Public Policy

Native Hawaiian Policy Center for July 2, Focuses on  the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Operated by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), the Native Hawaiian Policy Center convenes leaders from the nonprofit, civic, homestead, social justice, education, cultural, and small business sectors to apply solutions to our community challenges.  The Policy Center brings non-governmental organizations together to ensure that the energy and expertise of community leaders working directly in the field have a voice in the formation of public policy.

Once every month, for 60 short minutes, member organizations and community leaders dial in to the Native Hawaiian Policy Center to focus our attention on a public policy topic or issue.  For the month of July, CNHA invites its members to learn more about the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI).

Created by Presidential Executive Order in October 2009, the WHIAAPI seeks to facilitate access to and increase participation in federal programs where Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain underserved.  The WHIAAPI has hired an Executive Director and will be Co-Chaired by the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Commerce.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our diverse membership to learn more about this amazing initiative created by Hawaii’s own President Obama,” said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA President and CEO.  “The White House Initiative on AAPIs can have a hugely positive impact on Native Hawaiian communities everywhere.”

CNHA Member Organizations can participate on the Policy Call scheduled for this Friday, July 2nd at 9:00 am (HST) by registering for the call via e-mail at policy@hawaiiancouncil.org.

Founded in 2001, CNHA unifies and serves a network of more than 100 Native Hawaiian Organizations nationally.  As a certified Native CDFI and a nonprofit Community Development Corporation, CNHA works for the cultural, economic and public policy interests of Native Hawaiians.  For more information contact 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

Native Hawaiian Policy Center Announces 2010 Schedule of Monthly Policy Calls

The new administration in Washington, DC has ushered in a number of exciting opportunities and policy issues to advance Native Hawaiian communities and priorities.  As a result, the Policy Center has begun a Monthly Policy Call Initiative to engage and dialogue about current or upcoming policy developments.  Our members can choose to come to the CNHA office, or participate via teleconference.  Each monthly policy call will focus its discussion on a particular issue relevant to the Native Hawaiian community.  For more information about the Monthly Policy Calls Initiative, please email Shannon Toriki, CNHA Policy Fellow at policy@hawaiiancouncil.org.

2010 Monthly Policy Call Schedule

Unless noted otherwise, all policy calls are scheduled on a Friday and will take place at 9:00am

July 2nd, 2010

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

August 6th
§ September 3rd
§ October 1st
§ November 5th
§ December 3rd

By Shannon Toriki, CNHA Policy Associate

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DHHL List Assets, Shortfalls, Future Plans

February 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm

HONOLULU—Spokespersons from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands convened at the Capitol on February 17 for an informational briefing on their financial assets and plans to increase revenue in the future.  Chairman Kaulana Park stated that the Department’s plan for attaining economic self-sufficiency is twofold: first, researching its options in terms of how to maximize revenue produced from existing properties, and second, exploring which commercial options are viable means of producing stable income.  Representative Mele Carroll (D-13th), Chair of the Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, questioned Park and his associates regarding how much revenue DHHL has been able to generate, whether an aggressive plan is being shaped to meet their revenue goals, how DHHL intends to pay the plaintiffs in Kalima vs. DHHL, and what DHHL is doing to place more Native Hawaiians on their land.

According to their annual report, DHHL generated $14.4 million in revenue in 2009, a figure almost double their listed $7.4 million earnings in 2003. Park stated that DHHL intends to increase this figure to $30 million in 2015, an effort that may or may not be realized in light of the current deficit.  DHHL is currently researching potential sources of revenue, including commercial leases and governmental grants at a federal level.  Doing so is highly important, as they will no longer receive $30 million annually from the State in 2015.  Additionally, DHHL stated that its operational costs are currently $22 million and will likely rise in the future.

Representative Mele Carroll asked if DHHL makes any effort to support Native Hawaiian business owners when administering commercial leases.  Park stated that of 113 commercial leases DHHL has granted, between 5 and 7 went to Native Hawaiians and claimed that a revised strategic plan would provide that more Hawaiian business owners will be helped in the future.

Citing Kalima vs. DHHL, which requires that damages be paid to over 1,000 plaintiffs who were waitlisted twenty years or longer, Representative Mele Carroll asked what DHHL is doing to ensure that its beneficiaries are provided with adequate and efficient service and how many Native Hawaiians are currently waitlisted.  Park admitted that DHHL doesn’t have a precise figure and is still assessing how many people are still waiting for land.  He said that once that number is determined, DHHL will be better able to serve its beneficiaries.

Representative Mele Carroll pointed out that if these applicants are not placed quickly, more lawsuits could be brought against DHHL.  She said, “If this is the case, and DHHL is unable to pay damages, then that responsibility will fall to the State. I’m worried that the outcome of the funding issue will be that we legislators will be forced to raise taxes, not by 1%, but by up to 5%.  Personally, I think that raising taxes should be a last resort and I’m not at all comfortable doing that unless we’ve discussed every other option.  I introduced the gaming bill to help supplement your budget, but I am not attached to it and I do want to hear whether you have an aggressive plan in the works to generate revenue and, if so, how we as lawmakers can help you.”

In response, Park stated that he appreciated the Representative’s concern and passion on the matter and that while DHHL has not yet established an itemized plan, they are currently researching what course of action will best meet their funding needs.  Bobby Hall, another DHHL spokesman, said that they are looking into ranching and aquaculture as future sources of revenue and will travel to Washington D.C. next week in an effort to acquire funding for that purpose.

From the Office of  Representative Mele Carroll, House District 13