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Advocacy priorities

Building the economy of the future

We believe that a community’s well-being is tied to the health of its economy. We will advocate for paths that lead to sustainable communities and healthy natural and social environments for our keiki.


A keiki’s living environment impacts their ability to learn. Many families are struggling to survive as the price of housing increases year after year. Every child deserves a home where they can grow and thrive.

Finding a Home Shouldn’t Be a Burden

Housing is a Hawai‘i family’s greatest expense, averaging $1,362/month for a 2 bedroom apartment.1

57% of Hawai‘i renters and 30% of homeowners were housing burdened in 2015, meaning they spent at least 30% of their income on housing.2

Hawai‘i’s rate of homelessness is nearly 3X the national average.3

How we support housing Hawai‘i’s families:

  • Delivering 1,350 new dwelling units, including 456 kama‘āina housing units priced for local families, over the past 5 years in O‘ahu's urban core.
  • Working on plans to deliver 8,000 to 10,000 new homes in the urban core of O‘ahu over the next 10-20 years with the support of community, development, and government partners.

Food systems

Native Hawaiians have a proud tradition of growing our own food with an agricultural system that once sustained a population estimated to be as large as 1 million people. In recent years, our state has seen a resurgence in sustainable and culturally grounded agriculture, food distribution and consumption. We believe that supporting strong, local food systems will power economic growth, increase Hawai‘i’s resilience, and improve the health of our lāhui.

Growing a better Hawai‘i

Hawai‘i spends as much as $3 billion a year to import 90 percent of its food.4

Hawai‘i has an estimated 7,300 farmers across the state, with only 6% having a net income greater than $50,000.5

When schools serve local food, 33% of students eat more fruits and vegetables.6

How we support local food systems:

  • Managing over 181,000 acres of agriculture-zoned land, of which over 68,000 acres are actively managed for agricultural uses through 897 leases.7
  • Urging and encouraging the establishment of new farming operations on our properties by hosting and funding the Mahi‘ai Mash-Up contest to provide farmers and agricultural producers much needed business support and funding. Winning businesses are dedicated to increasing food production in Hawai‘i.
  • Advocating for legislation to support farm-to-school programs, educational opportunities for Hawai‘i’s farmers, and investment in agriculture, such as legislation to extend the Important Agricultural Lands Tax Credit and to create an agricultural production tax credit.
  • Investing in the next generation of farmers for a successful career in agriculture through a partnership with GoFarm Hawai‘i, a farmer training program that educates, trains, and supports aspiring farmers statewide.

1 Aloha United Way. “ALICE: A Study of Financial hardship in Hawai‘i.” (2017): 29, 63.
2 Ibid.
3 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.”
4 Lyte, B. L. (2017, December 17). With pineapple and sugar production gone, Hawaii weighs its agricultural future. The Washington Post.
5 Finnerty, R. F. (2020, June 15). Expanding Local Agriculture Into Major Economic Industry Poses Challenges. Hawaii Public Radio.
6 National Farm to School Network. (2020, May). The Benefits of Farm to School.
7 Kamehameha Schools. (2017). ʻĀina Plan.

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