April 21, 2020 12:00 PM – Grassroot Institute of Hawaii-sponsored Webinar!
Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director, Sandy Ma, discussed on this webinar transparency in Hawaii government (or lack thereof) during the pandemic.
April 15, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii hosted a Virtual Brown Bag Lunch Webinar on Zoom
Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director, Sandy Ma, led a discussion with the 19 participants about the suspension of the sunshine and public records laws, elections and Vote-By-Mail in August and November 2020 and if the Hawaii State Legislature will come back in session.
March 31, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii, along with 40 other Coalition members, signed a letter to State, County and City officials expressing concern about government transparency and accountability during the COVID-19 crisis.
This letter expressed concern on the invoking of the Sunshine Law in limiting public access and participation in legislative events during the current crisis. Click here for the full contents of the letter.
March 13, 2020 – Celebration of Service-Learning on Chaminade’s Campus.
Common Cause Hawaii was invited by Chaminade University to participate in this Service-Learning Day event, set up like a science fair. The entire Chaminade campus was invited to attend, to see displays shared by students, faculty, and community partners who have done work together through service-learning. Alas, this event was cancelled due to concerns about the Coronavirus.
March 12, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii discussion on Automatic Voter Registration
This discussion on Automatic Voter Registration was held with the AVR Coalition at Planned Parenthood in Honolulu.
March 10, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii talk to the American Association of University Women.
Common Cause Hawaii spoke to a group of AAUW women on Hawaii’s transition to all Vote By Mail for the 2020 elections, Automatic Voter Registration, and the 2020 Census on this date.
March 3, 2020 – Shooting of a PSA on VBM at Olelo.
Common Cause Hawaii shot another Public Service Announcement on Vote by Mail at Olelo on this date.
February 24, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii talk to a Hawaii Pacific University Environmental Policy Class.
Common Cause Hawaii spoke to a Hawaii Pacific University Environmental Policy Class from 12:00 to 1:15 pm on civic engagement. This talk was held in the classroom of Regina Ostergaard-Klem, PhD, Associate Professor of Environmental Science in HPU’s College of Natural and Computational Sciences.
February 24, 2020 – A call with Indivisible Hawaii Neighbor Island Activists.
Common Cause Hawaii discussed fighting the call for an Article V Constitutional Convention.
February 20, 2020 – 15th Annual Human Rights Day at the Hawai’i State Legislature, Capitol Bldg., Room 423 and Balcony, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
At this event you would have heard about the Aloha+Challenge, Advocacy for Paris Agreement, NDCs and 2030 Agenda. You would have also heard about a Human Rights Based Approach to the Aloha+Challenge and UN 2030 Agenda. The Historic First Ever in the World Statewide Subnational Voluntary Local Review! Sandy Ma of Common Cause Hawaii participated, providing remarks on voting improvement efforts in Hawaii in support of one of the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals.
The state officials below registering folks for this presentation were wearing Common Cause buttons!
February 14, 2020 – Governor’s Proclamation on the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Right to Vote and the League of Women Voters.
Sandy Ma of Common Cause Hawaii participated in this event. Here’s a shot of all the participants.
February 13, 2020 – VBM Briefing to Pearlridge AARP Chapter
Sandy Ma, Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director discussed Voting by Mail with the Pearlridge Chapter of AARP at the Monterey Bay Canners restaurant at 1100 on Thursday, 13 February. The group had some excellent questions which Sandy addressed.
For some educational material on Vote by Mail, please click on this link. And here are some photos from this meeting.
February 12, 2020 – Automatic Voter Registration Testimony Writing Event
Common Cause Hawaii attended an Automatic Voter Registration testimony writing event sponsored by Planned Parenthood and Indivisible Windward
February 10, 2020 – Hawaii Voter Registration and Civic Engagement Interest Group Meeting
Sandy Ma, Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director attended this event.
February 5, 2020 – Reject the Cover-Up Rally
Common Cause Hawaii co-sponsored a lively Reject the Cover-Up Rally near the State Capitol Building on the afternoon of February 5th.
We are grateful to the co-sponsors of this event – Indivisible Hawaii, Young Progressives Demanding Action – Hawaii, Hawaii J20, and Refuse Fascism Honolulu. Approximately 100 people attended this peaceful rally, showing great energy and enthusiasm. There was a lot of spirited chanting going on! All were excited to show that our organizations and supporters will hold power accountable and reject the cover-up of the impeachment charges.
