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2019 Convention of the O‘ahu County Democrats
May 4, 2019
Moanalua High School

Resolutions Adopted

Click to download pdf copy

 
    Resolution Title:
19-01
    Encouraging Healthy and Respectful Debate During the Vetting
    of Democratic Primary Candidates
19-02
    Urging the State Central Committee to Mandate Alternative
    Dispute Resolution
19-03
    Urging the Honolulu City Council to Support the Creation
    of Parks for All of Our People and Implement Greener
    Stream Management
19-04
    Urging the Honolulu City Council to Establish a Living Wage
    in Honolulu
19-05
    Amending Resolution OC 2018-1 to Urge the State of Hawaiʻi
    to Pass a $17 Minimum Wage
19-06
    Amending Resolution OC 2016-10 to Urge the State of Hawaiʻi
    to Legalize, Regulate and Tax Adult-Use Cannabis to Fund Education
19-07
   Amending OC 2016-2 to Urge the State of Hawaiʻi to Expand
    the Ban on "Conversion Therapy" to Include Adults
19-08
    Urging the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board to Accept the
    National Orientation and Mobility Certification for Teachers
    Providing Orientation and Mobility Services
19-09
    Urging the Department of Land and Natural Resources to
   Facilitate Diversified Ag Within the Tenets of the Public Trust
    Doctrine
19-10
    Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Take Urgent Action
    on Climate Change
19-11
    Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Take Urgent Action on
    its Housing Shortage
19-12
    Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Recognize and Honor
    the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-Determination
19-13
    Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Comply with
    HRS §10-13.5 that Requires 20 Percent of Public Land Trust
    Revenue be Given to Native Hawaiians
19-14
    Supporting Equal Treatment of Compact of Free Association
    (COFA) Residents in the Issuance and Renewal of State Driver's
    Licenses
19-15
    Supporting the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in its Efforts
    to Address the Health Needs of Micronesians
19-16
    Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Support Funding
    for Outreach to Educate the Public on the Importance of Vaccinations
19-17
    Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Adopt a Tax
    on Autonomous Labor
19-18
    Urging the U.S. Government to Limit the Influence of Money
    in Politics
19-19
    Urging the U.S. Government to Adopt a 70 Percent Marginal
    Income Tax Rate on Individual Incomes Over $10 million
19-20
    Urging the U.S. Government to Dismantle the Immigrations
   & Customs Enforcement Agency and Reassign its Investigation
    Duties to the FBI
19-21
    Urging the U.S. Government to Adopt a Tax on All Centralized
    Custodial Electronic Monetary Transactions to Protect Consumers
19-22
    Urging the U.S. Government to Require Transparency of
    Sales of Consumer Data Collected by Third Parties
19-23
    Urging the U.S. Government to Sever Ties with Saudi Arabia
    and End the War in Yemen
19-24
    Urging the U.S. Government to Condemn Apartheid Legal Systems


OC 2019-1. Encouraging Healthy and Respectful Debate During the Vetting of Democratic Candidates

Whereas, The Democratic Party is the party of the people and encourages diversity of opinion and inclusion of any and all peoples who support the values outlined in its platform, resolutions and guiding documents; and

Whereas, This diversity is what makes our party great, but also requires a higher level of tolerance toward one another to maintain; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party celebrates the difference of opinion and the healthy debate of these ideas; and

Whereas, The 2016 presidential campaign cycle was rife with vitriol and divisive rhetoric, as well as deliberate misinformation campaigns designed to fracture genuine unity within the Democratic Party; and

Whereas, The solution to this problem lies not in quelling good-faith dissent within membership but, rather, lies in a reaffirmation of our values and celebration of our diversity; and

Whereas, Regardless of our differences of opinion, we can agree that the best interest of the American people is no longer being served under the direction of the Trump Administration and the Republican Party; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi affirms the right of its members to offer differences of opinion about Democratic presidential candidates during a respectful and healthy vetting process; and be it further

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi affirms their commitment to diversity of opinion and reject the idea of quelling good-faith dissent; and be it further

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi affirms that party unity does not preclude the right to offer good faith dissent; and be it further

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi affirms its commitment to bring together its members in the interest of electoral victory in all general elections once the Democratic primary has been decided in a legitimate and fair election; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi and the members of the Oʻahu County Committee.


OC 2019-2. Urging the State Central Committee to Mandate Alternative Dispute Resolution

Whereas, The Preamble and Mission Statement of the Oʻahu County Committee Bylaws provides, in part, that it is our mission to create opportunities for free and open political dialogue in regional and district communities to promote civic engagement, political action, and community solidarity; and

Whereas, Oʻahu County Committee meetings are the best opportunity to focus on educating and equipping our region and district chairs with the tools and information they need to hold meetings within their communities to promote civic engagement, political action, and community solidarity; and

Whereas, An increasing amount of time at Oʻahu County Committee meetings is being allocated for the purpose of hearing and resolving complaints filed against party members; and

Whereas, Although these complaints may be valid in accordance with county or state by-laws, they distract from the Oʻahu County Committee focus on training region and district chairs and educating and equipping them with the tools they need to engage their communities; and

Whereas, The Oʻahu County Committee recognizes that, in the last decade, our judicial system at both the state and federal level has begun to mandate attempts at alternative dispute resolutions to promote efficiency in the judicial system; and

Whereas, The Oʻahu County Committee recognizes that there are alternative ways to appropriately address and resolve complaints in a manner that does not distract a large amount of the Oʻahu County Committee's time and energy from completing our mission and goals; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi requests the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawai?i to review and amend the State Party Bylaws in order to include and mandate a process and procedure for an alternative dispute resolution; and it be

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi.


