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
Follow current Oʻahu legislation that Surfrider is supporting
Take the first step in exercising your voice as a citizen of Oʻahu
Upcoming Opportunities to get involved!
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, all Surfrider events are currently virtual, and the legislature in Hawaiʻi is currently closed until the 2021 session. Check out our calendar for virtual events coming up!
For 2021, our legislative priorities at Surfrider include composting, beach protection and access, water quality, and climate change. If you have ideas or want to get involved email us!
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 info-graphic below also shows you the 8 simple steps for submitting testimony in less than 5 minutes.
Step 2: Following Bills
When priority bills are decided for the 2021 session, they will be listed here. Add these bills to your hearing notifications and get email reminders about their progress!
City & County Bills:
1. Bill 2: This bills helps to modernize urban spaces in Honolulu, and add more space for trees. We are supporting this bill to add carbon sinks to urban Honolulu in the fight against climate change!
2. Bill 65: This bill is very important in codifying the City's Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency's job to move us forward on our environmental goals. The newest version includes language that ensures the City commitments to a 100% renewable fleet by 2035 and 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality by 2045 are clear, among other important steps for the Office in this direction. Check out the Office's webpage for more information!
These bills has just passed the third hearing and will continue on, check back here for the next hearing dates!
We will continue adding bills for the 2021 Legislative session and state bills below as they become available!
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! Who 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 lawmakers office a call beforehand.
Step 4: Staying Updated
If you want to get regular updates about city council hearings and important information, click this link!
2021 Surfrider Supported Bills Of Priority
coming soon to a website near you
Inspiration From A Recent Success Story: Bill 40
In the winter of last year mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law the strongest and most comprehensive plastic bans in the country! This is a huge win for Oʻahu, and sets a precedent that many states are bound to follow. For more information on what Bill 40 entails, see our FAQ!
[From left to right] Surfrider Chair Ray Aivazian, former Hawaiʻi Regional Manager Stuart Coleman, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Surfrider Oʻahu Chapter Coordinator Doorae Shin, and Beach Cleanup Coordinator Ileana Ing celebrating bill 40 becoming law!