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Hawaiians review civic engagement models in Los Angeles to encourage voter registration

LOS ANGELES, California — Staff members of the nonprofit, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), will leave this week for two days of intense training and sharing by community-based organizations in the Los Angeles area, who are experts in civic engagement.

Sponsored by the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (NCAPACD), the peer-to-peer learning opportunity creates hands on experience with voter lists and effective voter registration strategies.

“We are definitely excited about joining other nonprofit organizations around the country that have been doing outstanding work in civic engagement and in community organizing," said Robin Puanani Danner, CNHA President and CEO. "We know that we can do a better job in Hawaii and in our Native Hawaiian community, and this visit to LA will build on what we have been doing but maybe what we should be doing as well."

Nonprofit organizations are reviewing how to incorporate voter registration opportunities in their everyday interaction with clients, whether a housing counseling nonprofit or a social service agency.

"The notion we are examining, is to become active year round in non-partisan voter registration efforts instead of the hit and miss initiatives that only come out during election cycles," Danner said. "I think community organizations are beginning to realize that we are experts in public policy issues, but we are also on the front line of interaction with individuals that should be encouraged to register to vote when we come into contact with them."

The Native Hawaiian leaders that will make the trip to the west coast will witness the voter registration efforts of small community-based organizations serving different L.A. neighborhoods.

"It's not that the continent has all of the answers, but for sure, we want to be plugged in to any up-and-coming trends that are already proven," said Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Vice President. "What is certain is that civic engagement needs the attention of community leaders in Hawaii, and our management team is embracing our kuleana to improving voter engagement in our state. We want to be aware of everything available, and this visit to L.A. will give us a close up look at a non-partisan, non-candidate operation that is all about inspiring people to register and then to vote.”

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.

For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at, or visit our website at <

(Source: TiLeaf Group — A Native Advocacy Firm — Email: