2013 Grassroot Report: Major Victory for the Aloha Spirit!

Great News! 2013 has been a year of major victory for the Aloha Spirit. Hawaii’s people successfully blocked repeated attempts to promote and create a state-sponsored, race-based nation (formerly, the Akaka Bill). Even “stealth” efforts to promote such a nation were uncovered and exposed by Grassroot Institute. You can be proud that your Grassroot has been at the forefront of opposing this egregious constitutional overreach for more than a decade. And this year…

  • Grassroot waged continuing opposition to the unconstitutional Native Hawaiian Roll. The recent decision by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to pull the plug on its funding for the Roll Commission shows that public awareness and pressure do work!
  • Grassroot alerted a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission on efforts to enlist Presidential action to bypass Congress and sign the Akaka Bill provisions into effect. This resulted in a strong letter from four Commissioners telling President Obama it would be illegal and unconstitutional for him to use his powers for this purpose.
  • Grassroot tracked and helped thwart efforts to bury Akaka Bill language in popular, yet unrelated Congressional bills.

And for all these efforts, the Aloha Spirit is stronger today in Hawaii. Now Hawaiians by blood and Hawaiians at heart have a better chance to live in harmony and achieve advancement on equal footing.


Other Achievements

Other victories include forming a new working coalition to reform the Jones Act (restrictive shipping law) by bringing together policy makers and business leaders, regardless of political party. Several educational events put us in the news and raised the public awareness of the Jones Act. We did the same for School Choice and Educational Reform and are preparing non-partisan measures in the upcoming Legislative session. This approach to a better economy and better society has placed Grassroot in a leadership role for creating networks to achieve results.

And to empower our efforts, this year Grassroot has increased our organizational capacity with the following results.

  • NEWS MEDIA: We have been covered in the news almost every week in some form of local or national media via print, radio or television, thus expanding our platform.
  • TELEVISION PRODUCTION: We have maintained a weekly TV and Internet talk-show in partnership with ThinkTech Hawaii featuring business, political & community leaders, taking Grassroot issues and perspectives to a broad audience.
  • MEMBERSHIP: We have reached out to new communities and members through innovative events, expanding our influence into new constituencies.
  • LEADERSHIP: Thanks to the Board of Directors and Chairman/Founder Richard Rowland, Grassroot has executed an effective leadership succession plan. It has been a privilege to work with Dick’s constant support and guidance as, together, we are leading Grassroot to a new level of impact for Hawaii.


Moving Forward into 2014

With the momentum Grassroot has generated in 2013, we are ready to move forward with greater impact in 2014. Our initiatives include…

  • Better Economy: Bringing down Hawaii’s high cost of living by working toward Jones Act reform and improving fiscal policies affecting families, small businesses and tax-payers.
  • Better Government: Constant vigilance to prevent any revival of a state-sponsored, race-based nation. Overall government transparency and accountability.
  • Better Society: Improved educational choice with greater options for tax-payers and parents. Advancement of Hawaiians by blood and Hawaiians at heart (i.e., all people of Hawaii) through equal protection and opportunity under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.


Critical Need to Prepare Now for 2014

As excited as we are about the strides we’ve made this past year, our sights are set on making a greater impact in 2014, and it is urgent that we prepare now!

The Grassroot team has identified key areas where we can make a real difference, and we seek to raise the financial resources to pursue these areas by December 31st.

Yet, to remain self-sufficient and independent, Grassroot takes no funding from the government. The major source for Grassroot Institute’s modest, but efficient budget, is hard-earned contributions from citizens who care about the future of our nation and our state.

Will you help us raise the funds needed for Grassroot Institute’s 2014 impact?

I want to encourage you to give the most generous gift you can this month to one of the following four initiatives for 2014 noted below. These are important areas where Hawaii needs the leadership and influence of Grassroot Institute.

Please select the area(s) on your heart, give any amount you choose toward our goal, and we will report back to you on our progress throughout the year.

2014 Initiatives



Constitutional solutions to Hawaiian Issues Expose and fight unconstitutional “stealth” attempts to establish a race-based nation (formerly Akaka Bill). Promote unity and economic advancement for all Hawaii’s people.


Jones Act Reform Fight for revitalizing Hawaii’s economy by executing Grassroot Institute’s strategic plan for Jones Act reform.


Education & Youth Promote educational reform through greater school choice options. Educate and equip youth and young adults in the principles of liberty, accountable government and free market economic thinking.


Strength in Numbers Find and Identify 500 new supporters of Grassroot which will increase our strength and our platform





To donate, simply click this link or contact the Grassroot office at 808-591-9193.

On a personal note, I want to say what a thrill and privilege it has been this year to become a servant-leader for Grassroot Institute. I’m proud of the staff team and board and of your partnership in moving Hawaii forward into a greater future.

Together, we can bring about change in Hawaii. As you consider your response to this letter, please know that your generous support of Grassroot Institute is needed for present and future generations. Working together, we will continue to see results. I look forward to hearing back from you.

On behalf of the Grassroot Institute staff and board, may this be a wonderful holiday season for you and your loved ones.


Keli’i Akina, Ph.D.


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