Thu. 10/19 – Union Day of Action

Thursday, October 19, 2017

4:00p – 6:00p

The Ilikai Hotel (1777 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815)

Now, more than ever, it’s time for working people to take a stand—and stand together. UNITE HERE will be mobilizing more than 20,000 members in 20 cities across the U.S. & Canada to show that standing together in union is the best way to create an economy that works for everyone—not just the wealthiest 1%.

Our Honolulu action will be at the historic Ilikai Hotel, operated by Aqua-Aston Hospitality—the largest hotel operator in Hawai’i. Union workers at the Ilikai are working more for less. They are paid $3.51/hour less than the union hotel workers across the street, and they have to clean rooms that are much larger with full-sized kitchens.. We must demand from Aqua-Aston and other hotel corporations that Hawai’i wants the union standard, not the Aqua-Aston standard.

For more information, visit our Facebook event.

To find actions in other cities, visit the UNITE HERE website.

Tell Councilmember Pine to schedule Res. 17-52 for hearing

If you live in Honolulu Councilmember Kymberly Pine‘s district (Ewa, Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Waianae, Makaha, Keeau, Makua, Maili), we need your help! Call and leave a message for your Councilmember, Kymberly Pine, and tell her to schedule Res. 17-52 for hearing: 768-5001.

Here is a sample script for your message to Councilmember Pine: “Hello, my name is [NAME]. I live in [STREET NAME] and I’m a voter in your district. I’m calling to let you know I’m disappointed in you for NOT scheduling Resolution 17-52 for a hearing. I support better enforcement of vacation rentals because this will protect our affordable housing. As Zoning & Housing Chair, we need you to support 17-52.”

Res. 17-52 would help Honolulu County rein in the growing number of illegal vacation rental operations and protect our affordable housing. Currently, there are an estimated 33,000 homes being used as vacation rentals in the state. On Oahu, there are an estimated 6,789 vacation rentals—the majority of which are illegal. Each month, there have been an average of 399 new vacation rentals listed.

In April, Res. 17-52 was introduced to City Council and heard in the Zoning & Housing Committee, which Councilmember Pine chairs. She committed to us that she would support our efforts and instructed us to work directly with Councilmember Ron Menor and that he would take the lead. We have done as she asked. We have met multiple times with city officials like the Department of Planning & Permitting (DPP) and Councilmember Menor. Yet when Councilmember Menor requested her to schedule the bill again for a hearing, she refused. It’s been 2 months since she heard the bill in her committee and she hasn’t done a thing to indicate she meant what she said.

Testimony needed: Oppose the next Manaolana development

Remember the Manaolana Place luxury condo-hotel that City Council approved last fall? The same developers’ next big project is scheduled for a public hearing on Wednesday, June 28 at 10:30a at the Mission Memorial Building – Conference Room (550 South King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii).

If approved, a 444-unit condo-hotel will be built on Kapiolani Blvd. where Heald College was. Once again, it’s unclear what benefits we’ll get for our community from a development that’s expected to generate millions of profits for a mainland company developing condos most locals won’t be able to afford.

According to the developer’s permit application: “The Applicant plans to provide 1 unit to meet the affordable housing requirement.” The rest of the “affordable housing” is just “air rights.”

Submit testimony to the Department of Planning & Permitting (DPP) before Wed. June 28. Tell DPP: say NO to reckless development! You can easily submit testimony by filling out this form below:

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AiKea Academy 3 starts June 28

AiKea Academy 3 is a 10-week organizing program that will equip you with the skills needed to organize your neighborhood, build power, and create real change.

Wednesdays at 5pm starting June 28
UNITE HERE Local 5 (1516 S King St)

Every Wednesday at 5pm, there will be a 3-4 hour training session (see below).

Participants will also spend an additional 3-4 hours per week putting their training into practice and organizing their communities.

  • Week 1 (Jun. 28):  The Economy & Organizing (pt. 1)
  • Week 2 (Jul. 5): The Economy & Organizing (pt. 2)
  • Week 3 (Jul. 12): Who are we organizing? Mapping our communities
  • Week 4 (Jul. 19): The Power of Stories
  • Week 5 (Jul. 26): Building Our Campaign (pt. 1)
  • Week 6 (Aug. 2): Building Our Campaign (pt. 2)
  • Week 7 (Aug. 9): Plan to Win
  • Week 8 (Aug. 16): Challenges to Justice
  • Week 9 (Aug. 23): Building Leadership
  • Week 10 (Aug 30): Growing Our Leadership

Contact Paola ([email protected]) to join, or if you have any questions.