OC 2019-3. Urging the Honolulu City Council to Support the Creation of Parks for All of Our People and Implement Greener Stream Management

Whereas, The island of Oʻahu is populated at a high density relative to the United States, at 1,636 persons per square mile, with 976,372 people as of 2012, with more persons in the form of tourists and other transient visitors; and

Whereas, O?ahu experiences high traffic congestion and rates poorly in walkability compared to other Western cities in the United States; and

Whereas, Demand for public space and for multi-modal transportation ("active transportation"), particularly biking and walking, is high, and such transportation and recreation is socially and environmentally desirable and health-sustaining, but generally less convenient that sedentary, vehicular transportation at this time; and

Whereas, Walking has been found in the medical literature to be beneficially linked to stress-reduction,(1) when stress is a key factor associated with ill-health and preventable chronic disease, and that walking is possible for the majority of the population; and

Whereas, Walking has also been found in the medical literature to beneficially regulate the hormone insulin across many groups of people, from obese women(2) to Pacific Islanders(3), preventing or lowering insulin resistance, and has been associated with decreased risk for diabetes, which disproportionately harms Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander sub-populations; and

Whereas, Many persons, from the school-aged to the elderly, do not currently walk or bike for a variety of safety concerns, lack of connectivity to their homes and destinations, or lack of access, but the Oʻahu Bike Plan progressively plans for cross-island connectivity, there is a clear goal for increased active transportation; and

Whereas, Many of our public streams are closed off to the public by physical barriers and private landownership, and the most logical way for the City and County of Honolulu and the State of Hawaiʻi to improve access to nature for all persons is to develop stream ways, as such parks can effectively provide for connectivity, beautification, and flood mitigation through increased pervious surfacing and plant root saturation of the soil, all of which are underserved needs on an urban and increasingly paved island; and

Whereas, Article IX of the Constitution of Hawaiʻi mandates that the State shall "have the power to promote and maintain a healthful environment, including the prevention of any excessive demands upon the environment and the State's resources,"(4) it is appropriate and logical to systematically develop public lands for active transportation, connectivity, and recreation that is accessible for all generations and sub-populations; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the City and County of Honolulu to develop a master plan for public lands, mauka-to-makai, connected, safe, and public green spaces, for every populated ahupua?a on the island of Oʻahu; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the City and County of Honolulu to connect these green spaces, as provisioned in the master plan, in the form of walking paths and bikeways, from each mauka-to-makai terminus, be disability-accessible, and generally follow our waterway; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the City and County of Honolulu to rehabilitate those waterways, as provisioned in the master plan, for improved aesthetic and ecological function, not limited to being treed and primarily populated with Hawaiian endemic plants, versus lawns or introduced species; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Governor of Hawaiʻi, the Democratic members of the Hawaiʻi Legislature, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, the Managing Director of said jurisdiction, the Honolulu Departments of Land Management and Parks and Recreation, all nine (9) members of the Honolulu City Council, the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi and its Oʻahu Group, the Outdoor Circle, and all its constituent branches on O?ahu, the Hawaiʻi Bicycling League, the Blue Zones Project Hawaiʻi, and all its constituent project chapters on Oʻahu.

---------------------

(1) Schoenfeld TJ, Rada P, Pieruzzini PR, Hsueh B, Gould E. (2013) Physical exercise prevents stress-induced activation of granule neurons and enhances local inhibitory mechanisms in the dentate gyrus. J Neurosci. 33: 7770-7777.

(2) Hong, HR, Jeong JO, Kong JY, Lee S, Yang SH, Ha CD, Kang HS. (2014) Effect of walking exercise on abdominal fat, insulin resistance and serum cytokines in obese women. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 18(3): 277-285.

(3) Moy KL, Sallis JF, David KJ. (2010) Health Indicators of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. J Community Health. 2010 Feb; 35(1): 81-92.

(4) Constitution of Hawaiʻi. Article IX.


OC 2019-4. Urging the Honolulu City Council to Establish a Living Wage in Honolulu

Whereas, A living wage is defined as the minimum income required for full-time workers to meet their basic needs including, but not limited to, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare and food; and

Whereas, In the world's wealthiest country, hundreds of thousands of full-time workers continue to earn poverty-level wages, putting their children and themselves at a lifestyle risk for health and education concerns, including, but not limited to, poor nutrition, unsafe or inadequate housing, and lack of access to medical aid when needed; and

Whereas, Studies show that an increase in the minimum wage corresponds with an increase in jobs and has little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers, and that an increase in the minimum wage could generate billions of dollars in new consumer spending; and

Whereas, Several other states and cities with lower costs of living have already passed legislation moving the minimum wage to $15 per hour and then adjusting for inflation, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle and Minneapolis; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports a living wage and has urged the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to raise the minimum wage to a livable level; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi State Legislature has failed to provide Honolulu's workers with adequate wage protections; and

Whereas, The onus therefore falls to the only other legislative body here to protect workers; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Honolulu City Council to establish and set a minimum wage that is at, or above, a living wage, estimated to be $17 per hour in 2019; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Office of the Honolulu Mayor and the offices of the nine (9) Honolulu City Council members.


OC 2019-5. Amending Resolution OC 2018-1 to Urge the State of Hawaiʻi to Pass a $17 Minimum Wage

Whereas, The Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi passed Resolution OC 2018-01 at its 2018 Convention titled "Amending Resolution 2017-1 and urging an increase in the Minimum Wage To $15/hour"; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi passed Resolution BUS: 2018-01 at its 2018 Convention, titled "Fight for $15 as a Pathway to a Living Wage" that, in part, proclaims: "The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi recognizes that a minimum wage of $15.00 is not a living wage but it is a start"; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi amends Resolution OC 2018-1 as follows:

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's 2018 Platform supports a living wage and reads as follows: "As the party of working men and women in Hawai'i, we work to protect labor rights and social security; to ensure fair labor practices, a living wage for all workers, equal pay for equal work and fair taxation; we encourage legislation to raise the minimum wage and paid family and sick leave…"; and