The Rally ended with a speech by CCHI board member Brodie Lockard who stressed that everyone of us can hold power accountable through voting! Please check out Common Cause Hawaii’s Facebook page for all of Brodie’s speech. It’s at: https://www.facebook.com/CommonCauseHawaii/videos/641966916620566/
January 25, 2020 – Common Cause Hawaii Holds Meeting to Discuss the 2020 Hawaii State Legislative Session
Common Cause Hawaii held a meeting about the 2020 Hawaii State Legislative Session on Saturday, January 25th in the Planned Parenthood Community Room on Beretania Street in Honolulu. Mahalo to Planned Parenthood for letting us hold our 2020 State Legislative Priorities meeting in your space! The meeting was open to the entire community. Please see the links below to find out more about what was discussed at the meeting.
Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director, Sandy Ma, discussed the organization’s priority issues and major bills important to Common Cause Hawaii that are before the Hawaii State Legislature, which opened on January 15th. Some of these are in the following list and more details on these can be found in the links below.
- Fighting the call for an Article V Constitutional Convention. An Article V Constitutional Convention would open up our Federal, U.S. Constitution to being re-written.
- Modernizing our elections through Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) legislation. Common Cause Hawaii is supporting several bills before the State Legislature in support of this.
- Promoting Campaign Finance Reform; and Championing Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability in our Government. There are several bills coming up this Session dealing with these issues.
- Voting by Mail. Hawaii is transitioning to all Vote by Mail (VBM( elections in 2020. Information was passed out about the new all VBM process. Please see the link below for an info flyer on this process.
Sandy Ma also discussed the procedures that can allow people to track the status of bills of interest in the legislative process and to offer personal testimony to the legislature on these bills. Please see the schematic linked below.
Big Island Meeting held on 11 January 2020 to Prepare for the 2020 Election.
The Big Island’s Political Parties Prepare for the 2020 Election at a 11 January 2020 Meeting in Kona, Hawaii at the Waimea Middle School. the meeting was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Hawaii County and Common Cause Hawaii. Sandy Ma, Common Cause Hawaii’s Executive Director, made a presentation at the meeting on Voting by Mail. A PDF file of this presentation is here.VBM League 2020.1.11 Presentation
Below is a PDF file of the Vote by Mail handout that Sandy Ma passed out at the meeting.VBM_HANDOUT
Photos from the Kona, Hawaii 11 January 2020 Meeting:
Pictured below, from left to right: Sandy Ma, Executive Director, Common Cause Hawaii; Tracy Ryan, Chair, Libertarian Party; Jeffrey Kalani Coakley, Chair, West Hawaii Republican Part; Donna Oba, Vice President, LWV Hawaii; Rosemarie Muller, President, LWV of Hawaii County; Heather Kimball, Chair, Hawaii County Democratic Party; Representative David Tarnas (attendee). Not pictured Budd Dickinson, Co-Chair Green Party of Hawaii.
Pictured below: the audience at the meeting
Pictured below, left to right: Panelist Heather Kimball, Chair, Hawaii County Democratic Party; Panelist Budd Dickinson, Co-Chair Green Party of Hawaii; Panelist Tracy Ryan, Chair, Libertarian Party; Panelist Jeffrey Kalani Coakley, West Hawaii Republican Party
Pictured below: another view of the meeting audience
July 12, 2019 Lights for Liberty Vigil. Common Cause Hawaii joined many partner organizations, such as Planned Parenthood Hawaii, Indivisible Hawaii, AAUW, etc., and concerned individuals to hold a vigil to end immigrants detention camps.
July 25, 2019 Pau Hana Meet and Greet on July 25, 2019 at Honolulu Beerworks. It was a lively discussion with ono food and beer! It was a great way to connect and re-energize after the end of a 2019 Legislative Session.
Common Cause Hawaii’s advisory board president R. Elton Johnson, III, wrote a recent letter to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, explaining that a ConCon would be ill-advised.
December 1, 2018
Advocacy Training. Democracy works best when everyone participates and makes their voices heard. To that end we partnered with Hawaii Children’s Action Network, Hawaii Public Health Institute, PHOCUSED, Hawaii Appleseed, Hawaii Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations, and Blue Zones Projects, to train over 100 citizen advocates on getting involved at the State Legislature. Find training materials here.
