Testimony on the need for Affordable Housing in Kailua
"Faith Action has long been committed to the building of housing, whether rental or for sale, that will benefit working families. You need no reminders of the overwhelming need; it is truly a crisis!"
-The Reverend Sam Domingo
Full Testimony of
The Reverend Samual L Domingo
on Behalf of Faith Action Hawaii
"Aloha Council Chair Anderson and Members of the Honolulu City Council:
I am The Reverend Samuel L Domingo, one of the founding clergy that helped bring about Faith Action for Community Equity some 26 years ago. This morning I have been asked to speak on behalf of Faith Action. We are deeply disappointed that the 460 Kawainui Street Affordable Rental Project in Kailua will not be approved; that 73 families will have to wait for who knows how much longer till there is another project in Kailua.
I want to acknowledge that there were many who took interest in this project, whether in support or in opposition. There was passionate testimony from both sides. Getting people to speak, to send in testimony, to give oral testimony, to call your offices, mustering every ounce of energy to seek your vote, has been a process that we all affirm and celebrate as we the people live in a democracy.
Faith Action has long been committed to the building of housing, whether rental or for sale, that will benefit working families. You need no reminders of the overwhelming need; it is truly a crisis! But, we will continue to find a way forward. And as we move forward, we extend an invitation to the many who opposed this project to join us so that we build a larger movement to have affordable housing built in every community on this island.
We heard from each of you who opposed the Kawainui Project that you “are not against affordable housing…” It gave my heart pause to hear those words and to see you no longer as adversaries but partners. So, we invite you and call you into partnership to secure another location in Kailua soon. Imagine putting our passions and tremendous skills together; we would become a formidable force to bring about justice for our working families. We will be in touch. It is my heartfelt wish that you join us.
I speak also to the members of this august body. We acknowledge first the courage of those who supported this project. You have welcomed projects in your districts and look forward to more where possible. To the council members who opposed this project, we hope that this is the only time. Five of you will close out your terms in a few months, the chair stepping down this day. To those who remain and who will have five new colleagues join you in the new year, I ask: Will you commit to aggressively identifying and ushering the building of affordable housing on city properties? Will you when possible, work with representatives and senators in your district to do the same with state lands? And finally, will you commit to working with Faith Action and the scores of partners in our communities in this endeavor? In the spirit of partnership and of being accountable to each other, please say YES!"
-The Reverend Samual L Domingo