Whereas, From 1946 to 1979, Congress periodically expanded coverage of the federal minimum wage and increased its value to track both inflation and wage growth and, as a result, not only did wages rise in line with productivity, but poverty for African American families also fell dramatically-from 65.6 percent in 1965 to 39.6 percent in 1969; and

Whereas, The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) found that a "self-sufficiency income" for a single worker with no children in Hawaiʻi was $15.84 an hour in 2016-which comes out to about $17 per hour in 2019, after adjusting for inflation; and

Whereas, At the current minimum wage in the state of Hawaiʻi of $10.10 per hour, a single adult could work two (2) full-time minimum wage jobs (80+ hours a week), earn $42,016 a year, before taxes, and still be considered "very low income"; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi therefore urges the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to mandate a state minimum wage of $17.00 per hour by 2024; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature that are also members of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, the offices of the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, the Lt. Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, and to the members of Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-6. Amending Resolution OC 2016-10 to Urge the State of Hawaiʻi to Legalize, Regulate and Tax Adult-Use Cannabis to Fund Education

Whereas, The Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi passed Resolution OC 2016-10 at its 2016 Convention, titled "Urging Expansion of Educational Funding by Taxing Legalized Cannabis"; and

Whereas, The urgent need for additional funding toward public education has not been met since then; and

Whereas, States such as Colorado, where adult-use recreational cannabis is legal, have successfully demonstrated the advantages of funneling cannabis tax revenue into public education systems; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats amends OC 2016-10 as follows:

Whereas, Despite billions of dollars spent on decades of aggressive enforcement of cannabis laws, rates of use increased by 3.6 percent between 2002 and 2011; and

Whereas, Almost 90 percent of the 889,133 cannabis arrests in 2010 were for possession (300,000 more than arrests for all violent crimes combined-or one bust every 37 seconds); and

Whereas, Enforcing cannabis possession laws costs the U.S. $3.6 billion annually; and

Whereas, Prohibition has resulted in extreme racial disparities within the prison system; and

Whereas, Cannabis has legitimate medicinal value, including in the management of pain, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and epilepsy, and in the reduction of spasticity in sufferers of multiple sclerosis; and

Whereas, Legalization in states like Colorado has directly contributed to a reduction in the percentage of teenagers using cannabis from 22 percent to 20 percent between 2011 and 2013 (below the national average of 23.4 percent) due to age-of-sale regulations and education campaigns; and

Whereas, The total number of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs has declined in Colorado and Washington, and the crash rates in both states are statistically identical to comparable states without legal cannabis; and

Whereas, Calls to poison control centers and visits to emergency departments for cannabis exposure remain extremely uncommon, with a mere 0.04 percent of Colorado's 2.3 million emergency department visits in 2014 stemming from cannabis exposure; and

Whereas, In states with legal access to cannabis, general drug overdose death rates are 25 percent lower than in states with no legal access, and legal access to cannabis has been associated with a 23 percent reduction in opioid dependence or abuse-related hospitalizations and 15 percent fewer opioid treatment admissions; and

Whereas, Robust public education is one of the cornerstones of a healthy and thriving society; and

Whereas, Hawaiʻi's public school system has been perennially under-funded and remains in desperate need of an influx of funding in order to fulfill its mission of educating the public; and

Whereas, The legal cannabis industry is projected to be worth $20 billion nationally by the year 2020, and the longer we wait the smaller the market share Hawai?i will receive; and

Whereas, Cannabis sales in Washington generated $315 million in tax revenues and $70 million in Oregon during FY 2016-17, while Colorado has collected almost $600 million in revenue since 2014; and

Whereas, Colorado has created 10,000 new jobs in the legal cannabis industry since 2014; and

Whereas, Cannabis already has an extensive supply and delivery infrastructure in Hawaiʻi that, as of now, pays no tax and operates illegally; and

Whereas, Mexican cartels were once the top suppliers of cannabis to the United States but, since legalization has swept across four states and Washington, D.C., the amount seized by the U.S. Border Patrol has dropped 24 percent since 2014, and the price of Mexican-grown cannabis has dropped from $90 down to $30 per kilogram, dramatically reducing the profitability of illegal activity; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi therefore urges the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to pass legislation legalizing, regulating and implementing a system of taxation for cannabis that emulates Colorado, including in its significant investments in public education; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this amended resolution shall be transmitted to the Governor of Hawaiʻi, the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaiʻi and the 76 members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature.


OC 2019-7. Amending OC 2016-2 to Urge the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Expand the Ban on "Conversion Therapy" to Include Adults

Whereas, In 2016 the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi passed Resolution OC 2016-2, titled "Supporting a Ban of Conversion Therapy," which calls on the state to ban the practice known as "Conversion Therapy" (also known as "reparative therapy") outright; and

Whereas, In 2018, the State of Hawaiʻi passed a law banning the practice known as "Conversion Therapy" but applied the law only to minors under the age of 18; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi amends OC 2016-2, as follows:

Whereas, The Platforms of both the Oʻahu County Democrats and the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi call for a ban of "Conversion Therapy" to apply to minors and adults; and

Whereas, Young adults over the age of 18 are especially vulnerable to this fraudulent and deceptive practice; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi therefore urges the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature who are also members of Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi to support the introduction and passage of a bill in the 2020 Legislative Session to expand the ban on "Conversion Therapy," outright, to include adults; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi therefore urges the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi to sign the bill expanding the ban on "Conversion Therapy," outright, to include adults; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to all members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature who are also members of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, and to the Offices of the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi and the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi.


