“We Plant…We Water…and God Gives the Growth”
We thank you for your prayers, talents, and treasures in keeping our Faith Action (FA) a moving force in our community.
Even with the challenges of these COVID months, it has been a time of growth for our Faith Action organization. We welcome more to join in to do some planting and some watering. (Zoom meetings have definitely been a catalyst for this freeing of ideas, energy, and (travel) time, affording many members to meet and plan more easily.)
Here is how we’ve reached out:
• Our Legislative Committees worked hard in January, February, and March 2020, pushing for a REITs tax, affordable housing, and living wage, but the sudden shut down of the legislature because of COVID stopped our progress. We now prepare for next year.
• Ongoing since February is our hands-on push for the 2020 US Census. Through a grant, we enlisted a Pacific Islander United Church of Christ minister who promoted the importance of the Census and helped groups to learn how to sign-up. The latest Hawaii Census report shows only 60% of Hawaii residents have signed up so far. Have you?
• In April 2020, FA Communications Committee was formed to send out weekly Faith Action information to members. It also trained unit representatives (Steering Committee members) on their role as a key link between the organization and individual unit members.
• May 2020: The HousingNow! Task Force partnered with Senator Stanley Chang to produce “Our Homes: Ending the Housing Crisis,” a 14 episode webinar series on projects and laws that address the affordable housing crises in various U.S. cities and states, and other nations.
•FA contributed to the statewide efforts re: COVID: 1) In April members assembled face shields for hospital workers to address the shortage. 2) In March, FA completed Chinese and Tagalog translations of the intricate CARES Act to make the available funding accessible to non-English speaking residents—an equity issue.
•Long Term Care Task Force held a successful virtual workshop on the Ibasho concept in June. Dr. Emi Kiyota from Japan presented the theory, principles, and practices of Ibasho, a community of elders who actively decide and develop ways they want to lead, live, and contribute to their larger communities. We had a close look at three Ibasho sites in Japan, Philippines, and Nepal. Faith Action members, UH educators, and other community leaders attended. We hope to start an Ibasho on Oahu when circumstances allow.
• Our new Environmental Justice Task Force held its first official meeting in May and meets every other week. It has written down its vision, mission, and values. Currently it is following City & County bills that affect the environment.
• In July, HousingNow! became involved in the Kawainui Street Affordable Housing Project in Kailua, which is getting strong backlash from a group of residents. FA HousingNow! members are working with Kailua resident supporters. FA emphasizes the crucial need for truly affordable housing, not only in Kailua but also island wide. The Honolulu City Council will determine the fate of this project – and future affordable housing projects throughout the island.
• Our Mayoral Accountability Assembly was a high profile public event held in July in two modes—virtual and in person at Central Union Church with everyone practicing social distancing with masks. Six candidates participated. Viewers heard and saw them via Facebook, our website, and Olelo on TV. Our Facebook site alone counted 2,000+ viewers on that day!
Evie Hao, President, Faith Action