Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hawaii Legislature receives top honors for Sergeant-at-Arms and website

Our very own Kevin Kuroda was honored this week for his work as the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House of Representatives. He received the 2012 Legislative Staff Achievement Award from the professional organization National Legislative Services and Security Association (NLSSA), affiliated with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Kevin has been with the House of Representatives for nearly 16 years. Prior to becoming the Sergeant-at-Arms in 2003, he was the chief clerk for the House Finance Committee. Kevin has been a member of the NLSSA since 2003 and has held the position of chair of region one, which is comprised of western states, and, most recently, as treasurer of the executive committee.

"I am honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers through this award from the NCSL and NLSAA," said Kevin, "but we wouldn’t be able to provide the necessary services and a safe and orderly working environment at the Hawaii House of Representatives without the help of staff members at the House Sergeant-at-Arms. They’re very much a part of helping make our institution function effectively and professionally."

Also this week, the Hawaii State Legislature received the Online Democracy Award at the NCSL's 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago for having the top legislative website in the nation that makes democracy user-friendly.

The website was redesigned last year and includes a guide for first-time users, feature explanations, citizens’ guide, legislative glossary, and easy and accessible links, such as “Submit online testimony” and “Find your legislator” buttons. The panel of judges also noted the website’s easy-to-use layout, with frequently-used items in the center, search functions on the left, and navigation tools on the right. 

In a press release sent out by the NCSL, Speaker Calvin Say is quoted saying, “As a state comprised of islands, access to legislative information online is critical, and encourages greater participation by the public in the legislative process. We are so proud of our team in being recognized through the Online Democracy award.  Their excellent work in redesigning the website promotes greater openness and transparency.   With rapid changes in technology, we understand that people are constantly seeking information in new ways, and this website has now become an invaluable tool for lawmakers, staff, the media and citizens of all ages." 

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