OC 2019-8. Urging the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board to Accept the National Orientation and Mobility Certification for Teachers Providing Orientation and Mobility Services

Whereas, The Department of Education (DOE) has perennially struggled to fill vacancies for teachers of blind students or teachers of the visually impaired positions, including positions providing specialized instruction in orientation and mobility; and

Whereas, Blind children in Hawaiʻi end up being underserved with regard to orientation and mobility within the DOE, reducing their opportunity to participate equally and meaningfully with their sighted peers and build their capacity to contribute to their communities; and

Whereas, For the teaching of orientation and mobility, the DOE currently only has instructors holding the Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals, an international certification with a long history of refusing certification to blind instructors; and

Whereas, The DOE currently has no employees who hold the National Orientation and Mobility Certification (NOMC) from the National Blindness Professional Certification Board (NBPCB), a domestic certification initially developed specifically to offer a non-discriminatory credentialing process; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board currently does not accept the NOMC offered by the NBPCB, rendering the DOE unable to provide Structured Discovery Cane Travel, a service which can only be provided by a professional certified by the NBPCB; and

Whereas, Requiring instructors to succeed in a discriminatory certification process reinforces systemic discrimination against them; and

Whereas, When parents of blind children needing Structured Discovery Cane Travel request it as a service on their Individualized Education Plans, they are consistently told that the DOE is unable to provide this service, thus leaving their blind child without sufficient services to travel safely and independently; and

Whereas, For decades, Structured Discovery Cane Travel has been empowering blind children and adults across the United States, helping them build confidence and feelings of self-respect as they navigate their world safely and without shame about their blindness; and

Whereas, the United States Department of Education recognized the validity of the National Orientation and Mobility Certification in its 2004 Institute on Rehabilitation Issues Report; and

Whereas, The NOMC from the NBPCB is already accepted by the Hawaiʻi Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in order to provide orientation and mobility services, where, in fact, all current providers of orientation and mobility services are blind adults certified by the NBPCB; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi State Legislature, House of Representatives, Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawai?i, Regular Session of 2019, Committees on Lower and Higher Education (LHE) and Labor & Public Employment (LAB) passed H.C.R. No 192, HD1, requesting the Hawai'i teacher standards board to accept the national orientation and mobility certification for teachers providing orientation and mobility services, but it did not receive a hearing by the Finance Committee; and

Whereas, The DOE, in its testimony, expressed appreciation of the intent of HCR No 192, HD1, but did not support the resolution, noting that, "Licensing and permit requirements for teachers in the state of Hawaiʻi are governed by the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board. This board is the entity that sets professional and performance standards for licensing, which includes a teaching field in Special Education Orientation and Mobility."; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board to accept the National Orientation and Mobility Certification from the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, the same way that it accepts the Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals, for teachers providing orientation and mobility services within the DOE, thus expanding opportunities for qualified teachers to serve blind keiki and reducing discrimination against blind teachers of orientation and mobility in the Department; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Office of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of the Department of Education, the Chair of the Hawaiʻi Teacher Standards Board, the Administrator of the Hawai'i Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Blind Branch (Hoʻopono), the President of the National Blindness Professional Certification Board, the President of the National Federation of the Blind of Hawaiʻi, and the President of the Hawaiʻi Association of the Blind.


OC 2019-9. Urging the Department of Land and Natural Resources to Facilitate Diversified Ag Within the Tenets of the Public Trust Doctrine

Whereas, The State of Hawaiʻi imports more than 90 percent of its food; and

Whereas, This lack of food security poses an existential threat to the existence of society in the Hawaiian archipelago in light of increasingly volatile global climate and geopolitical conditions; and

Whereas, The Hawaiian archipelago was capable of sustaining a large population with food and natural resources to spare in total isolation for hundreds of years thanks to careful management of these resources via konohiki stewards that oversaw the Ahupua?a System; and

Whereas, Elements of this stewardship are enshrined within the Public Trust Doctrine of Article XI of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution, which guarantees the public's right to access these resources in a responsible manner; and

Whereas, These protections are meant to ensure that all development, including that of agricultural endeavors, is carefully considered and does not degrade the natural environment; and

Whereas, These protections clearly set forth a hierarchy of use of public resources that correctly places for-profit uses at the bottom and only allows profit-seeking entities access to these public resource after all other uses have been satisfied; and

Whereas, For-profit entities such as Alexander & Baldwin (A&B) have subverted the principles enshrined within this doctrine for more than 100 years, diverting public water resources at the expense of the public, traditional and customary practitioners, and small-scale farmers that could help alleviate our food insecurity; and

Whereas, A&B has attempted to further subvert the intent of the Public Trust Doctrine through abuse of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR)'s revocable holdover permit system; and

Whereas, The 9th Circuit Court upheld this conclusion in a 2016 decision that nullified A&B's revocable permits, exclusive of any other such permits held by any other entities; and

Whereas, A&B then lobbied the State Legislature to circumvent that legal decision by changing the law to the exclusive benefit of A&B; and

Whereas, An amended committee draft of said bill would have, instead, required the DLNR to move the other revocable permit holders whose permits were not nullified by the 2016 court ruling onto long term leases, which would have aided in the business model planning for diversified agricultural operations; and

Whereas, A&B lobbied the legislature to kill this committee draft, from which it was excluded due to the 2016 court ruling; and

Whereas, The death of said committee draft set the state back in its purported joined goals of increased food security and environmental stewardship; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the DLNR to use its internal processes to do what the legislature failed to do by moving revocable permit holders, excluding A&B, onto long-term leases, and by requiring all future agricultural development beyond the scope of these permits to undergo environmental impact review consistent with the Public Trust Doctrine; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Office of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Chairperson of the DLNR.


