Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hawaii Future Caucus Panel


HONOLULUThe Hawaii Future Caucus (HFC) hosted an informational panel with U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) today at the Hawaii State Capitol to discuss the importance of engaging millennials in the effort to increase government and political participation. HFC also introduced members of its newly formed advisory council and announced its 2014 initiatives.

In addition to Gabbard, panelists were HFC co-chairs Councilmember Stanley Chang and Representative Beth Fukumoto, HFC advisory council member Richard Mizusawa, and Millennial Action Project president and co-founder Steven Olikara with HFC co-chair Representative Takashi Ohno moderating the discussion.

"The panel was a reminder that both here at home and nationally our generation's apathy about government can't be solved through a single venture or a single person," said Fukumoto. "Legislation alone won't improve youth engagement. Our challenge is show fellow millennials that Hawaii's future is theirs to shape if they just get involved."

As part of a collaboration between public and private sectors, HFC formed its advisory council as way to expand participation past legislators. The advisory council is represented by emerging leaders in various industries who work in collaboration with legislative members to provide project direction in their respective expertise.

"The intent of the advisory council was to bring to the table young leaders who were already shaping their individual fields and channel that energy into a bigger vision for Hawaii," said Chang. "Their diverse backgrounds bring unique perspectives on how we approach goals from drafting legislation to finding new ways to communicate with the public."

The current members of the HFC advisory council include: Dennis Ducatt, Troy Hashimoto, Jamila Jarmon, James Larson, Christopher Loo, Kaipo Lum, Richard Mizusawa, Tessa Munekiyo Ng, Kyle Okamura and Jay Raymundo.

HFC also announced its 2014 ventures targeting the up-and coming generation of voters, including an educational campaign on the political process and improving voter turnout.

Later this year, HFC will launch a series of educational videos covering an introduction of federal, state and county government, then expanding to how citizens of all ages can become involved in the public process.
"We want to create an accessible way to reach a younger generation in a medium they're comfortable with," said Ohno. "The videos will share insight into the people, the process and the simple ways that anyone can get involved to make a difference."

Legislation was introduced in both the House of Representatives and Honolulu City Council targeting accessibility to voting. House Bill 2001 proposed to automatically register individuals being issued an identification card or driver's license to vote, with an opt-out option available. Additionally, Resolution 14-26, CD1 passed a full vote of the Honolulu City Council on February 19 urging the Clerk of the City and County of Honolulu to increase the number of early walk-in voting locations. HFC hopes that similar measures will be introduced for consideration in Hawaii's other county councils to promote accessibility throughout the state.

For more information on the Hawaii Future Caucus, please visit

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