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Times change, political leaders change, but the American Civil Liberties Union mission remains the same: no matter who is in charge, we’re here to protect and advance civil rights as guaranteed by the U.S. and Hawai‘i State Constitutions. We are non-profit, non-partisan, and do not accept government funding. The ACLU of Hawai‘i was established in […]

Column: Hawaii’s asset-forfeiture reforms go long way to restore public trust in police

Originally published in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, 5/5/19 By Mandy Fernandes and Carl Bergquist Hawaii’s Legislature has passed House Bill 748, a bill to reform the civil asset forfeiture program, and Gov. David Ige should sign it. Originally designed in the 1970s by the federal government to seize property from organized crime and cartels, asset […]

BILL TO REFORM “POLICING FOR PROFIT” DESERVING OF GOVERNOR IGE’S SIGNATURE

HONOLULU, HI – The Hawai‘i State Legislature has sent HB748 HD2 SD2 — a bill that would significantly reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture program — to Governor Ige for his signature. The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai’i (ACLU of Hawai‘i) and Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i (DPFH), both of which  supported HB748, have […]

BAIL BILLS A START BUT MORE WORK NEEDED

Honolulu, Hawai‘i: The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i (ACLU) reviewed the final versions of HB 1552 and SB 192 – bills establishing a Hawai‘i Correctional Oversight Commission; a criminal justice institute to gather data on the Hawai‘i corrections system; and making some adjustments to how bail is handled in Hawai‘i. For years the ACLU has pushed for meaningful reform of our […]

ACLU HAWAI‘I BOARD ELECTION CONCLUDES, NEW LEADERS EMERGE AMID FOND ALOHAS

The ACLU of Hawai‘i (ACLU) has announced new members for its Board of Directors. Recently added to the board are Maui based immigration attorney Kevin Block, community activist, attorney, and politician Kim Coco Iwamoto, social worker Stacia Ohira, and attorney Kristen Briane Kananiu‘ilani “Kanani” Souza. At the same time, the ACLU of Hawai‘i bids farewell […]

EIGHT KEY QUESTIONS FOR HAWAII’S NEXT DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Read ACLU of Hawai’s 4/3/19 testimony: as ACLU Comments on GM543 4.4.19 The ACLU of Hawai‘i (ACLU) today submitted comments to the committee considering the nomination of Nolan Espinda to a second term running the Hawai‘i Department of Public Safety (PSD). A non partisan, non profit organization, the ACLU takes no position on the Espinda […]

ATTEMPT TO SILENCE OR FIRE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I FACULTY MEMBER A THREAT TO FREE SPEECH RIGHTS

Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Honolulu, Hawai‘i: Multiple local news outlets have recently reported that an attorney for former Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha has demanded that Kenneth Lawson, an associate faculty specialist at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i (UH Law) and co-director of the Hawai‘i Innocence Project,  stop commenting about the Kealoha case or be fired. […]

Aloha Friends, Learn more about the history and legacy of Internment by attending “Allegiance” during its Honolulu run from March 28 through April 7. Inspired by actor and activist George Takei’s real-life experience, “Allegiance” follows the Kimuras, a Japanese American family, as their lives are upended by the internment camps following Pearl Harbor. BROADWAY MUSICAL DRAMA “ALLEGIANCE” […]

ACLU OF HAWAI‘I GROWS WITH ADDITION OF KATHLEEN WONG AS COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

The ACLU of Hawai‘i is pleased to announce the addition to its team of Kathleen Wong, coming on board as Communications Manager. Her position is part of a strategic expansion by the local ACLU affiliate to build its capacity and reach in order to better protect and advance civil rights for all of the people […]

ACLU Hawai‘i weighs in on proposed access rules for Mauna Kea

Read the proposed rules: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2019/02/12/university-seeks-comments-informal-draft-maunakea-rules/ Read the ACLU of Hawaiiʻs testimony: ACLU Comments on UH Informal Draft Rules 3.15.19 The ACLU of Hawaiʻi takes no position on the Thirty Meter Telescope (“TMT”) on Mauna Kea. We have concerns, however, with the informal draft proposed rules as they may infringe upon the constitutional rights of individuals […]

AFTER ACLU DEMAND, KĀHALA NUI RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CLARIFIES POLICIES TO PROTECT TENANTS’ CIVIL RIGHTS

Kāhala Nui confirms that residents can utilize Hawaii’s new medical aid-in-dying law in their private residences and that the Community does not grant preferences to Catholic residents or otherwise discriminate based on religion HONOLULU: The ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief and the ACLU of Hawaiʻi Foundation are pleased that Kāhala Nui, an […]