OC 2019-10. Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Take Urgent Action on Climate Change

Whereas, To strengthen the global response to climate change, world leaders from 185 countries ratified the Paris Agreement, agreeing to "limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius"; and

Whereas, Leading climate scientists warned, in the 2018 National Climate Assessment released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that the world will risk experiencing catastrophic impacts of climate change if global action is not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and net 0 percent by 2050; and

Whereas, The United States of America has disproportionately contributed to the impacts of climate change, having emitted 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emission through electricity and heat production, industry, cultivation of crops and livestock, deforestation, transportation, and powering buildings; and

Whereas, On June 6, 2017, five (5) days after the United States of America withdrew from the Paris Agreement, Hawaiʻi became the first state to enact law that outlining emissions reduction goals in-line with those of the Paris Agreement; and

Whereas, The proposed Green New Deal calls for accomplishment of these goals through a 10-year national mobilization effort; and

Whereas, The proposed Green New Deal also enumerates the goals and projects of the proposed mobilization effort, which include:

  • Building smart power grids (i.e., power grids that enable customers to reduce their power use during peak demand periods);
  • Upgrading all existing buildings and constructing new buildings to achieve maximum energy and water efficiency;
  • Removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and agricultural sectors;
  • Cleaning up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;
  • Ensuring businesspersons are free from unfair competition; and
  • Providing higher education, high-quality health care, and affordable, safe, and adequate housing to all; and
Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's 2018 Platform supports action on climate change and reads as follows: "We believe in the science of climate change, affirm human activity as its primary cause and main driver, and support emergency preparedness and planning efforts to mitigate its impacts"; and

Whereas, the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's 2018 Platform recognizes and believes that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gasses should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy; and

Whereas, Equity and justice must be a fundamental consideration in climate resilience planning and policy, especially for people in vulnerable communities, including communities of color, migrant populations with limited English language proficiency, low-income workers, elderly and youth, people with disability, the unhoused, and indigenous peoples; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi encourages full civic participation from all residents of Hawai'i, community organizations, businesses, faith groups, and academic institutions, in dealing with the global climate crisis; and be it Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi commits to advocating for immediate climate change policies and implementation and to making education a more central part of the efforts to combat climate change; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to stand behind the proposed Green New Deal which centers around job creation, fairness, equity, and justice in its solutions, by supporting the following goals:

  • Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Establishing high-wage green jobs and ensuring economic security for all;
  • Investing in infrastructure and industry;
  • Securing clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment for all;
  • Promoting justice and equality; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, to the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature that are also members of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, to the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, and to the members of Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-11. Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Take Urgent Action on its Housing Shortage

Whereas, The State of Hawaiʻi has grappled with a critical shortage of affordable housing for decades, and the problem grows worse by the year and threatens to undermine the quality of life and negatively affect the state's social and economic foundations; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi acknowledges the State of Hawaiʻi's affordable housing needs and supports any action to advocate for proposed strategic actions relating to policies, incentives, regulations, programs, financial tools, and investments; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's Platform articulates its belief that housing is a basic human right; that affordable housing should be fair in proportion to an individual's income as the basis of prosperity for our citizens and stability in our economy to protect against recent and past real estate bubbles that have fueled disproportionate rent increases, which is a known, key contributor to homelessness; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi advocates for strategies for the preservation and creation of affordable housing; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports programs and strategies that will prevent the displacement of existing residents in the State of Hawaiʻi, especially in the state's Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports the creation and preservation of affordable and workforce housing and programs of housing production, rental assistance and funding of rental assistance programs, and repair efforts to the state's public housing; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports policies that will re-assess the current formula of affordable housing to determine "affordability" in the State of Hawaiʻi for both rentals and sales of affordable units; and

Whereas, A supportive and joint goal to increase affordable housing units in the State of Hawai'i requires providing financial support to affordable housing developers, allowing the state and counties to pursue affordable housing developments, and helping maintain and not rid of existing affordable housing; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi reaffirms its commitment to solving the affordable housing crisis, and supports action plans to increase the inventory of affordable housing units for residents of Hawaiʻi; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports the adoption of new affordable housing policies and incentives for affordable housing developments and preserving the affordable housing inventory currently available throughout the state; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation, the Hawai?i State Legislature, and the members of the state's four (4) county councils to coordinate investment a solution to this crisis, including through adoption of necessary zoning controls, requirements on parking, open space, and community design requirements and principles to allow for encouragement of the construction of new affordable and the maintenance of the existing affordable housing supply; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, to the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature that are also members of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, to the Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawaiʻi, and to the members of Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-12. Urging the State of Hawaiʻi to Recognize and Honor the Right of Indigenous Peoples to Self-Determination

Whereas, The right to self-determination is the right of a people to determine its own destiny; and

Whereas, This principle allows a people to choose its own political status and to determine its own form of economic, cultural and social development; and

Whereas, The right to self-determination of peoples is recognized in Article I of the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States (UN General Assembly, 1970), the Helsinki Final Act (Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, CSCE, 1975), the African Charter of Human and Peoples' Rights (1981), the CSCE Charter of Paris for a New Europe (1990), and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993); and

Whereas, The right to self-determination has been affirmed by the International Meeting of Experts for the Elucidation of the Concepts of Rights of Peoples brought together by UNESCO from 1985 to 1991; and

Whereas, This body came to the conclusion that (1) peoples' rights are recognized in international law, (2) the list of such includes the right to self-determination and the right to existence, in the sense of the Genocide Convention; and

Whereas, The inclusion of the right to self-determination in the International Covenants on Human Rights and in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, referred to above, emphasizes that self-determination is an integral part of human rights law which has a universal application; and

Whereas, It is recognized that compliance with the right of self-determination is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of other human rights and fundamental freedoms, be they civil, political, economic, social or cultural; and

Whereas, Exercise of this right can result in a variety of different outcomes ranging from political independence through full integration within a state; and

Whereas, The importance lies in the right of choice, so that the outcome of a people's choice should not affect the existence of the right to make a choice; and

Whereas, The right to self-determination is recognized in international law as a right of process (not of outcome) belonging to peoples; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the State of Hawai?i to recognize and honor the right of indigenous Hawaiians to choose their own destiny; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Governor of Hawaiʻi, the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaiʻi and the 76 members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature.


