Tell your Senator TODAY: Vote NO on SB1292 HD3 to protect our affordable housing

The State Senate is voting TODAY (Thu. 4/25) on SB1292 HD3. This is a BAD BILL that would legitimize illegal vacation rentals, which are taking away what little affordable housing is left in Hawaii. There are over 35,000 illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii—the vast majority are entire homes operated by mainland owners.

The key to enforcing illegal vacation rentals is to hold platforms like Airbnb accountable by making sure they’re transparent with their data on their hosts and listings. SB1292 HD3 establishes that tax info collected by a hosting platform shall be confidential and non-disclosable.

Please contact the State Senate TODAY (Thu. 4/25) as soon as possible:

  • Call your state senator’s office today and leave a message saying you oppose SB1292
  • Call these key senators and tell them to vote NO on SB1292 HD3:
    • Glenn Wakai – 586–8585
    • Ronald Kouchi – 586–6030
    • Kalani English – 587–7225
    • Donovan Dela Cruz – 586–6090
    • Karl Rhoads – 586–6130
  • Email all of the state senators using the email form below:

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Testimony needed: Support Bill 85

Last month, Honolulu City Council moved forward several bills re: vacation rentals. Tomorrow (Tue. 1/22) at 10:30am, Honolulu City Council’s Planning Committee will be hearing the bills. Vacation rentals take away what little affordable housing is left in Hawaii, renting it out short-term to tourists instead.

We strongly support Bill 85 because we need strong enforcement of vacation rentals before we can permit more. It is essential that we hold platforms like Airbnb accountable and make sure they’re transparent with their data on their hosts and listings.

SUBMIT TESTIMONY to support BILL 85 using our email form:

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Tell Hawaii County Council to hold Airbnb accountable

After we opposed Bill 108 Draft 3 at Hawaii County Council’s Committee on Planning hearing on July 10, the committee agreed to postpone decision making.

At their meeting on Tuesday, July 24 at 3:00p at West Hawai’i Civic Center, they will be discussing Bill 108 Draft 3 again.

Submit testimony urging the Committee on Planning to:

  • Hold Airbnb and other platforms which advertise vacation rentals accountable. They should be required to file reports of the units they list in order to effectively enforce any vacation rental regulations.
  • Include other tools of enforcement, including allowing neighbors to file complaints or take private actions

Submit written or video testimony ASAP by emailing [email protected]. Click here for more details on submitting testimony.

More testimony needed for vacation rental bills

2017.02.07 Vacation rentals social media 2Thanks to everyone who sent testimony last week on 3 bills dealing with illegal vacation rentals in Hawai’i. Because of you, the two Senate Committees deferred action on the bills.

Before their next hearing this Friday, they will be working on one bill that will combine pieces of the 3 bills.

We believe that there are four key elements that need to be included in this bill:

  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 it complements – and does not nullify – Act 204 in allowing the state to hold operators accountable;
  4. 4Tax 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.

Please submit testimony by Thursday, February 9 before 2:30p by filling out the form below. If you can testify in person at the hearing, please do!

Learn more about the negative impact of illegal vacation rentals.

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Aston Waikiki Beach and Hotel Renew workers celebrate anniversary of their protests for justice

On February 3, 2015, workers at the Aston Waikiki Beach and Hotel Renew began protesting for respect on the job and a fair process to decide whether to unionize.

On February 3, 2015, workers at the Aston Waikiki Beach and Hotel Renew began protesting for respect on the job.

One year ago, the workers at Aston Waikiki Beach and Hotel Renew began protesting for respect on the job and a fair process to decide whether to unionize. A fair process means choosing whether to be Union without fear of retaliation and harassment or promises of favoritism.

The day before, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also began a trial prosecuting Aqua-Aston Hospitality on four unfair labor practice charges. A total of 18 unfair labor practice charges have been filed against Aqua-Aston, which manages both hotels. The charges include allegations that Aqua-Aston unlawfully threatened and discriminated against workers for engaging in lawful union activity, even going so far as to discipline two workers.

Even as the trial commences, management continues to harass and intimidate workers. “Every day… they’re harassing and intimidating us at work. Workers are being scared and turn around because management is continuing to harass employees,” Tino Fabro, a housekeeper at Aston Waikiki Beach, told Howard Dicus on Hawaii News Now.

2016-02-03 17.02.49“I can feel that they want to do a retaliation against me and Mary Jane [Padaca]. I’m not afraid. I’m still standing up for what I’m doing,” says Cecile Daniels, a Breakfast Attendant Hotel Renew.

To celebrate their anniversary, these workers held a rally in front of the Federal Building where the NLRB trial is taking place. Members of the community joined them and shared words of support. Workers updated everyone on what is going on with the trial and at work.

Happy Anniversary, Aston Waikiki Beach and Hotel Renew workers! We’ll keep fighting with you!