November 8, 2018
Protest to Protect the Mueller Investigation. When President Trump dismissed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appointed Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, hundreds of people across the state, along with thousands across the country mobilized within 24 hours to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation. Whittaker has frequently criticized the investigation and mused about cutting Mueller’s budget. The people spoke loudly and clearly—that we want and deserve an independent investigation to get the truth and accountability.
October 16, 2018
Con Am: What you need to know about a surcharge for education. KHON2 and Common Cause Hawaii partnered for a live forum on the constitutional amendment for an education surcharge. The question that will be posed to voters on the November ballot will say “Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?” Panelists: Corey Rosenlee, President of Hawaii State Teachers Association (support); Deborah Zysman, Executive Director of the Hawaii Children’s Action Network (support); Colbert Matsumoto, representing Affordable Hawaii Coalition (opposition); Randy Roth, professor emeritus at the UH Richardson Law School (opposition); moderated by Gina Mangieri. Watch the recording.
Photo: L-R Colbert Matsumoto, Gina Mangieri, Corey Rosenlee, Randy Roth, Deborah Zysman
May 2, 2018
Civil Cafe: Legislative Wrap-Up 2018. Our third and final event of our legislative series. In partnership with Honolulu Civil Beat, the panel discussion, moderated by Civil Beat’s politics and opinions editor, Chad Blair, recapped the highs and lows of the 2018 legislative session. Panelists were House Speaker Scott Saiki, Senate Majority Leader Kalani English, Civil Beat Reporting Fellow Courtney Teague, and Common Cause Hawaii Executive Director Corie Tanida.
March 21, 2018
Civil Cafe: Mid-Session Legislative Update. The second in our legislative series, in partnership with Honolulu Civil Beat, for a mid-session check in. Panelists discussed the #MeToo movement, transparency in government, and the status of various bills under consideration. The panel featured Senator Donna Mercado Kim (D), Representative Gene Ward (R), Corie Tanida of Common Cause Hawaii, Courtney Teague of Civil Beat, moderated by Chad Blair of Civil Beat.
January 11, 2018
Civil Cafe: 2018 Hawaii Legislative Preview was hosted by Honolulu Civil Beat in partnership with Common Cause Hawaii to discuss major issues that will come up in the Legislature and some that may not, but should. Panelists explored why bills on several topics repeatedly fail to pass and what that process entails, before offering tips on how to get involved and the best way to stay informed this session. Click here to watch the full video.
December 1, 2017
Increased citizen participation in the lawmaking and electoral process makes for a more robust democracy. Experts from the Center for Secure and Modern Elections discussed Automatic Voter Registration and how it could help bring Hawaii’s elections into the 21st century. Click here to view the video.
November 7, 2017
In today’s unpredictable political climate, ethics in government and the people’s confidence in government are facing unprecedented challenges. Common Cause Hawaii hosted a panel discussion to regarding this important, but often overlooked issue. Panelists: Daniel Gluck, Executive Director Hawaii State Ethics Commission; Ian Lind, Investigative Journalist;Kristin Izumi-Nitao, Executive Director Campaign Spending Commission; and Corie Tanida, Executive Director Common Cause Hawaii. Moderated by Eric Cordeiro. Watch the video here.
July 18, 2017
Common Cause Hawaii Board Chair Elton Johnson and Executive Director Corie Tanida hosted a webinar for Common Cause Hawaii members to discuss changes in the last year, and challenges we’re facing in this unprecedented and unpredictable climate. Click here to watch the webinar.
April 15, 2017
Common Cause Hawaii partnered with Hawaii J20 and hundreds of people across Oahu to demand that President Trump release his tax returns. We deserve to know: what’s hiding in President Trump’s tax returns? The American people deserve answers about President Trump’s business dealings and assets. If we let him keep hiding his tax returns, critical questions about his potential conflicts of interest and ties — or whether he paid taxes at all — will remain unanswered.Honolulu Civil Beat live streamed the event. Video credit: Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat.
March 16, 2017
Together with the League of Women Voters Hawaii, Common Cause Hawaii hosted an informational briefing for prospective applicants for membership on the Campaign Spending and Ethics Commissions. Former and current commissioners spoke about their responsibilities and duties and the State Judiciary explained the application process. Watch the video here.
