Gary Hooser an ‘Unsung Hero’

  • Photo courtesy Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action

    Thousand Friends Hawaii Executive Director Donna Wong presents Gary Hooser with the Unsung Hero award.

From grassroots organizing to state senator and majority leader, Gary Hooser has been advocating for Hawaii’s environment and people for years.

And in early November, the former Kauai county councilmember and founder of Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by Hawaii’s Thousand Friends on Oahu.

“I hope everyone understands that my heart is always with doing what is right, first and foremost for the people who need someone to advocate for them,” Hooser said.

He continued: “When money so dominates our politics, the only antidote is people-power. And I have been thrilled to be in the midst of the growing people-power movement on these islands.”

Among other things, Hooser was honored for his role in starting the nonprofit educational and advocacy organizations HAPA and Pono Hawaii Initiative.

“(I am) both motivated and extremely humbled by the recognition and thank the many people on every island who are increasingly stepping up, getting involved and taking ownership of their local government,” Hooser said.

From Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard added words of congratulations to Hooser.

“Throughout his career, Gary Hooser has been fearless in standing up against environmental threats to our community in the face of powerful interests.

“He has sacrificed personal and financial gain to serve the public interest and has succeeded in mobilizing many people in Hawaii to become involved in public-policy decisions that affect all of our lives,” Gabbard said.

Hawaii’s Thousand Friends is an organization dedicated to ensuring that growth is reasonable and responsible in the state.

Past Unsung Hero recipients include Earthjustice Hawaii Director Paul Achitoff, and Kauai residents Barbara Robeson and water rights attorney and advocate Kapua Sproat.

The 2018 annual Unsung Heroes event was held at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki on Nov. 11, and attended by several hundred.


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. harry oyama December 7, 2018 4:50 am Reply

    He is a shinning beacon amongst the darkness of Hawaii’s corrupt political system of power and greed.

  2. Joan Conrow December 7, 2018 5:18 am Reply

    “When money so dominates our politics, the only antidote is people-power.”

    So then why does Gary refuse to reveal who funds HAPA, Kuleana Academy and the rest of his political activities?

    1. Gary Hooser December 7, 2018 10:28 am Reply

      Your obsession with me and the constant cyberstalking is worrisome. The angst and energy you put into following my every word can perhaps be explained by the fact that you are employed by the Cornell Science Alliance who represents the agrochemical industry, and thus you are paid to attack the people and positions of those who oppose them. But truthfully Joan, I think the intensity of your anger and negative energy is caused by more than simply the fact that you get paid by the industry. In short, your obsession is not healthy and I strongly encourage you to seek help from friends that you might have in New Mexico or wherever you might be living now. I say this with all sincerity and only hope the best for you in the future.

      1. Robert Wager December 8, 2018 8:19 am Reply

        Then I am sure you will not mind telling us who are the funders. You know for the sake of transparency and all.

  3. RG DeSoto December 7, 2018 8:02 am Reply

    “Hawaii’s Thousand Friends is an organization dedicated to ensuring that growth is reasonable and responsible in the state.”
    This translates to “no affordable housing for you!” God save us from misguided do-gooders.
    RG DeSoto

  4. Kauairosina December 7, 2018 8:24 am Reply

    Very courageous to honor Gary this way. He gets so many slings and arrows and keeps keeping on. A real hero in my opinion

  5. Oingo boingo December 7, 2018 10:41 am Reply

    Good honest man with integrity..
    Hard to find these days
    Good job Gary

  6. Robert Wager December 8, 2018 4:29 am Reply

    When people ignore huge quantities of the best science the world has to offer and support the demonstrated pseudo-science and fear it generates that does not make a good leader. Voters saw him for what he is and removed him from office.

  7. Robert Wager December 8, 2018 8:21 am Reply

    “Oingo boingo” sure doesn’t look like integrity of a real name. Hmmm

  8. Eric Bjerregaard December 9, 2018 6:15 am Reply

    Hooser, no one is obsessed with you. Joan simply opposes those who oppose safe modern farming. Thus you. GE crops are as safe as any. Get over yourself.

  9. Joan Conrow December 10, 2018 5:20 am Reply

    Yes, Gary, I’m sure you’d love to have me go away, but someone needs to expose your BS and lies. 🙂 And that includes the pathetic, tired lie that I’m paid by industry. I’ve corrected you numerous times, but you keep lying. If you truly hope for the best for me, why do you lie about me? Sounds pretty phony on your part!

    And why do you attack me instead of answering the question? Why won’t you reveal the funding source of your political activities? What are you hiding?

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