testifying to the selfless efforts of Garrett & his team during this epidemic. · You are standing alongside Garrett, as your signature represents your being present at their hearing, since most likely, not everyone will be able to attend, especially during this pandemic. · Your signature states that you believe the Maui Department of Liquor Control is violating the right of Americans to help others and you demand they dismiss the investigation and stop this inquisition. · Your signature asks that the Liquor Commission allow Maui Brewing to be allowed to continue what they do: fostering wonderful experiences through their products. The more signatures they get, the more they will show the Liquor Commission the support they have. Garrett has always worked alongside legislators to ensure changes to beverage laws to allow for growth & adherence to changing trends in beverage & hospitality. He saw that the future of hospitality was based on supporting local sustainable farms & offering the best quality of comfort food while working to aid local producers.
Protect Sharks and Rays in Hawaiian Waters
Please join the ocean advocates at One Ocean Diving and Keiko Conservation in conserving Hawaii's vital marine predators by signing this petition in support of bill SB2079 relating to shark and ray protection in the state of Hawaii. Sharks and rays are extremely important to ocean ecosystems. As ocean predators near the top of the food chain, sharks keep the ecosystem balanced, regulate populations of other marine life, and ensure healthy fish stock and reefs. Sharks and rays are more vulnerable than most other fish species. They are long-lived and slow-growing, start reproducing at an advanced age, and produce relatively few offspring per year. If the food chain is disrupted by a decline in the shark population, it affects the entire ocean ecosystem, known as a trophic cascade. Protection for sharks and rays ultimately means healthier, more resilient oceans and reefs that are better able to withstand other pressures on the ocean ecosystem from climate change and pollution. Sharks and rays not only play important ecological roles but are also valued figures in Hawaiian culture and are important economically to ocean recreation industries and to tourism in Hawaii. Sharks or manō are regarded in high honor as Hawaiian ʻaumakua or family guardians and ancestors. These figures are deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture and are known to provide protection for native Hawaiians. To defend and seek to spend time with these animals is a cultural right in Hawaii. The benefits of maintaining viable populations greatly outweigh any value that would be gained by killing these species. This petition will be shared with Hawaii state house and legislative committees. You can send in your own written testimony at capitol.hawaii.gov in support of SB2079 by Feb. 12, 2018. Please sign and share this petition with as many people as you can. Please follow @oneoceandiving @keiko_conservation and the affiliated organizations for updates on this bill and more ways to help and get involved. OneOceanDiving.com Keikoconservation.com