OC 2019-13: Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Comply with HRS §10-13.5 that Requires 20 Percent of Public Land Trust Revenue be Given to Native Hawaiians

Whereas, Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of the Hawaiian archipelago and have never given up their inherent right of self-determination; and

Whereas, In a joint resolution adopted by the One Hundred and Third Congress of the United States, signed into law as Public Law 103-150, November 23, 1993, the Congress apologized to Native Hawaiians on behalf of the United States for the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi; and

Whereas, After the illegal overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani's government and the establishment of the Republic of Hawaiʻi in 1894, the republic claimed the Crown Lands and merged the Government and Crown Lands into the "public lands" through the 1895 Land Act; and

Whereas, In 1898, the Republic of Hawai?i transferred nearly 1.8 million acres of Government and Crown Lands to the United States under the Joint Resolution for Annexation; and

Whereas, When Hawaiʻi became a state in 1959, most Government and Crown Lands, including the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act trust lands, were transferred to the State of Hawaiʻi, however the United States retained use and control of almost 375,000 acres of land; and

Whereas, Section 5(f) of the Admission Act affirms the State of Hawaiʻi's public trust responsibilities: "The lands granted to the State of Hawai?i by subsection (b) . . . shall be held by said State as a public trust for the support of the public schools and other public educational institutions, for the betterment of the conditions of native Hawaiians, as defined in the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, for the development of farm and home ownership on as widespread a basis as possible, for the making of public improvements, and for the provision of lands for public use"; and

Whereas, In 1978, the people of Hawai'i overwhelmingly ratified amendments to the constitution including Article XII, Section 4, that confirmed the state's Public Trust responsibilities; Section 5 that established the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA); and Section 6 which requires the OHA Trustees to manage and administer income and proceeds from a variety of sources, including a "pro rata portion" of the public land trust; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi State Constitution does not define what percentage of the public land trust income and proceeds OHA should receive because that determination was left to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi State Legislature determined that Native Hawaiians should get 20 percent of the Public Land Trust revenue (HRS §10-13.5); and

Whereas, Currently, Act 178, SLH2006 temporarily established OHA's pro rata share of the income and proceeds of the public land trust for the betterment of the conditions of Native Hawaiians at $15,100,000 annually, and required state agencies to report public land trust revenues to the legislature each year; and

Whereas, Based on the annual accounting of the amounts derived from the public trust and additional research commissioned by OHA of receipts from the Public Land Trust in fiscal year 2015-2016, OHA has determined the minimum amount of applicable total gross public land trust receipts to be $174,816,220 in fiscal year 2015-2016, and 20 percent of that income is $34,963,244; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the legislature has a constitutional obligation to clarify the pro rata portion of revenues derived from the public land trust to which OHA is entitled to for the benefit of Native Hawaiians under Article XII, Sections 4 and 6 of the Hawai?i State Constitution; and

Whereas, Native Hawaiians are recorded as having some of the worst social and health conditions in the United States; and

Whereas, OHA relies substantially on revenues derived from the public land trust to provide programs and services to Native Hawaiians towards improving the civic, economic, social welfare, and health of Native Hawaiians; and

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, at its 2004 Convention, adopted a resolution titled, "Recognition of Support for Justice for Native Hawaiians" that resolved:

  1. To acknowledge the collective legal, political and socio-economic hardships that native Hawaiians endure;
  2. To seek to correct these collective hardships and promote legal, political and socio-economic justice for native Hawaiians; and
  3. To make a best effort to attain both State and National platforms to implement this resolution; and
Whereas, Both the state and national platforms recognize that Native Hawaiians are the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi and deserve a just relationship with the State and Federal Governments; that it has a moral and profound duty to acknowledge the past injustices; and that the Democratic Party has a moral duty to honor, respect and uphold our sacred obligation to the Native Hawaiian people; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to comply with HRS §10-13.5 that requires that 20 percent of the Public Land Trust revenue be given to Native Hawaiians through its trustee, OHA, to advance the civic, economic, social, and health welfare of Native Hawaiians; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the President of the Senate; the Speaker of the House, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, the Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, the Chair of the House Committee on Water, Land, and Hawaiian Affairs, the Chair of the House Committee on Finance, and the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.


OC 2019-14. Supporting Equal Treatment of Compact of Free Association Residents in the Issuance and Renewal of State Driver's Licenses

Whereas, In 1986, the United States Government entered into a Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and

Whereas, This compact grants the citizens of those nations the ability to move freely from their home nation and the United States, including the right to be lawfully present in the United States indefinitely, and the right to obtain driver's licenses issued by the State; and

Whereas, The United States enacted the Real ID Act in 2005, which creates new requirements to obtain a driver's license and imposes greater restrictions on the renewal and issuance of driver's licenses; and

Whereas, H.R. 3398, Real ID Act Modification for Freely Associated States (FAS) Act adopted by the 115th Congress (2017-2018) amended the Real ID Act of 2005 to ensure a FAS citizen admitted as a non-immigrant to the United States pursuant to a Compact of Free Association (COFA) can obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver's license on the same basis as any other long-term migrant in the United States; and

Whereas, H.R. 3398 became Public Law No: 115-313 on December 17, 2018; and

Whereas, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation has not yet implemented PL 115-313, pending receipt of implementing guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and

Whereas, Because of the delay in implementing guidance, COFA residents in the State are experiencing an undue and disproportionate burden by having to renew their driver's licenses every year; and

Whereas, The State has a duty to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all residents; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports the equal treatment of COFA residents in the issuance and renewal of driver's licenses; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Dept of Transportation (DOT) to give priority to implementing PL115-313 to bring equality in the treatment of COFA residents in the issuance and renewal of driver's licenses; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to Hawaiʻi's Congressional Delegation; the Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, Honolulu Office; the State Director of Transportation; the Mayors of the City and County of Honolulu, County of Hawaiʻi, County of Kauaʻi, and County of Maui; the Director of Transportation Services of the City and County of Honolulu; the Compact of Free Association Committee Advocacy Network, and the President of the Micronesian Community Network.


