An impetus for change – Pono Hawaii Initiative

It is critically important that we act now to move the politics & policy needle forward here in Hawaii. To keep the momentum going requires action, leadership and focus.  

The Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI) has been formed to do just that.  PHI is focused solely on supporting policy and political change in Hawaii and in fact moving that needle over the coming 18 months.  Our core values are driven by the need to increase the level of economic, environmental and social justice that exists in Hawaii.  The status quo is unacceptable: Affordable housing is an oxymoron, our coastal waters and mountain streams are in constant peril of increasing degradation and general inequality exists at far too many levels.

In addition to identifying, encouraging and supporting new candidates for public office, working with its community partners, PHI will also be working on identifying and supporting new ballot initiatives at the County level.  If our county and state legislators refuse to pass meaningful legislation, the people at the County level have the power to do it directly.  Affordable housing, solid waste, industrial agriculture and “good government” issues are all on the table for discussion.

Tomorrow, Thursday June 15th from 5 to 7pm at Cafe Julia on Oahu we will be hosting an informal reception to introduce the Pono Hawaii Initiative and hopefully engage your interest and support.  Please come if you can.  We are planning similar events in the near future for Kauai, Maui and Hawaii Island.

Please.  Join me in this effort. I am a volunteer and we need more volunteers.

And yes we also need your financial support. This is a hard ask, but it must be done and the cause is a righteous one – Achieving positive tangible change in the next 18 months. We have modest administrative and operating costs that are involved in operating any organizations and I am asking if you can help a little. 

Please give online today if you can.  Whether it is $25, $50, $100 or $1,000 all are needed and greatly appreciated.  My hope is to announce during tomorrows event that we have raised sufficient funds to pay for our start-up costs and our first month of operations (approximately $8,000 total).  We then hope to build our support month to month as we move toward our 2018 goals.

Mahalo to all who have already given.   Your help in making these initial “founding contributions” large and small, is much needed and greatly appreciated.

New political leaders dedicated to putting people and the planet first are stepping forward and making the commitment to run for public office.  New programs such as H.A.P.A.’s Kuleana Academy are providing education and training.  

A diverse network of advocacy organizations representing economic, environmental and social justice interests are coming together unified both in their disappointment in the existing political environment and in their optimism for the future and possibility of change.

We can do this.  

Please help, today if you can.


Gary Hooser
Volunteer Executive Director
Pono Hawaii Initiative

More info about me –

Note1: Pono Hawaii Initiative is a 501c4 nonprofit but contributions are NOT tax deductible (primarily because we will entirely focused on supporting policy change and endorsing candidates).  Note: Regular political donations to candidates are also not tax deductible.

Note2: The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) is a 501c3 nonprofit and not permitted under federal law from actively supporting political candidates and is limited in its ability to support specific legislative initiatives.  Thus the need for a new and separate organization such as PHI.  H.A.P.A. continues to play an invaluable role in support of educating the public on policy, general advocacy and in educating and training emerging political leaders via the Kuleana Academy .  

Though each organization is “complementary” and in general shares a common world view of putting people and the planet first, each has a totally separate Board of Directors, totally separate administrative structure and totally separate budget and fundraising programs.  I am the volunteer President of the Board for H.A.P.A., and the volunteer Executive Director for PHI.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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