January 26, 2017
Common Cause Hawaii partnered with Honolulu Civil Beat to host “Legislative Session—What Can I Do?” This panel discussion encouraged civic engagement. The panelists guided attendees through the ins and outs of lawmaking and offer actions to influence positive change in the community.
Panelists included: Beppie Shapiro, League of Women Voters Hawaii; Corie Tanida, Common Cause Hawaii; Keanu Young, Public Access Room; moderated by Chad Blair, Honolulu Civil Beat. Click here to watch the video.
December 3, 2016
The Hawaii People’s Congress was a gathering of community leaders, organizations and movements from across Hawaii who want to work together to build a more just, fair and healthy future. Executive Director Corie Tanida was on the “Money In politics” panel discussion with Benjamin Singer of mayday.us. Panelists spoke about money’s influence on politics with a special focus on publicly funded elections. Click here to view the video. (Photo: L to R Elif Beall, H.A.P.A. and Corie Tanida, Common Cause Hawaii)
November 9, 2016
Corie Tanida, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, did a mock press conference at the University of Hawaii’s Journalism Day, for aspiring high school journalists. The press conference, which announced that Common Cause Hawaii will once again champion automatic voter registration during the 2017 Hawaii State Legislative Session, was the culminating event of the day for the students, who earlier attended workshops led by local reporters. After the press conference, the students put their newfound skills to use and created news, editorial, and video pieces on the topic.
May 30, 2016
The last Public House of 2016 was held on Memorial Day, and discussed “Urban Development”. The illustrious panel featured Annie Koh, Ph.D. candidate in Urban & Regional Planning at UH Manoa; Andrew Tang, Urban Planner at Honolulu’s Transit Oriented Development Division; and Ryan TamChair of the Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board #11. Click here for the event recap.
Photo (L to R): Andrew Tang, Ryan Tam, and Annie Koh
April 25, 2016
On April 25, 2016 Common Cause Hawaii and Manifest hosted the fourth installment of their Public House series. April’s Public House discussed “The New Economy: entrepreneurship, crowd-funding, and startups”, featuring panelists Tabatha Chow, Uber Operations Manager; Sara Cobble, Pono Home General Manager; Spencer Toyama, Sudokrew Co-Founder/Business Development. The event was hosted by Eric Cordeiro with music by DJ Jet Boy. Read the event recap for more.
Photo (L to R): Common Cause Hawaii Executive Director Carmille Lim, Sara Cobble, Tabatha Chow, and Spencer Toyama
March 31-Hawaii Open Budget Demo
Common Cause Hawaii was proud to co-sponsor another State Budget Workshop with the Senate Minority Office. Senate Minority Budget Director Paul Harleman demonstrated 2016 updates to the Hawaii Open Budget App, which allows you to view the budget in a user friendly format. Use the app to learn about sources of funding, how money is being spent and try to balance the budget for yourself. https://hawaiiopenbudget.com/
March 28-Public House: Mental Health and Hawaii’s Homeless
The third installment of Public House, a free event held on the last Monday of each month, sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii and Manifest featured panelists
Kimo Carvalho, Director of Community Relations Institute for Human Services (IHS); Trisha Kajimura, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Hawaii; Tom McDonald, Executive Director of Kahumana Organic Farms/Alternative Structures International. The panelists engaged in a robust discussion and provided great insights as to some of the issues Hawaii is facing regarding mental health and homeless. Click here for an event recap.
Photo (L to R): Kimo Carvalho, Trisha Kajimura, Tom McDonald, and Eric Cordeiro
March 21-Civil Cafe: Apathy and Influence
Civil Beat’s Civil Cafe on Apathy and Influence was a panel discussion on how good government bills are faring in the legislative session. Panelists included state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Common Cause Executive Director Carmille Lim, and the League of Women Voters’ Janet Mason. The discussion was moderated by Chad Blair of Civil Beat. Panelists discussed term limits, low voter turnout, campaign finance reform and the practice of legislators sharing their campaign funds with other politicians. Click here to watch the video.
February 29-Public House: Supporting Hawaii’s Youth-Tackling Education Issues Beyond Air Conditioning
Public House is a FREE event held on the last Monday of each month, sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii and Manifest. Hosted by Eric Cordeiro with music by DJ The Forrest, the very knowledgeable panelists included: Patricia Halagao, Board of Education member; Representative Takashi Ohno, Hawaii State House member, Vice Chair of the House Committee on Education; and Buffy Cushman-Patz, School Leader and Founder of SEEQS: the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability, a public charter middle school in Kaimuki. Click here for the recap.