OC 2019-15. Supporting the Hawai?i State Legislature in its Efforts to Address the Health Needs of Micronesians

Whereas, Under a 1986 treaty known as the Compact of Free Association (COFA), residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands are allowed to legally live and work in the United States; and

Whereas, The treaty was signed as a result of environmental damage to the region from U.S. nuclear weapons testing after World War II; and

Whereas, Many COFA citizens, as they are known, arrive in Hawaiʻi and other states seeking better healthcare, but struggle to navigate the system; and

Whereas, Communities in COFA nations have some of the highest rates of tuberculosis, Hansen's disease, and diabetes in the world; and

Whereas, COFA islanders have among the highest per capita United States military service and service-related deaths; and

Whereas, From 1946 to 1958, COFA islanders endured the testing and detonation of 67 nuclear bombs, which destroyed homelands and engendered a scourge of cancer that continues to afflict COFA islanders today; and

Whereas, The Compact Nations provide the United States with immeasurable benefits of national security, such as hosting the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile defense system and granting the United States exclusive military strategic denial to millions of square miles of the Pacific Ocean-a distance of more than one and a half times the width of the continental United States-at a time when global relations among superpowers are increasingly fraught; and

Whereas, COFA residents have shared with Hawai'i, through their master navigator, Pius "Papa" Mau Piailug, the gift of traditional navigation that was utilized by the Hōkūleʻa, enabling a Hawaiian cultural movement of immeasurable beauty and pride; and

Whereas, An estimated eighteen thousand COFA residents legally reside in Hawaiʻi, with an unknown proportion being U.S. citizens who were born in the United States, and collectively comprise just 1.3 percent of the State's population; and

Whereas, COFA residents pay taxes and fully contribute to Hawaiʻi's economy, and come from proud, rich, vibrant, and ancient Pacific cultures that enrich Hawaiʻi's communities; and

Whereas, Contrary to the mutually beneficial intent of the trusteeship, COFA islanders are treated like bottom-tier citizens, denied state-funded health care coverage, and thrown into a maze of administrative and economic barriers that foster shame, illness, suffering, and death; and

Whereas, In a recent informal hearing at the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, representatives from the Queen's Health System told lawmakers they see around 1,300 COFA citizens every year; and

Whereas, Officials from the state Department of Health said the unpaid hospital expense cost taxpayers earning around $38 million annually; and

Whereas, Hawaiʻi legislators are seeking ways to improve health care for Micronesians, and the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives introduced HCR217, urging the Department of Human Services to create a COFA Advisory to review such things as the best approach for providing parity in state-funded health coverage for otherwise eligible COFA residents; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi supports the Hawaiʻi legislature in its efforts to address the health needs of Micronesians; and be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Department of Human Services to create a COFA Advisory Group, whether or not HCR217 is adopted by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, the Chair of the House Committee on Health; the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health; and the Office of the Director of the Department of Human Services.


OC 2019-16. Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Support Funding for Outreach to Educate the Public on the Importance of Vaccinations

Whereas, The Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi has a respect for science and sound medical practices; and

Whereas, Studies show that vaccination since 1900 has increased both the standard of living and has protected the population from epidemic disease; and

Whereas, A New York City judge upheld a mandatory measles vaccine amid a severe measles outbreak that has closed multiple schools and recorded 359 cases of measles since the outbreak began in October; and

Whereas, The growing anti-vaccination movement and resulting increases in vaccination exemptions in public schools has been shown to have endangered the community; and

Whereas, Anti-vaccination activists have contended that vaccination is medically risky: and

Whereas, Anti-vaccination activists believe shots can cause Autism, an assertion that has been repeatedly debunked; and

Whereas, The State of Hawaiʻi likewise offers religious exemptions for vaccinations of formerly common, now all-but-eradicated diseases which will only make a come back if we, as a society, allow it through poor public health policy; and

Whereas, One of the greatest challenges to public health authorities is how to respond to today's proliferation of misleading information about vaccines; and

Whereas, Studies show that simply correcting myths about vaccines may not be effective; and

Whereas, The Hawaiʻi Department of Health promotes immunizations in accordance with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to prevent the spread of diseases; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to appropriate funds for a public information campaign that reaches as wide an audience as possible through TV, radio, print and social media service announcements, with the intent of educating the public on the evidence-based facts regarding vaccinations; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and all 76 offices of the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature.


OC 2019-17. Urging the Hawaiʻi State Legislature to Adopt a Tax on Artificial Autonomous Labor

Whereas, Hawaiʻi's largest job sector is the service and transportation industry; and

Whereas, These jobs will be particularly vulnerable to automation via autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence; and

Whereas, Loss of tax revenue from elimination of these jobs will leave a deficit in the State of Hawaiʻi's annual budget, which will endanger the social safety net; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the establishment of a tax on artificial autonomous laborers, such as self-driving cars, that replace service and transportation industry jobs in the future, in order to slow industry-wide systematic layoffs and to provide a source of funding for reinforcing the social safety net; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature that are also members of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, as well as the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-18.Urging the U.S. Government to Limit the Influence of Money in Politics

Whereas, The term "dark money" refers to political spending by nonprofit organizations-for example, 501(c)(4) (social welfare) 501(c)(5) (unions) and 501(c)(6) (trade association) groups-that are not required to disclose their donors; and

Whereas, Such organizations can receive unlimited donations from corporations, individuals and unions; and

Whereas, These donors can therefore spend funds to influence elections without voters knowing the origin of the money in question; and

Whereas, Super-PACs must disclose their donors, but the same individuals or entities may set up both kinds of organizations; and

Whereas, This leads to a funnel effect whereby corporations and wealthy individuals can donate as much as they want to the nonprofit, which could then donate that money to the Super-PAC, which lists the nonprofit's donation but not the original contributors to the nonprofit; and

