March 2012 KA WAI OLA COLUMN
`Ano`ai kakou… This year has started off with several refreshing changes.
NEW MAUI TRUSTEE
First, OHA welcomed new Maui Trustee, Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey, who was appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie. Trustee Lindsey will serve on an interim basis until November when a special election will be held to fill the remaining two years of Trustee Mossman’s term. Trustee Lindsey brings a burst of new energy to the board with her knowledge, experience, and willingness to give her all for our beneficiaries.
NEW OHA C.E.O.
Congratulations to Dr. Kamana’opono Crabbe on his appointment by the Board of Trustees as the new Chief Executive Officer of OHA. I have long admired his exemplary work over the past few years as OHA’s Research Director and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the position.
I am delighted that Dr. Crabbe’s lifetime of dedication and advocacy for Native Hawaiians is finally being recognized so appropriately. It is a comfort for me to know that our people have a true advocate within OHA. I am sincerely hoping that our staff members and Trustees will allow Dr. Crabbe to bring his own style of leadership to OHA, which may differ from previous administrations.
I look forward to working closely with both Trustee Hulu Lindsey and Dr. Crabbe this year to build a bright and sustainable future for all Native Hawaiians.
APPOINTED BAE VICE-CHAIR
I am pleased to report that I have been appointed Vice-Chair of the Committee on Beneficiary Advocacy and Empowerment (BAE), one of the two subject-matter committees under the Board of Trustees. I will now be working closely with BAE Chair, Trustee John Waihe’e IV, on all federal and state legislation, on-going programs in health, housing, education, land, and the Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund.
I will also continue to serve as one of two “Legislative Liaisons” appointed by Trustee Waihe’e for the 2012 legislative session. This is a crucial year for OHA as we intensely lobby the House and Senate for the passage of legislation to finally resolve the claims relating to OHA’s portion of income from the Public Land Trust between Nov. 7, 1978, and June 30, 2012. (House Bill 2521 & Senate Bill 2783). I look forward to putting my many years of lobbying experience and strong relationships with legislators to good use.
After several years and countless requests to the administration to televise OHA meetings, in a way similar to what the Honolulu City Council or the State Legislature are doing, OHA has finally taken a step in the right direction.
OHA is now broadcasting live board meetings from Honolulu to Kauai. Beneficiaries on Kauai should check OHA’s meeting notices or call 241-3390 to confirm whether there will be a live video conference broadcast to the Lihu’e State Office Building.
It is my hope that this will encourage the Administration to broadcast live OHA meetings to the other neighbor islands. Broadcasting all of our meetings will not only make Trustees more accessible to beneficiaries, but it will also allow beneficiaries to see how our board conducts its business. What a refreshing change that would be. Aloha Ke Akua.