2021 strategy for change, request for help

After many conversations with advocates and friends across the archipelago and across the entire “issue spectrum,” the Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI), will be embarking on a new more aggressive “strategy for change” in 2021.

In short, we will be proactively engaging in direct communication with the constituents of key policymakers who are preventing progressive public policy initiatives from moving forward.

This will be done via targeted social media and “district-specific” direct mail.

As is too often the case, individual legislators who occupy key positions, block or kill important initiatives by refusing to schedule an item for a hearing and/or avoiding an actual vote by utilizing the committee strategy of bill deferral.

Legislators are most sensitive to those constituents who live and vote in their district. Our goal is to deliver compelling messages directly to these constituents via targeted social media and direct mail. The intent of the messaging will be to educate these constituents on the issue and motivate them to contact their legislators directly.

If a legislator is blocking a discussion on an important issue by refusing to schedule it for a public hearing or killing initiatives without a public vote – their constituents deserve to be informed of this in a timely manner. Likewise, if a legislator is pushing to reduce worker rights, cut social services or weaken environmental protections – their constituents deserve to know this as well.

Purchasing targeted social media is relatively inexpensive and a budget of only $500-$1,000 focused on one issue and one or two zip codes will go a long way. To design, print, and mail a targeted post-card to a legislative district cost $3,500 to $5,000 but mailers have a longer shelf life, can hold more information, and are guaranteed to reach every single home in the district.

To make this happen, we need your help. Our goal is to raise $36,000 via online contributions prior to January 1. If you can help today with an online contribution it would be hugely appreciated. Whether the amount is $20, $200, or $2,000 all are welcome and much needed. https://secure.everyaction.com/5LWqPJUnuU-BFdjqy9ccbQ2

Or visit: https://ponohawaiiinitiative.org

Because PHI is a 501c4 nonprofit involved in education, advocacy and in electoral politics – contributions are NOT Tax Deductible. It goes without saying that we are hopeful that the impact of constituent outreach made in 2021 surrounding issues, will carry over to the elections of 2022.

PHI runs on a very tight budget. During the end of the year, the budget is inevitably even tighter, so your help today and prior to January first is important. Contributions may be made online or by mail at:Pono Hawaii Initiative, P.O. Box 871, Honolulu, HI 96808.

In the interest of full transparency: The entire 2020 annual PHI budget was approximately $42,000. The majority of funds are used for communications, research, admin support, legal, software, email support, and travel (pre-Covid inter-island). As the Executive Director, I was paid approximately $17,000 by PHI during this past year. I love what I do and am thankful for the opportunity to be able to do this work.

Many of you have given in the past to PHI, and also have made contributions to our endorsed candidates and related causes – Please know your help is valuable and deeply appreciated.

PHI will continue its aggressive advocacy in support of positive progressive legislation at the State and County levels during the coming year. To increase the effectiveness and strength of our collective voices, your help, and active participation is essential.

To all who offer help and support in so many ways, please know that my door is always open should you wish to talk or collaborate on projects of mutual interest. Of course “my door is always open” is a metaphor for “call, text, email or Zoom anytime” 😉


Gary Hooser – http://www.garyhooser.com
Executive Director
Pono Hawaii Initiative

Budget Note: The target amount to be raised, $36,000 will be allocated as follows: $10,000 toward PHI’s basic first-quarter expenses and $26,000 for the target communications described above – ($10,000 for a strong and targeted social media push and $16,000 for at least 4 targeted district mailers).

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.) www.hapahi.org 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) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “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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