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Accountability

Testimony — HB103 HD1, relating to emergency powers

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs on Feb. 11, 2021. ______________ To: House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Rep. Mark M. Nakashima, Chair Rep. Scott Z. Matayoshi, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of

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GASB urged to reject proposals that would normalize misleading government accounting practices

The following was submitted by the Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board on Feb. 10, 2021, regarding two proposals that would interfere with public oversight and understanding of a state’s true financial situation.  Established in 1984, the GASB is the independent, private-sector

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Add checks to power of governor during emergencies

Photo by Charley Myers This commentary was first published, with a different headline, on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ________________ After almost a year spent in a state of emergency, it’s time for the people of Hawaii to get a bigger say in the state’s COVID-19 response. Gov. David Ige has

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Why we issued a report urging reform of Hawaii’s emergency powers

The following is a slightly edited version of Keli’i Akina’s foreword to the new Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report “Lockdown Versus Liberty: How Hawaii’s Experience in 2020-21 Demonstrates the Need to Revise the State’s Emergency Powers,” released officially on Jan. 18, 2021. ________________ It is a sobering experience to sit ringside at a

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Transparency in government is critical at all times

Editor’s note: These are remarks that Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, delivered April 21, 2020, during a webinar titled, “Democracy in peril: Upholding government transparency during a time of crisis.” He was joined by Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, and Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat

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Keeping watch in Hawaii

This article was originally published in the “Proof Positive” section of Midweek on Sept. 16, 2020. _______________ Few things demonstrate the need for government watchdog groups like a statewide emergency. At the nonpartisan Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, our small but productive staff began the year preparing for another legislative session. Our

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You can’t manage what you don’t measure

One thing the state has been doing mostly well throughout this coronavirus crisis has been to report promptly Hawaii’s COVID-19 daily cases.  Most people probably learn about those numbers through the news headlines or their social media feeds. They are valuable to know.  But what if those are the only

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Johnny Miro gets the lowdown on Hawaii’s lack of COVID-19 transparency

Radio host Johnny Miro of H Hawaii Media interviewed Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President Keli’i Akina on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 about Gov. David Ige’s lack of COVID-19 transparency. Stations belonging to the H Hawaii Media network include KORL Oldies 101.1 FM, K-Rock 101.5 FM, Retro 97.1 FM, Nash Icon 107.5 FM and Shaka 96.7

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Lots of rules, not enough clarity

On Wednesday, I wanted to take a walk. Unfortunately, it turned out to be much more complicated than I thought it would. That’s because that same day, Hawaii News Now reported that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in his continuing attempts to stymie the spread of COVID-19, was about to issue a

Read More →

Akina, Perry discuss Hawaii’s ‘state secrets’ 

Gov. David Ige’s secretive decision-making during the coronavirus crisis has caught the attention of journalists throughout Hawaii, including Michael W. Perry, the state’s most popular radio personality, who yesterday, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2020, interviewed Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President Keli’i Akina on his “Perry & The Posse” program.   Hear

Read More →

Testimony — HB103 HD1, relating to emergency powers

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Hawaii Senate Committee on Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs on Feb. 11, 2021. ______________ To: House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Rep. Mark M. Nakashima, Chair Rep. Scott Z. Matayoshi, Vice Chair From: Grassroot Institute of

Read More →

GASB urged to reject proposals that would normalize misleading government accounting practices

The following was submitted by the Joe Kent, executive vice president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board on Feb. 10, 2021, regarding two proposals that would interfere with public oversight and understanding of a state’s true financial situation.  Established in 1984, the GASB is the independent, private-sector

Read More →

Add checks to power of governor during emergencies

Photo by Charley Myers This commentary was first published, with a different headline, on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021, in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. ________________ After almost a year spent in a state of emergency, it’s time for the people of Hawaii to get a bigger say in the state’s COVID-19 response. Gov. David Ige has

Read More →

Why we issued a report urging reform of Hawaii’s emergency powers

The following is a slightly edited version of Keli’i Akina’s foreword to the new Grassroot Institute of Hawaii report “Lockdown Versus Liberty: How Hawaii’s Experience in 2020-21 Demonstrates the Need to Revise the State’s Emergency Powers,” released officially on Jan. 18, 2021. ________________ It is a sobering experience to sit ringside at a

Read More →

Transparency in government is critical at all times

Editor’s note: These are remarks that Keli’i Akina, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, delivered April 21, 2020, during a webinar titled, “Democracy in peril: Upholding government transparency during a time of crisis.” He was joined by Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, and Brian Black, executive director of the Civil Beat

Read More →

Keeping watch in Hawaii

This article was originally published in the “Proof Positive” section of Midweek on Sept. 16, 2020. _______________ Few things demonstrate the need for government watchdog groups like a statewide emergency. At the nonpartisan Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, our small but productive staff began the year preparing for another legislative session. Our

Read More →

You can’t manage what you don’t measure

One thing the state has been doing mostly well throughout this coronavirus crisis has been to report promptly Hawaii’s COVID-19 daily cases.  Most people probably learn about those numbers through the news headlines or their social media feeds. They are valuable to know.  But what if those are the only

Read More →

Johnny Miro gets the lowdown on Hawaii’s lack of COVID-19 transparency

Radio host Johnny Miro of H Hawaii Media interviewed Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President Keli’i Akina on Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020 about Gov. David Ige’s lack of COVID-19 transparency. Stations belonging to the H Hawaii Media network include KORL Oldies 101.1 FM, K-Rock 101.5 FM, Retro 97.1 FM, Nash Icon 107.5 FM and Shaka 96.7

Read More →

Lots of rules, not enough clarity

On Wednesday, I wanted to take a walk. Unfortunately, it turned out to be much more complicated than I thought it would. That’s because that same day, Hawaii News Now reported that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in his continuing attempts to stymie the spread of COVID-19, was about to issue a

Read More →

Akina, Perry discuss Hawaii’s ‘state secrets’ 

Gov. David Ige’s secretive decision-making during the coronavirus crisis has caught the attention of journalists throughout Hawaii, including Michael W. Perry, the state’s most popular radio personality, who yesterday, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2020, interviewed Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President Keli’i Akina on his “Perry & The Posse” program.   Hear

Read More →