PRESS RELEASE           

January 25, 2021                                          

Joshua Wisch, 808.522.5903 & 808.542.4089


The ACLU Of Hawai‘i Announces Virtual Advocacy Training And 2021 Legislative Priorities


Honolulu, Hawai‘i: Coinciding with the start of Hawaiis legislative session last Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU of Hawai‘i) has opened registration for its 2021 Advocacy Day, which is being held virtually this year to better serve, equip and train people across the state who want to be heard at the Legislature.

ACLU of Hawai‘i Advocacy Training

Date: February 6th

Time: 10am-11:30am HST

Location: Online, Zoom


“Every year, the ACLU of Hawai‘i advocates for groundbreaking legislation that pushes our state forward,” said ACLU of Hawai‘i Field Organizer Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander. “We're working to make sure our legislators are hearing from the real experts, people directly impacted by the criminal legal system, and crafting policy that not only respects our right to survive but thrive in Hawai‘i. This training is one important piece of ensuring people take their seat at the table.”

At the event, ACLU of Hawaiʻi staff members will equip constituents with the tools to have constructive conversations with their elected representatives, highlight some of the most pressing issues facing the state, and discuss critical priorities for the 2021 legislative session, including:

SMART JUSTICE – The ACLU of Hawaiʻi and local advocates will be holding the Public Safety Department accountable for its failure to provide comprehensive reentry planning services, which it is required to do by law. The ACLU is also joining calls for a moratorium on plans for a costly new jail. 

REIMAGINING POLICING – The ACLU of Hawai‘i and local advocates will ask lawmakers to move to end systemic racism in policing, particularly as it impacts Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Black communities. The ACLU is urging the Legislature to ensure transparency, accountability, and the demilitarization of law enforcement. This includes supporting a bill allowing victims of police violence to recover money damages in state court, and no longer allowing law enforcement officers to hide behind the legal doctrine of "qualified immunity." 

DECRIMINALIZING POVERTYThe ACLU of Hawai‘i and local advocates will move to reform Hawaii’s system of cash bail. We will oppose any funding cuts to social services, which are crucial in getting families through this economic crisis, and will support the decriminalization of quality-of-life offenses.

“The Legislature plays a critical role in holding government entities accountable, including the police, and in shaping public narratives surrounding our communities’ most pressing problems,” ACLU of Hawai‘i Policy Director Mandy Fernandes said of the organization’s legislative priorities. “2021 presents lawmakers with the opportunity to address the myriad ways COVID-19 has exacerbated existing inequities in Hawai‘i. Important changes do not have to be expensive. The measures we are fighting for this year are, on the whole, cost-neutral or cost-saving, and as lawmakers consider the budget we implore them to critically examine the ways that existing institutions and systems – like our criminal legal system – drain state resources and make our communities less safe.”



The mission of the Hawai‘i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.