Take action: SB704 is in conference committee

SB704 (Airbnb’s bad bill) will have a conference committee hearing next Monday, April 24 at 1:00p at the Hawaii State Capitol (Conference Room 423).

We need you to contact the conferees ASAP. Tell them to OPPOSE SB704, Airbnb’s bad bill, to protect our affordable housing.

You can email them quickly and easily by filling out the form below. Or you can contact them individually. Let them know if you are a voter in their district!:

Please tell the conferees to OPPOSE SB704 before Monday!

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Submit testimony to SUPPORT Res. 17-52

The City Council’s Zoning & Housing Committee is hearing Res. 17-52, which would help the County rein in the growing number of illegal vacation rental operations. The hearing is on Thursday, April 6 at 9:00a at the Honolulu Hale Committee Meeting Room.

Currently, there are an estimated 33,000 homes being used as vacation rentals in the state. On Oahu, there are an estimated 6,789 vacation rentals—the majority of which are illegal. Each month, there have been an average of 399 new vacation rentals listed.

Res. 17-52 would accomplish several important goals, including:

  • Making it very clear that operating or advertising an illegal vacation rental is illegal so the City can effectively enforce existing laws.
  • Allowing neighbors living within 1,000 feet of an alleged illegal vacation rental to get the city to investigate it or to address the problem themselves in district court.
  • Setting aside funds for enforcement of vacation rental regulations.
  • Requiring “hosting platforms” like Airbnb to be transparent with their data so the city can determine which of their listings are illegal or not.

Submit testimony in SUPPORT of Res. 17-52 before 9:00a on Thursday, April 6. Tell City Council to protect our affordable housing!

You can testify in person, or just submit written testimony. Here are two ways you can submit testimony:

  • Visit the City Council website:
    • Fill out your name, phone number, and email
    • Meeting date is 4/6/17
    • Council/PH Committee is “Council”
    • Agenda item is Resolution 17-52
    • Your position on the matter: Support
    • You can register in person at the hearing, or not
    • Write your testimony in the box, or attach it as a .doc, .docx, or .pdf
  • Email your testimony using the form below, with the Zoning & Housing Committee members CCed:

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Call to action: SB704 should NOT be scheduled for hearing

As we said in an earlier update, the House Committee on Tourism gutted & replaced SB704 with language from the bad Airbnb bill. SB704 originally would have created a working group that would study the impact of vacation rentals on our communities. Now SB704 SD2 HD1 is the same bad Airbnb bill that fails to protect our affordable housing.

SB704 SD2 HD1 has been referred to the House Finance Committee. Tell the Committee Chair Sylvia Luke and Speaker of the House Joe Souki to NOT hear SB704 SD2 HD1. You can quickly email them by filling out the form below:

This action has expired and the email form is no longer available.

Update on HB1471 and SB704 (bills re: Airbnb)

Good news: Chair Wakai & the Senate Committees passed HB1471 with amendments that move us in the right direction to regulate Airbnb and protect our affordable housing.

Bad news: the House Committee on Tourism gutted & replaced SB704 with language from the bad Airbnb bill. Call your State Representative & let them know that you OPPOSE SB704 (find your Rep here: http://capitol.hawaii.gov). Look out for an email soon on submitting testimony to oppose SB704.

Testimony needed: OPPOSE HB1471

HB1471 HD3, Airbnb’s bad bill, is scheduled for a joint hearing with the Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology (ETT) Committee and the Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs (PSA) Committee next Wednesday, March 22 at 2:45p (Hawaii State Capitol, Conference Room 414).

There are an estimated 33,000 homes today being used as vacation rentals in the state. This may be our last chance to amend it to protect our affordable housing, or to kill it if it remains unamended.

Submit your testimony TODAY, but no later than 1:15p on Sunday, March 19 to OPPOSE HB1471 unless it includes these amendments:

  1. We must not preempt the counties’ ability to enact good regulations;
  2. Rental operators should be required to certify to the tax collection broker that they are operating legally and provide documentation to back that up;
  3. We should ensure that any measure complements – and does not nullify – Act 204 in allowing the state to hold operators accountable;
  4. Tax collection brokers should be required to operate transparently by providing lists of names and addresses of operators to the State so the State can verify the money it is collecting reflects reality.

You can directly submit testimony by filling out the form below. Sample language is included, and it will only take a couple of minutes. We encourage you to edit the form to share your personal story about how the affordable housing crisis is impacting you.

Learn more about the negative impact of illegal vacation rentals by visiting our website.

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