karamatsuAs many of you know, S.C.R. 91 had a "sister bill" called H.C.R. 81.  It was introduced by Representative Mizuno (Thank you John!), and flew through the House until it reached Representative Karamatsu, Chair of  the House Judiciary Committee (surprise, surprise).

Numerous calls, emails and personal appearances were made to  Rep. Karamatsu requesting he set HCR 81 for hearing.  He did not.  Nor did he give any reasons for his opposition.  He didn't return phone calls requesting his position and/or reasons for his opposition.  He just let it die.

While that is his prerogative, AngelGroup wants  make you aware of something:

Representative Karamatsu stood face-to-face with an AngelGroup Member and told her that so many people had been calling, emailing, faxing and coming by his office that he has "already set it for hearing 10-minutes ago."  It was obviously something the people wanted.  However, he did not. 

It is our understanding that SCR 91 will soon be before Representative Karamatsu again.  It is also our understanding that he is the ONLY legislator who has taken direct action in opposition.  His opposition begs the question...Who is he representing if he admits to overwhelming support of the bill, lies to the face of AngelGroup Members, refuses to disclose any reasonable explanation for his opposition, and represents the judicial branch of government? Hmmm.

Maybe his run for Lieutenant Governor has clouded his memory of the words on his website.  He says in  his 'Platform' that his short and long term goals are to reduce Hawaii's violent crimes.  Domestic Violence is a crime.  The specific law being violated in Hawaii's Family Courts, and addressed by HCR81/SCR91 was intended to stop Domestic Violence, rather than make it a point of litigation. 

Regardless of his position a few weeks ago, perhaps Rep. Karamatsu  can come to an understanding that his support of SCR 91 would result in an affirmation that he is indeed committed to reducing violent crimes in Hawaii, and those continued at the hands of the judiciary.

Please contact Rep. Karamatsu, and respectfully request his support for SCR 91 when it hits his desk after a successful Senate vote this Friday.

PH: 808-586-8490
FAX: 808-586-8494
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Read more in Karamatsu's own words.  Hold him accountable for his statements:

I want to thank you for seeing me for who I am...when I was twenty years old, I imagined what I would do if I only had a limited time to live. On a personal level, a number of events deepened my commitment to public service. First, several female friends had shared with me their stories of domestic violence and sexual assault...I tried to understand the constant suffering and struggle of many people throughout society...in my time in public service, I want to do all I can to make our society better and our world more peaceful..I am a strong advocate of education...crime prevention...health...and programs supporting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault...

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...the House recognizes that specialty courts play a huge role in helping those who have gone on the wrong path to get back on the right one.  Keep in mind that approximately 80% of individuals in trouble with the law are involved with drugs.  A high percentage of individuals involved with drugs have family problems, are victims of physical abuse or sexual abuse, and are going through mental challenges such as post traumatic stress disorder and depression.  These programs help individuals to get off of drugs, learn life skills to be productive citizens, but most importantly, it gives them hope that life can be better...many non-profit organizations participating in purchase-of-service contracts with the Judiciary play a key role in providing essential services to help the people of Hawaii in need of assistance in our legal system...Thus, with the specialty courts’ and purchase-of-service contracts’ proven success and cost savings, $1.5 million has been restored in this bill for their services...Our country and state loves comeback stories, as reflected by many of our books and movies.  Likewise, Hawaii’s specialty courts and non-profit organizations participating in the Judiciary’s purchase-of-service contracts will give our people the opportunity to make the greatest comeback in their lives.

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Peace Day is a universal effort. However, it must begin within us, our homes, our schools, and our communities...One Peace Day Hawaii objective is to educate residents – especially our children – about the existence of Peace Day and encourage them to think about what they can do to make Hawaii a better place to live in, to make the phrase “lucky we live Hawaii” true every day...This year, despite the dismal economy, the Legislature protected monies for legal services for survivors of violence, and updated harassment and temporary restraining order laws. However, we must get to the root of where the cycle of violence can be broken: our keiki.  One way to do this is to implement a nonviolence education program for our public schools that includes education on conflict resolution, discrimination, harassment, bullying, sexual assault, and domestic violence.  We need to put more emphasis on education and awareness and be proactive rather than reactive...Many people shy away from peace initiatives because they think that one person cannot make a difference. That is wrong. We can all make a commitment to strive to embody the Aloha spirit through acts of compassion, acceptance and understanding. Peace must first start within us. Compassionate actions from one person can make a huge impact, and all our actions combined will help the world reach our goal of celebrating peace 365 days a year.

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