CNHA 16 for 2016 Initiative

The following is a press release from the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement:

Local Non-Profit Engaging Hawaii Youth to VOTE!

Kapolei, HI – The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is encouraging youth serving organizations to participate in its 16 for 2016 youth voter initiative.  Last year, CNHA launched the 16 for 2016 Initiative, focused specifically on youth civic engagement and voter registration targeting 16-24 year olds.  Launched by students from Kapolei High School at the 14th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention, the goal of the initiative is to develop partnerships with local high schools, college campuses and youth serving organizations to increase voter turnout among young adults in 2016.  Additionally, the initiative aims to continue on-going outreach to students who are eligible by Hawaii state law to register to vote at the age of sixteen.

The State of Hawaii has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country based on its voting age population and the number of citizens registered to vote.  Among Native Hawaiians, general disengagement by our communities results in even lower rates than the general populace.  In 2004, CNHA started its work around voter awareness that later grew into voter registration efforts.  In 2014, CNHA joined forces with No Vote No Grumble and adopted a program priority to increase participation by community-based organizations (CBOs) to support a statewide field plan around civic engagement that includes voter registration, GOTV efforts, voter education, and training.  The strategy has grown to be more comprehensive with a focus on increasing the overall participation in democracy by Native Hawaiians.  In 2016, CNHA will continue its work with additional outreach focused on Native Hawaiian youth.

“Youth civic engagement leads to reduced risky behavior, increased success in school and greater civic participation later in life,” said Michelle Kauhane, CNHA President & CEO.  “Our goal is to inspire young adults throughout Hawaii to get involved, engage in their communities and vote!  It’s a right that too many take for granted”, added Kauhane.

According to CNHA, there are a number of factors that directly relate to an individual’s participation or non-participation in the democratic process.  However, civic skills, habits and motivations of young adults often result from opportunities for engagement during childhood and adolescence. The 16 for 2016 Initiative will provide young adults with an early introduction to civic engagement to establish voting as an important right and responsibility.

CNHA is looking to engage as many community partners as possible to support the 16 for 2016 Initiative.  For more information on 16 for 2016 or to schedule a training/informational session on the initiative, please email policy@hawaiiancouncil.org

The policy center at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement convenes non-governmental organizations around policy priorities and solutions to meet the challenges in Hawaiian communities. 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 cultural, economic, political, 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 info@hawaiiancouncil.org, or at www.hawaiiancouncil.org.

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