Faith Action News for Feb 13-14 - Archived

Faith Action’s Living Wage Task Force Shares Strategy

by Rev. Sam Domingo, Chair

We are fully aware of the economic hit our state has taken and that recovery will take a while.  We know that the leadership of the Legislature is focused on revenue generation; but our allies in Raise Up Hawaii Coalition want to keep Living Wage before the people and continue to build pressure on the Legislature.  We do this through op eds in the paper, cultivating new allies in the Legislature, and identifying and recruiting small business owners to counter the message of the Chamber of Commerce.  Also, we seek larger businesses and corporations to add their voice for raising the minimum wage to the level that is a Living Wage.

We plan to identify members in our units who are being paid the present minimum wage and urge them to give their personal testimony.  We plan to encourage each member unit to have small group conversations around this issue, and the task force will provide resources to make them effective.  We ask for our pastors, lay leaders and church members to contact their legislators to keep this issue before them.

The task force will be meeting regularly on Zoom to coordinate our plans and will communicate our decisions to keep all Faith Action in the know.

Faith Action Says ‘Aloha’ to Staff

We say ‘farewell’ to Soo San Schake who leaves us after serving as organizing assistant and assistant director for Faith Action since 2018. A newly wed, she now leaves for Japan to join her husband where he has a job contract for three to five years. While there, she plans to teach English and drink in the beauty and culture of Japan. We appreciate Soo’s talents and devotion to Faith Action which has helped to strengthen our organization. She launched our Environmental Justice Task Force which attracts new and dynamic members.  

We say ‘welcome’ to Cassie Chee who has just joined Faith Action to be our community organizer.  She has roots on the mainland and Hawaii. She will focus on the ongoing work of strengthening relationships within Faith Action and increasing our membership in numbers and effectiveness in pursuing equity for our communities. Cassie is currently working towards a Master’s of Divinity degree. We look forward to working with Cassie who brings a strong Justice perspective. 

From Soo:

I was hired in Fall 2018 as an organizing assistant and then promoted to assistant director which I held from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Before Faith Action I worked as a grant writer, housing navigator, and a healthcare administrator in the nonprofit world. 

I married Joshua last August, then he was offered a job contract in Japan. I am joining him in Yokosuka, Japan where we will live for the next three to five years.  I look forward to teaching English and enjoying Japan’s rich culture and history.

The highlights of my time in Faith Action include organizing the Faith Action 2019 Affordable Housing Summit which attracted over 300 attendees; the first ever virtual Faith Action Mayoral Accountability Assembly during COVID; and forming FA’s Environmental Justice Task Force. I most enjoyed connecting with people from all backgrounds, ages, and religions; collaborating with them on various projects for Faith Action.

My prayer for Faith Action:  May Faith Action continue to bring people together, remind each other of our similarities rather than our differences, inspire people to become leaders and civically engaged to use their voices to create positive change in our communities.

From Cassie:

I was born on Chumash* land (Los Angeles) and raised on Duwamish* land (Kirkland) with my sister and parents. My family roots are in Korea, Okinawa, and China and on my paternal side we have been displaced settlers* in the Hawaiian Kingdom (Pu’unene, Kalihi, Kualapu’u, Pearl City) for four generations. I have a BA in Visual Communication Design and am currently in the final year of the Master’s of Divinity program at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. I am excited to join in the rich work of Faith Action as a Community Organizer. I will be working on strengthening our internal relationships and building our base.

My prayer for Faith Action: May we continue to learn how connected we are with all of creation, deepen our solidarities, and build power to birth a more just world. 

 * The Chumash and Duwamish are the tribes whose lands Los Angeles and Kirkland currently occupy, respectively. I consider myself and my family to be displaced settlers here in Hawai’i because although we had little choice to immigrate here because of poverty and famine, we are settlers on Native Hawaiian land.

“island Voices” Article

Faith Action for Community Equity had an “Island Voices” article about the Carbon Cashback bill printed in the Star-Advertiser on Feb. 7.  Carbon Cashback would assess a fee on fossil fuels and give back the revenue from the fee to the people of Hawaii in equal shares.  The article was authored by Faith Action’s Environmental Justice Task Force.  Click here to read the article:

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