Photo: Panelists (L-R) Patricia Halagao, Buffy Cushman-Patz, Takashi Ohno. Far right: Eric Cordeiro
February 24-Dining for Democracy
Common Cause Hawaii‘s first benefit dinner, “Dining for Democracy,” at The Pig and the Lady, featured investigative blogger Ian Lind as the keynote speaker. As a former newsletter publisher, public interest advocate, peace educator, legislative staffer, lobbyist for Common Cause Hawaii, and currently an investigative reporter and columnist who has been blogging daily for 15 years, Ian was able to share incredible stories about how Hawaii politics and local media have morphed over the past 30 years. Check out the event recap and photos.
January 25-Public House: Importance of State Legislatures and what’s in store for the 2016 Legislative Session
Public House is a FREE event on the last Monday of each month, sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii and Manifest. Special guest panelists and clips from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver highlight issues that Hawaii is facing today. The public was encouraged to join the conversation and share their opinions. The event was hosted by Eric Cordeiro, with music by DJ Jet Boy. Featured panelists were Nathan Eagle, reporter at Civil Beat; Ikaika Hussey, board member with H.A.P.A (Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action). Check out the recap here.
April 7-Advocacy 201 Workshop: Conference Committees
A workshop aimed at helping attendees understand the role of Conference Committees in the legislative process, and how to understand Conference Committee rules. This workshop was conducted in partnership with the Public Access Room, featuring guest presenter Virginia Beck, Public Access Room Coordinator.
April 2- Rally: Ask Obama to Shine Light on Corporate Corruption
Common Cause Hawaii and Public Citizen co-hosted a rally urging President Obama to issue an Executive Order, requiring federal government contractors to disclose their political contributions to dark money groups. Held on the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon, ruling that further put our democracy up for sale, an executive order could not only reveal the groups behind the flood of attack ads we see every election cycle, but also put a stop to quid-pro-quo contracting.
March 25-Hawaii Open Budget Demo
Piggy-backing on Sunshine Week, which is dedicated to promoting transparency and public access in government, Common Cause Hawaii presented a live demonstration of the nonpartisan Hawaii Open Budget website. Guest presenters Paul Harleman, Budget Director and Tisha Panter, Senior Attorney and Director of Research of Senate Minority Research Office, provided an overview of the budget process and how to utilize the website. The Hawaii Open Budget Initiative is a joint effort of the Hawaii State Senate and House Minority Caucuses. It is a nonpartisan informational tool that makes the state budget information accessible to the public.
January 21-Unhappy Unbirthday to Citizens United; Screening of Pay 2 Play
Film screening of Pay 2 Play on the 5th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. The event’s theme was “Unhappy Unbirthday” inspired by the “Merry Unbirthday” scene in Alice In Wonderland.
December 5-Screening of Pay 2 Play
Film screening of Pay 2 Play. This film follows film maker John Ennis’ quest to find a way out from under the Pay 2 Play System, in which politicians reward their donors with ever larger sums from the public treasury — through contracts, tax cuts, and deregulation. This event was co-sponsored by Public Citizen.
November 20-Panel on Clean Elections at UH Hilo
Carmille Lim, Executive Director of Common Cause Hawaii joined Susan Dursin of the League of Women Voters and Chris Yuen, former board member of The Hawaii Elections Project, to discuss the issues of clean elections and transparency in Hawaii. The event was co-sponsored by student group Democracy Matters, Global HOPE and Common Cause Hawaii.
September 5-6- Extraordinary Machine: Restoring Public Access to the Public Domain
In conjunction with Interisland Terminal, Hawaii Open Data and Startup Weekend Honolulu, this two-day event included the film screening of The Internet’s Own Boy, which follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, and an Open Knowledge Action Workshop to launch a broader discussion about Open Knowledge, public access to government data and public records.
August 23-Live streaming workshop
Live media coverage of important current events is shrinking. It’s increasingly becoming citizens’ responsibility to share significant events and key policy-decisions with others. At this free workshop, participants learned from social justice activist H. Doug Matsuoka, of Hawaii Guerilla Video Hui, how to broadcast video live to the internet using their smartphone.
