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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA Chair Calls Out ‘Undemocratic Behavior’ at Capitol

HONOLULU (May 5, 2023) – Office of Hawaiian Affairs Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey minced no words this morning as she declared that democracy is being seriously undermined in Hawaiʻi, as evidenced by one of the most dysfunctional legislative sessions in recent history.

Lindsey’s firm language comes after every single bill submitted to fund and support OHA died at the Capitol, despite most clearing hurdles right up until the final deadline. This includes funding for vital infrastructure repairs to the Kaka‘ako waterfront due to decades of state neglect, and a substantial attempt to catch up with the state’s still underpaid Public Land Trust obligations.

“With every passing day, the state’s debt to the Hawaiian people continues to grow,” Lindsey said today.

The exceedingly rare “cattle call” session on Friday—which failed to resolve numerous issues that then had to be held over until Monday—was only the latest visible sign of what Lindsey called “one of the most dysfunctional legislative sessions in recent history.”

But Lindsey, and OHA, are resolutely pressing forward, not looking back. She said “we will never give up on our dream of building residential housing” at Hakuone, but that OHA will develop what it can in the meantime. More importantly, Lindsey said OHA and the lāhui will not relent in its fight to be heard at the Capitol. “We will certainly not allow our voices to be silenced,” she concluded.

Watch Chair Hulu’s remarks at the OHA press conference


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