Whereas, The Associated Press, Center for Public Integrity, and Sunlight Foundation all flagged dozens of donations of anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million routed through non-disclosing dark money shell LLCs to Super-PACs backing various presidential candidates during the 2016 presidential election; and

Whereas, The influence of this near-unlimited, all-but-anonymous money on both elections and the subsequent policy passed by the government is a corrupting one that tends to expand the power and influence of special interest groups, corporations and wealthy individuals; and

Whereas, This erodes the concept of democracy and threatens the well-being of people and planet; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to introduce and support a new attempt to pass the "Disclosure Act" that would require disclosure of election spending by corporations, labor unions, super-PACs, and, most importantly, politically active nonprofits; and be it further

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to introduce and support legislation to empower small donors by providing public funds to amplify small donations through vouchers or matching funds; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the offices of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-19. Urging the U.S. Government to Adopt a 70 Percent Marginal Income Tax Rate on Individual Incomes Over $10 million

Whereas, Over the past century, the top marginal tax rate on the highest-income Americans has often been much higher than it is now (37 percent), including between 1936 and 1980, when the top marginal rate was at least 70 percent, and between 1951 and 1963, when it was 90 percent; and

Whereas, Despite claims that taxing the wealthy hurts the economy, economic growth has often been better when taxes were higher on the rich than when they were lower; and

Whereas, Politifact found that the U.S.'s highest economic growth decade was the 1960s when the top income tax rates were between 70-90 percent; and

Whereas, According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, jobs were created at a six to eight times faster pace in the years following tax increases on the wealthy under Presidents Clinton and Obama, than in the aftermath of high-income tax cuts under President George W. Bush; and

Whereas, Recent economic research has determined that rich people could be taxed at much higher rates than they are now without deterring their incentive to make money, raising significant revenue for important public purposes; and

Whereas, Marginal tax rates do not mean that all of a taxpayer's income is taxed at 70 percent but, rather, it means that the portion of a taxpayer's income above a certain level would be taxed at that rate; and

Whereas, Less than one tenth of 1 percent of all taxpayers-just 16,000 households-reported income over $10 million; and

Whereas, A calculation of a 70 percent marginal rate applied to that handful of the super wealthy could in theory raise close to $720 billion over 10 years; and

Whereas, Several critical public investments could be funded many times over, in whole, or at least in substantial part, by this increased revenue, including a plan to boost teacher salaries and rebuild schools ($100 billion), tuition-free college ($800 billion), paying off more than half the nation's $1.4 trillion in student debt, funding three-quarters of a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, Title I funding for low-income education ($270 billion), special education ($180 billion), or Head Start ($140 billion); therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to support legislation to implement a marginal tax rate of at least 70 percent for incomes over $10 million; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the offices of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-20. Urging the U.S. Government to Dismantle the Immigrations & Customs Enforcement Agency and Reassign its Investigation Duties to the FBI

Whereas, The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency was created in 2003 as part of the newly formed U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and

Whereas, The primary focus of ICE has become the deportation of undocumented immigrants, whether or not they have committed any crime, as well as the denial of asylum to refugees and the separation of undocumented children from their families; and

Whereas, The agency has been accused of committing human rights violations under the direction of the Trump Administration; and

Whereas, The immigration philosophy espoused by the agency is ineffective and divisive; and

Whereas, Genuine immigration reform that would implement a humane immigration system cannot proceed while ICE is operational; and

Whereas, The investigations component of ICE that focuses on issues such as fraud, human trafficking, gangs and drug rings would better serve residents of the United States as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to support legislation that would dismantle ICE and place its investigations component under the jurisdiction of the FBI so that genuine immigration reform can proceed; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the offices of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-21. Urging the U.S. Government to Adopt a Tax on All Centralized Custodial Electronic Monetary Transactions to Protect Consumers

Whereas, Cash transactions at points of sale and over the Internet, worldwide, are on a decline, with countries like China and Sweden already going virtually cashless in all transactions; and

Whereas, Electronic transaction volume is expected to reach nearly 100 percent of all monetary transactions, representing billions of transactions per second; and

Whereas, Electronic transactions not using Blockchain technology necessitate the use of third party services, which extract the wealth of the State of Hawaiʻi through centralized custodial electronic monetary transactions; and

Whereas, The multiple companies involved in these transactions between two individuals (Venmo, Cash.App, PayPal, Apple Pay, Facebook Coin, etc.) or individual and business (Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, etc.) extract profits through behavioral future predictive power; and

Whereas, These companies profit from this data harvesting, which compromises the privacy of consumers, placing the people of Hawaiʻi in direct harm of exploitation or identity theft; be it therefore

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to introduce and support legislation establishing a federal tax on all centralized custodial electronic monetary transactions with all revenue being used to protect the consumer and repair damages to the general public caused by these malicious and predatory business practices; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.


OC 2019-22. Urging the U.S. Government to Require Transparency of Sales of Consumer Data Collected by Third Parties

Whereas, Many online centralized platforms offer their services without charge in exchange for customer data which is aggregated, packaged, and sold either directly or as metadata to centralized third parties; and

Whereas, These centralized third parties require intimate data collection on customers in order to provide client-server services; and

Whereas, Any third party that gets hold of the data may then sell said data to further undisclosed parties; and

Whereas, Our most sensitive data inevitably ends up in behavioral futures markets which is used to provide corporations with an unfair asymmetry of knowledge; and

Whereas, This current asymmetry of knowledge is used to generate unfair and unethical profit just as asymmetry in knowledge of the powerful has been used throughout history to control and profit off the people; therefore be it

Resolved, That the Oʻahu County Democrats of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi urges the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation to introduce and support legislation to require companies to make transparent what information they collect, exactly how it is collected, and every party that has access to that data, and to inform the client if a new party gains access to any past data collected in a simple easy-to-follow and -understand format, and to allow for an opt-out option; and be it

Ordered, That copies of this resolution shall be transmitted to the members of the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation.