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Founded in 1996, Faith Action for Community Equity (Faith Action) has been committed to listening to the concerns of its members to identify the issues that will be addressed by the organization.  Our organizing work, includes issue research, education of our members and the wider community and action, has improved the conditions for all the residents of Hawaii. Our primary focus is on housing, long-term care, health care, jobs, and economic development, public education, and safety, immigration, and transportation equity.  In each of these areas, Faith Action has experienced successes locally and statewide.



  • The Faith Action HousingNow! Committee successfully passed SB 301 through the both Senate and House - a bill to discontinue a tax loophole for Hawaii Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) which would prevent millions of tax dollars annually from leaving the state. However, the bill did not receive Gov. Ige's final approval (2019)

  • The Faith Action Housing Now! Committee mobilized the legislature to pass HB 2748, otherwise known as the "Bob Nakata Bill" named after the Reverend Bob Nakata who was the Co-Chair of the committee. This bill appropriated $200 million to the State Rental Housing Revolving Fund  (2017)

  • Working closely with other housing and policy organizations, persuaded City Council member Kymberly Pine to pass Bill 58, which abolished the option of in lieu fees for housing developers. Abolishing this option eliminated a loophole for developers to opt out of requirements for developing affordable housing, as required for luxury developers  (2017) 

  • Influenced the passage of six affordable housing bills signed by the Governor  (2016)

  • Built a shipping container tiny home that traveled around the island of Oahu for 5 months, inspiring the passage of the Accessory Dwelling Unit law and the creation of Hale Mauliola homeless village at Sand Island  (2015)

  • Hosted a Housing Summit at the State Capitol with over 200 stakeholders in attendance  (2014)

  • Won the creation of mandatory court-supervised mediation before a bank is allowed to foreclose – the most comprehensive law protecting Hawaii's homeowners from foreclosure in the state’s history  (2011)

  • Won an agreement with Bank of America for enforcement of face-to-face loan modification meetings in Hawaii  (2011)

  • Secured $5,000,000 in essential repairs for Mayor Wright Housing, including the restoration of hot water  (2011)

  • Collaborated with leaders at Kuhio Park Terrace to complete the Request for Proposal (“RFP”) for its redevelopment, convincing the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (“HPHA”) to include criteria guaranteeing 1 to 1 unit replacement to preserve all affordable units  (2009)

  • Won an agreement between the State of Hawaii, Carmel Partners & Kukui Gardens Corporation, securing eighty-two million dollars to ensure the long-term affordability of 800 plus units at Kukui Gardens. Also acquired funds for Kukui Gardens from the 2009 Stimulus Package after some of the original funding was lost in the economic downturn  (2006-2009)

  • Created a residents’ organization in the City’s affordable housing complexes, working with residents to preserve the affordability of the 2,300 plus units in perpetuity while creating legal avenues for residents to have a say in any transfers of ownership (2008-2009)

  • Increased the percentage of the conveyance tax going into the State Housing Trust Fund from 30% to 50% in 2006.  Assisted in further increasing it to 65% (2007)

  • Joined Partners in Care to increase the overall Homeless Service budget in the State of Hawaii by $10 million  (2006 and 2007)

  • Changed the zoning restrictions on Ohana Units to allow larger spaces to be converted into housing for relatives  (2006)

  • Crafted a resident hiring plan to enforce HUD Section 3 for work in connection to the Kalihi Valley Homes renovation  (1999)

  • Obtained the commitment of $47 million from the Housing and Community Development Corporation of Hawaii (HCDCH) in order to renovate Kalihi Valley Homes (KVH), including emergency health and safety repairs such as fixing the sewer lines  (1997-1999)


Immigration Reform

  • The Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform (HCIR) secured the passage of SR 18 which represents the first formal statement from our Legislature calling on USCIS to extend basic immigration services to Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island since these services were discontinued nearly one decade ago (2016)

  • Organized “Know Your Rights” workshops for immigrants on Hawaii Island, Maui, and Oahu

  • Conducted workshops for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants

  • Enacted resident tuition fees at the University of Hawaii for DREAMers (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors)

  • Worked with State of Hawaii congress members to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) legislation in the Senate and we continue to work with our elected representatives to bring a vote for CIR Legislation with an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented persons already in the country to the House floor

  • Sponsored reception for Jose' Antonio Vargas following the screening of his film “Documented” at the Honolulu Film Festival

