Civics = Empowerment & Engagement

An activated and engaged community has the opportunity to make real change from the ground-up every day. However, many citizens are often paralyzed by the first steps to getting involved with politics. It takes time, it takes courage, it can be uncomfortable – but Surfrider O‘ahu is here to help you break down some of the power structures that stop us from creating the world we want to live in. This page is designed to empower you to get involved and make a difference. This page is designed to guide you through some of the initial steps of engagement and help you follow along with specific pieces of legislation that Surfrider and its partners are working on. Join the movement, create an empowered community.

Action Alerts

Oahu Foam Ban needs your help….

and here’s how to do it. 


  1. Step 1: Currently Bill 71 is stuck in the committee Public Works, Infrastructure & Sustainability & chaired by Council Member Carol Fukunaga. She needs to hear from you that Bill 71 has a right to be heard publicly! Call her at 808-768-5006 & Email at
  2. CC other council members, especially CM Pine ( who introduced this bill with the strong intent of reducing our waste on island.
  3. Write one to two sentences about why you think it is important for Honolulu county to eliminate polystyrene foam! Use your personal experience and feel free to use some the talking points appropriate to your story that you can find by clicking the sample testimony buttons below.

Example: “Aloha Chair Fukunaga & members of the council, my name is _____________ and I would like to urge you to please hear Bill 71 in your committee as soon as possible. As an avid lover of the ocean I am greatly concerned with the amount plastic that we are seeing on our beaches that also harms our marine ecosystems. Polystyrene foam is one of the most common items I see and it should be our role as an island community to be the leader in plastic prevention, not cleanup. Our future generations depend on us to make a sustainable world a reality now. Mahalo for your time and consideration.”


State Level Engagement Steps:


Step 1: Create your account

Create an account on the Hawai‘i State Capitol Website using the button to the right. Once created you can log-in to find your Senators & Representatives (use the address dialogue box in the top right), follow bills (be alerted via email of hearing dates and status updates), and submit written testimony online. Once you are logged in you will see the three buttons in the middle of the page light up orange. These are your most important tools. Using directions from the public access room website (second button) is also an amazing tool. The info-graphic below also shows you the 8 simple steps for submitting testimony in less than 5 minutes.

Step 2: Following Bills

Follow along with some of our priority bills using the buttons below. You can add these bills to your hearing notifications once you are logged into the capitol website and you will get email reminders. Once a bill has a hearing it will open the opportunity to submit online testimony which is the step to follow below.

We will add bills for the 2018 Legislative session here when they become available

Step 3: Submitting Testimony

Submitting online testimony can take as little as 2 minutes. If you only have time you can simply click on the specific bill and the submit testimony button. Your email will already be filled in and even just clicking “support” or “oppose” makes a difference. The more people chime in on one side, the more public opinion will influence the final vote. Take it a step further and write in your opinions in the box or attach a longer document. All of this will be available as public testimony. Below you will find documents that discuss this process and links to sample testimony you can download to use as a template.

Sample Testimony Foam Bills

Sample Testimony Soil Carbon Bills