August 21-Screening of Citizen Koch
Film screening of “Citizen Koch”. The film investigates the impact of unlimited, anonymous spending by corporations and billionaires on the electoral process. This event was co-sponsored by the Americans for Democratic Action/Hawaii.
June-August Civic*Celerator Community Demonstrations
Developers of Civic*Celerator apps and CCHI team members held demonstrations to teach community members what the apps are capable of, and how to use them. Demonstrations were held in town and at various Neighborhood Board meetings, including Hawaii Kai, Pearl City, and Kuliouou.
April 19 – Civic*Celerator Demo Day
Demo Day was the culmination of four months’ worth of Civic*Celerator work. Teams presented their final products to a panel of judges, who offered feedback and scores. Teams were given until the end of May to incorporate feedback from judges before the apps were given a “hard launch” in June. Judges included reporters from Hawaii News Now, Civil Beat, Hawaii Star Advertiser, the executive director of the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, and a CEO of a local tech-investment company. Click here to use the apps.
Photo: Civic Celerator developers
Hack Nights on March 12, and every Friday from March 28 until Demo Day (3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18)
“Hack nights” are nights for policy brainstorming and coding. Teams comingled and collaborated to further develop their apps. Hack nights were open to the public and we welcomed citizen advocates to participate and bring in their own perspectives and suggestions to the Civic*Celerator apps.
April 4 – Rally for Publicly Funded Elections
At this point in the legislative session, the 2014 public funding had been killed. Our only hope for a public funding bill this session was to “revive” HB1481, the 2013 bill that was stalled in Conference and “carried” over to this legislative session. The rally was aimed to show community support for this bill in hopes of persuading legislators to pass HB1481. This rally was co-sponsored by Voter Owned Hawaii, Babes Against Biotech, Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE), and Sierra Club Hawaii. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Ben Cohen was the keynote speaker, and local award-winning singer and slack-key musician Makana also spoke at and sang at the rally.
April 8 – Advocacy 102: Conference Committee
A workshop aimed at helping attendees understand the role of Conference Committees in the legislative process, and how to understand Conference Committee rules. In a Q&A and roundtable format, we explored ways citizens can continue to advocate on their issues as Conference work is done “behind closed doors.” This workshop was done in partnership with the Public Access Room, and featured guest Nikki Love, policy director of the Hawaii Alliance for Nonprofit Organizations. Click here to view the video of the workshop.
March 29 – Civic*Celerator Pre-Demo Day
Pre-Demo Day was geared to provide a public preview of the apps created by volunteer teams participating in Civic*Celerator. This was an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and provide feedback for teams to incorporate. This was also an opportunity for teams to practice their presentation for Demo Day.
March 20 – Democracy at Risk with Michael Copps
This was a lunchtime talk on net neutrality and pending decisions with the FCC. The topic was Media and the Struggle for Democracy. This luncheon event was co-sponsored by Media Council Hawaii.
March 19 – Media, transparency, and Democracy with Michael Copps
In early 2013, Common Cause Hawaii released part 1 of a study comparing political ads and political news/issue coverage in the media, in the 2012 elections. For Sunshine Week 2014, Common Cause Hawaii released part 2 of the study and convened a panel to discuss it in depth. Former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Michael Copps was the keynote speaker. The panel included Common Cause’s media director, Todd O’Boyle; the publisher for the Hawaii Independent, a political science professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii – Manoa (UHM), a journalism professor at UHM, and the executive producer of Hawaii Public Radio.
Photo: Panelists L-R: Todd O’Boyle, Director for Media and Democracy at Common Cause; Ikaika Hussey, Publisher The Hawaii Independent; Gerald Kato Professor of Journalism Univeristy of Hawaii at Manoa; Neal Milner Former Professor of Political Science University of Hawaii at Manoa; Michael Copps, Former Federal Communications Commission member; Beth-Ann Kozlovich, Executive Producer/Host Hawaii Public Radio.
March 15 – Discussion on voting modernization: publicly-funded elections and Election Day voter registration
Within this workshop, we laid out the history of public funding in Hawaii, how public funding works, why it’s needed, the mechanics of the 2014 bill, and how other states’ public funding programs work. Common Cause organized this workshop with Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE). Representatives from Common Cause, League of Women Voters, and Americans for Democratic Action/Hawaii were on the panel.
