VOICES: Feminist resolution enacts change

Ever wonder if the county’s Administration office is supporting equity and economic justice during COVID-19’s feminist recovery initiative plan?

You might ask what does that mean to you or your ‘ohana? This economic plan supports the entire family by sustaining household needs and provided nourishment and services to families on Kaua‘i.

Did you know that the County of Kaua‘i took the lead and action in the feminist recovery plan after the County Council unanimously voted and approved Resolution No. 2021-04 that was introduced by Councilwoman Felicia Cowden and Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro on Dec. 16, 2020.

A certified copy of RESOLUTION No. 2021-04: RESOLUTION SUPPORTING AND URGING EQUITY, INCLUSION, AND SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE PRINCIPLES IN COVID-19 RELATED RECOVERY INITIATIVES was transmitted to the United States Senator Brian E. Schatz, United States Senator Mazie K. Hirono, United States Representative Ed Case, United States Representative Kaiali‘i Kahele, Governor David Y. Ige, Lt. Governor Josh Green, Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi, Representative Daynette “Dee” Morikawa, Representative Nadine K. Nakamura, Representative James Kunane Tokioka, the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women, the Kaua‘i County Committee on the Status of Women, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, and the Administrative heads of each County department, agency and office.

On Sept. 14, 2021, the County published a press release titled: “County continues efforts for feminist economic recovery plan.” The press release mentioned Resolution 2021-04 and its efforts that included formulating the Kaua‘i Economic Recovery Strategy Team (KERST) under the leadership of Office of Economic Development Director Nalani Brun that included a diverse 90-member team.

As Kaua‘i’s representative to the Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women, I want to commend and applaud Mayor Kawakami and the KERST team for stepping up in keeping Kaua‘i visible with its efforts on the recovery plan during the pandemic supporting families.

Here is a list of awardees who received funding listed in the August 2021 Office of the Mayor’s Report to the County of Kaua‘i Commission on the Status of Women on the Resolution Supporting and Urging Equity, Inclusion, and Social and Economic Justice Principles in COVID-19 Related Recovery Initiatives that supported programs for women, children, houseless community, and kupuna.

• Food distribution for kupuna and houseless populations (partners): E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kaua‘i, Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, Kaua‘i Government Employers Federal Credit Union, Ho‘omana, Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity, Nourish Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i Food Bank, Church of the Pacific, United Church of Christ (Project: Hookipa Kaua‘i Food Pantry)

• Non-Profit Economic Loss Support Grants: Women in Need (Project WIN’s Rent/Mortgage Ass. & Childcare Subsidy), Homestead Community Development Corporation (Project: Micro Business Recovery Project), Easterseals Hawaii (Project: Coronavirus Pandemic Support), Big Brothers, Big Sisters (Project: BBBS Kaua‘i Connection for a Virtual Future)

• Mental Health & Domestic Violence Prevention Grants to Non-Profits: Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity (Project: Mental Health Counseling for Houseless), Women in Need (Project: WIN’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program), Hale Opio Kaua‘i (Project: Fostering Mental Health Wellbeing, Domestic Violence Prevention & Suicide Prevention), YWCA Kaua‘i (Project: YWCA of Kaua‘i Domestic Violence Services COVID-19 Response)

• Educational Support: Kaua‘i Community Science Center (Project: Hookui Project), ClimbHi (Project: Educational Portal), St. Teresa (Project: Distance Learning)

• Employment Assistance: Rise to Work – Non-Profit Grants (e.g., Ag. IT, and Conservation Workers), County of Kaua‘i (Project: Rise to Work)

• Housing Assistance: County of Kaua‘i received funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to work with Kaua‘i Government Employee’s Federal Credit Union in providing rental assistance and mortgage assistance.

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Edie Ignacio Neumiller is the Kaua’i Commissioner for the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women

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