  • Worked with the State Legislature to pass Safe Drivers Act.  The bill passed the Senate Transportation and International Affairs Committee and Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committee but did not pass the Judiciary and Labor Committee  (2014)


Health Care

  • Faith Action's Long Term Care Task Force worked closely with Caring Across Generations to establish the Kupuna Caregivers Program legislation, which made national news for being the first of its kind in the nation. This program, Act 102, provides an allowance of $70 per day for caregivers to fund care-giving services for aging family members so they would not have to leave their jobs or cut their hours  (2017)

  • Successfully fought for passage of a bill through the 2009 Legislature requiring more transparency regarding financial liabilities and legal issues from health insurers contracting with the State for Medicaid services. Coordinated a veto override in the process  (2009)

  • Held two Health Care Summits that brought together major healthcare stakeholders to share their concerns and solutions. The 2008 Summit resulted in the release of $25 million to keep troubled hospitals afloat and an eight (8) million increase in State Medicaid funding  (2008 and 2009)

  • Coordinated community Health Care Forums in Kalihi, Kailua, and Kahaluu to inform and educate our members and the public about Hawaii’s health care crisis  (2008-2009)

  • Persuaded Sen. Daniel Inouye, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, and Rep. Mazie Hirono to sign on to the principles of the healthcare reform at our Accountability Assembly  (2008)

  • Convinced Legislative leaders to hold a special informational hearing  investigating the State’s contracting process with, and the adequacy of, the private insurers for the QUEST Expanded Access Program  (2008)

  • Drove passage of Hawaii Prescription Drug Plus program through the Legislature which provides discount medicine for up to three hundred thousand (300,000) individuals  (2004)

  • Persuaded the Legislature to form a Joint Legislative Committee for Long-Term Care and to conduct an actuarial study for Long Term health care insurance in 1999, ultimately resulting in passage of a Long-Term Care bill through the Legislature (2003)


Jobs/Economic Development

  • Convinced law makers to raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, which went into effect in 2018.

  • Supported Local 5 in their contract negotiations with Waikiki hotels (2010)

  • Joined the Community Alliance Against Sexual Harassment in pressuring the Army to investigate sexual harassment allegations at the Hale Koa Hotel, resulting in a favorable settlement and improved working conditions for employees at the hotel (2007)

  • Worked to support binding contracts for six thousand plus (6,000+) Waikiki hotel workers  (2006)

  • Helped settle the longstanding labor dispute at Turtle Bay  (2005-2006)

  • Moved the Department of Motor Vehicles and Licensing to provide drivers licensing exam translations of seven primary languages with supporting legislation ensuring that the Department of Transportation offers these translations for our ethnically diverse population statewide. This enabled many immigrants who need driver’s licenses to find work  (2000)

  • Brought about the City Council passage of an ordinance for First Source Hiring giving priority in hiring to qualified local residents  (1999)

  • Conducted a Certified Nursing Assistant training program for Pacific Island and immigrant Filipino women  (1999-2004)


Public Safety

  • Initiated new community policing efforts in Kalihi Valley, Waipahu, Village Park, Kailua and Niu Valley resulting in drug house closures  (1998-2003)

  • Launched the FACE Youth Listening Project and formed a FACE Youth Action Team to develop youth leaders and address their concerns in 2002. Their work encouraged Governor Lingle to release thirty-five (35) million dollars in for health and safety improvements in public schools, specifically addressing restroom cleanliness and campus security  (2004)

  • Successfully advocated for the acceleration of work on traffic control improvements at the notoriously dangerous H1/Waiau interchange by one year  (1999)

  • Secured $500,000 for the construction of a crosswalk and traffic signal at the intersection of Pali Highway and Jack Lane, the site of multiple pedestrian fatalities  (1999)

  • Convinced the police to increase patrols near Waipahu and Campbell High Schools  (1999)

  • Assured the passage of City Council ordinances to ban tobacco advertising within 1000 feet of public schools and liquor advertising within five hundred (500) feet of schools  (1998-1999)

  • Secured a two (2) million dollar appropriation for forty (40) new green-roofed bus shelters island-wide, particularly in Kalihi, Waipahu, and the Leeward area  (1997-1998)

  • Won the establishment of enforceable priority seating on TheBus for seniors and the disabled  (1996)


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