March 4 – Advocacy 102: Order of the Day and floor readings
A workshop aimed to help attendees understand the role of floor readings within the legislative process. We explored how to read the Order of the Day (i.e., the agenda for floor hearings), and how citizens can participate in this. This workshop was done in partnership with the Public Access Room. Click here to view the video of the presentation.
February 12 and February 19 – Hack Night 1 and 2
In addition to Civic*Celerator groups working independently, several participants gathered as a larger group, to work on their applications, brainstorm ideas for other groups’ apps, and be mentored on campaign finance laws. Groups also used this time to identify possible policy solutions to campaign finance loopholes they are stumbling across.
February 6 – “Inequality for All” film screening + Discussion on Minimum Wage
Common Cause Hawaii held a film screening of “Inequality for All” with an unprecedented group of co-partners whose focus is on economic development, social justice, faith groups, and labor rights. The event included a discussion of Hawaii’s minimum wage and how money-in-politics affects social and economic issues. Nearly 300 people attended.
January 25 – Civic*Celerator Kick-off event
Common Cause Hawaii and project co-partners Hawaii Open Data launched Civic*Celerator (an initiative funded by Voqal), a contest to build civic apps and educate voters utilizing data from the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission and other government agencies.
December 5 – Appreciation dinner for donors, members, and volunteers:
We used this opportunity to thank our extended team, look back on 2013’s accomplishments, and unveil 2014 initiatives.
September 27-Money in Politics Coaching
We worked with service-learning teachers to develop a tailored coaching “curriculum” for high school students on money-in-politics issues. With CCHI’s coaching, high school students presented their interpretation of various campaign finance laws and possible solutions.
September 19 – Policy & Pints – The topics were Citizens United, McCutcheon, money in politics, transparency for super PACs, hearing notice requirements and transparency for government agencies
We gathered community members for a pau hana to discuss the possible implications of McCutcheon, and Citizens United and provided a historical context for money-in-politics issues and key decisions in the United States.
August 18- United States of ALEC film screening
Common Cause Hawaii held a film screening of the documentaryfilm “The United States of ALEC.” The screening was followed by a moderated group discussion (among attendees) to talk about the issue of money and politics, and the ever-increasing corporate control of our democracy.
July 18 – Policy & Pints – ethics, transparency, legislative rules, publicly financed elections
This was a pau hana roundtable aimed at giving guests a preview of issues Common Cause Hawaii will be tackling in the coming legislative session. Guests brainstormed additional policy ideas, and discussed ethics, transparency, and money-in-politics issues and potential solutions.
May 13 – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly post-legislative session
Speakers from Media Council Hawaii, Hawaii Open Data, Voter Owned Hawaii, and a state representative to discussed several key “democracy” bills, and share their stories of process-related challenges and achievements.
Democracy Reform presentation: Hawaii People’s Fund
We spoke to 15 individuals representing 10 nonprofit organizations – including organizations on the neighbor islands. Our discussion was focused on the legislative processes, and how we can encourage more ethical behavior, and more transparency and better public access to encourage public participation (especially for neighbor island people).
Ethics & Campaign Spending Commission workshop
We co-hosted a workshop to recruit community volunteers to serve as commissioners for the Ethics Commission and Campaign Spending Commission, resulting in recruiting seven applicants to the State Ethics Commission and two applicants for the Campaign Spending Commission. This workshop was co-hosted by the League of Women Voters of Hawaii and Kanu Hawaii.
Good Government advocates roundtable discussion
We hosted a roundtable discussion for representatives of 15-20 community organizations which recognize the need to support “good government” measures. This meeting resulted in an ongoing and informal “Good Government” coalition, with representatives from healthcare, insurance, media, environment, gambling groups. Among many group efforts to raise the profile of the need for “good government practices,” we helped to raise community awareness of legislative practices that alter a bills’ original content without (or with late) public notification. This roundtable discussion was co-hosted with the League of Women Voters of Hawaii.
Videos of Past Events
Below are selected highlights from past Common Cause Hawaii events, with links to video and additional information. For more photos please visit our Facebook page.
January 11, 2018
2018 Legislative Preview
Civil Cafe: 2018 Hawaii Legislative Preview was hosted by Honolulu Civil Beat in partnership with Common Cause Hawaii to discuss major issues that will come up in the Legislature and some that may not, but should. Panelists explored why bills on several topics repeatedly fail to pass and what that process entails, before offering tips on how to get involved and the best way to stay informed this session.
