CIVICS = EMPOWERMENT & ENGAGEMENT
This page is designed to empower and guide you to become part of an activated and engaged community. Throughout the page are ways that you can:
Learn how to submit testimony for active bills
(Update for 2021 session: use these instructions for virtual state testimony)
Follow the current Oʻahu legislation that Surfrider is supporting
Take the first step in exercising your voice as a citizen of Oʻahu
Water quality and cesspools – Passage of HB2195, HB2088 and HB1806. These three bills will work in parallel to provide critical financial incentives to homeowners and business owners to upgrade cesspools.
Coasts and Shorelines – Passage of HB1672, SB2295, HB2229, & SB3330 bills that create additional mechanisms for coastal protection.
Plastics and Waste Management – Passage of HB1644 & SB2998 bills that create additional mechanisms for coastal protection.
Red Hill – Passage of SB2600 & SB3124 bills that create additional mechanisms for coastal protection
For more information on our statewide efforts, check out the Surfrider Foundation Hawai’i Region policy page
State Level Engagement Steps:
STEP 1: CREATE YOUR ACCOUNT
Creating an account on the Hawai‘i State Capitol website is easy! Once created you can log in to find your Senators & Representatives, follow bills, and submit written testimony. The infographic below also shows you the 8 simple steps for submitting testimony.
STEP 2: FOLLOWING BILLS
Add the bills from the top of the page to your hearing notifications and get email reminders about their progress!
STEP 3: SUBMITTING TESTIMONY
Submitting online testimony can take as little as 2 minutes! Clicking "support" or "oppose" can make a difference for a bill, but take it a step further and explain your opinions or attach a longer document. Submitting testimony can show how engaged the community is on any issue, and be the deciding factor in decision-making!
Tips for Creating Powerful Testimony
Written and In-Person
- Know the subject matter! Read up on the issue - and the legislation in question - in order to make comments that are relevant and meaningful.
- Know your audience! Whom are you trying to influence with your comments? Emphasize aspects of your position that will resonate with the target group or lawmaker.
- Know the rules! If speaking at a public hearing, make sure you're aware of the procedure and any speaking rules. Check websites or give the lawmaker's office a call beforehand.
Local Policy: City and County of Honolulu Bills
The City and County have a separate process for passing bills than the state level. You can follow the link below, select the appropriate hearing, select the bill or measure you want to testify on, and indicate whether you support or oppose the bill.
The city council operates year-round, as opposed to the four-month-long state legislative session.
Check out the Honolulu City Council website to look up your council member, submit testimony, watch past hearings, and look up other measures.
For more information on current and past climate measures, check out the City and County’s Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency webpage covering current and past Bills and Ordinances.