December 1, 2017
Automatic Voter Registration Info Briefing
Increased citizen participation in the lawmaking and electoral process makes for a more robust democracy. Experts from the Center for Secure and Modern Elections discussed Automatic Voter Registration and how it could help bring Hawaii’s elections into the 21st century.
November 7, 2017
Ethics in Government: Theory or Practice?
In today’s unpredictable political climate, ethics in government and the people’s confidence in government are facing unprecedented challenges. Common Cause Hawaii hosted a panel discussion regarding this important, but often overlooked issue. Panelists: Daniel Gluck, executive director Hawaii State Ethics Commission; Ian Lind, investigative journalist; Kristin Izumi-Nitao, executive director Campaign Spending Commission; and Corie Tanida, executive director Common Cause Hawaii. Moderated by Eric Cordeiro.
July 18, 2017
Common Cause Hawaii Member Webinar
Common Cause Hawaii Board Chair Elton Johnson and Executive Director Corie Tanida held a webinar for Common Cause Hawaii members to discuss changes in the last year, and challenges we’re facing in this unprecedented and unpredictable climate.
April 15, 2017
Common Cause Hawaii partnered with Hawaii J20 and hundreds of people across Oahu to demand that President Trump release his tax returns. We deserve to know — what’s hiding in President Trump’s tax returns? The American people deserve answers about President Trump’s business dealings and assets. If we let him keep hiding his tax returns, critical questions about his potential conflicts of interest and business ties — or whether he paid taxes at all — will remain unanswered. Honolulu Civil Beat live streamed the event. Video credit: Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat.
March 16, 2017
Briefing on Commissioner Roles: Ethics and Campaign Spending
With the League of Women Voters Hawaii, we hosted an informational briefing for those interested in applying for membership on the Campaign Spending and Ethics Commissions. Former and current commissioners spoke about their responsibilities and duties and the State Judiciary explained the application process. Guest speakers included: Daniel Gluck, Executive Director Hawaii State Ethics Commission, Judge Rey Graulty Chair of the State Ethics Commission, Representative Della Au Bellati former Campaign Spending Commissioner, and Jaye Atiburcio Hawaii State Judiciary. Click here for more information and the application.
January 26, 2017
Civil Cafe: Legislative Session–What Can I Do?
Common Cause Hawaii partnered with Honolulu Civil Beat to host “Legislative Session—What Can I Do?” This panel discussion encouraged civic engagement. The panelists guided attendees through the ins and outs of lawmaking and offered steps to influence positive change in the community.
Panelists included: Beppie Shapiro, League of Women Voters Hawaii; Corie Tanida, Common Cause Hawaii; Keanu Young, Public Access Room. The session was moderated by Chad Blair, Honolulu Civil Beat.
Video Credit: Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat
December 4, 2016
The Hawaii People’s Congress
The Hawaii People’s Congress was a gathering of community leaders, organizations and movements from across Hawaii which want to work together to build a more just, fair and healthy future. Executive Director Corie Tanida was on the “Money In politics” panel discussion with Benjamin Singer of mayday.us. Panelists spoke about money’s influence on politics with a special focus on publicly funded elections. Click here to view the video.
March 17, 2016
Civil Cafe: Apathy and Influence
Civil Beat’s Civil Cafe on Apathy and Influence, was a panel discussion on how good government bills are faring in the legislative session. Panelists included state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, Common Cause Executive Director Carmille Lim, and the League of Women Voters’ Janet Mason. The discussion was moderated by Chad Blair of Civil Beat. Panelists discussed term limits, low voter turnout, campaign finance reform and the practice of legislators sharing their campaign funds with other politicians.
March 4, 2014
Advocacy 102 workshop, Part 1: Order of the day and floor readings
Virginia Beck of the Public Access Room briefed members of Common Cause Hawaii on the Order of the Day and Floor Readings, the role they play during the legislative session, and how to track your bills in this process.
March 19, 2014
Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps speaks at UH
Michael Copps, former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, spoke to students and faculty of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Communications Department.
April 8, 2014
Advocacy 102 workshop, Part 2: Conference Committees
Virginia Beck of the Public Access Room teaches members of Common Cause Hawaii the basics about the mysterious Conference Committees, what they are, and the role they play during this critical and often confusing time.