Press Releases

  • Hawai'i Non-Profit Leaders and Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Move Low-Income Renters Tax Credit Bill, Tue., April 26, 2016. Click here to read more.
  • Hawai‘i’s Undocumented Immigrants Pay More than $31.2 Million in State and Local Taxes; DACA Outreach Will Increase Revenues, Wed., April 15, 2015. Click here to read more.
  • Hawai‘i Appleseed Promotes Gavin Thornton to Co-Executive Director, Wed., April 8, 2015. Click here to read more.
  • Public Housing Conditions Lawsuit Settled, Tue. Mar. 10, 2015. Click here to read more.
  • New Analysis: Low-income taxpayers in Hawai‘i pay nearly twice the tax rate as the richest Hawai‘i residents; second heaviest tax burden on the poor, Wed., Jan. 14, 2015. Click here to read more.
  • Tue., Dec. 4, 2013: State of Hawaii Sued for Short-Changing Foster Parents and Children
    A federal class-action lawsuit challenges the state’s persistent refusal to cover the real costs of caring for some of Hawaii’s most disadvantaged and troubled children. Click here to read more.
  • Friday, September 6, 2013: Federal lawsuit filed against Hawaii Department of Transportation for discrimination in administration of driver’s license exam
    Honolulu, HI - Faith Action for Community Equity (“FACE”)—a faith-based grassroots community advocacy non-profit—and two Hawaii residents are filing a federal court class action lawsuit today against the Hawaii Department of Transportation (“HDOT”). The lawsuit alleges that HDOT is discriminating against Hawaii residents of various ethnic and national origins by failing to allow translation or interpretation of the written driver’s exam necessary to obtain a driver’s license. Click here to read more.
  • PRESS RELEASE: Wednesday, July 23, 2013. Hawaii nonprofits receive $128,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation's Hawaii State Giving Council.
    Honolulu, HI - Today, the Walmart Foundation's Hawaii State Giving Council announced $126,000 in grants for three Hawaii non-profits including Family Promise of Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, and Junior Achievement of Hawaii. Click here to read more.
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Undocumented Immigrants in Hawaii Pay $60 million Annually in State and Local Taxes; Immigration Reform Would Boost State Revenues by nearly $20 million
    Washington, DC - With fiscal costs and benefits figuring large in the immigration reform debate, a new analysis estimates that unauthorized immigrants are already paying $10.6 billion a year in state and local taxes nationwide, including the $60,266,000 they pay in Hawaii. Click here to read more.
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2013. Re_THINK affordable housing design competition to be hosted by University of Hawai‘i architecture student leadership group and Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice
    Honolulu, Hawaii - Students from the University of Hawai‘i’s School of Architecture, the American Institute of Architects Leadership Institute, and Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice are pleased to announce an upcoming event featuring an affordable housing design competition, re_THINK Design. Click here to read more.
  • Wednesday, January 30, 2013. Wealthiest Residents of Hawaii Pay Almost Half the Effective Tax Rate That Poorest Pay in State and Local Taxes; Middle-Income Families Also Pay More.
    Honolulu, Hawaii – Like most state tax systems, Hawaii takes a much larger share from middle- and low-income families than from wealthy families, according to the fourth edition of “Who Pays? A Distributional Analysis of the Tax Systems in All 50 States,” released today by the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). Click here to read more.
  • January 15, 2013. Tax Policies That Will Help End Poverty for Hawaii’s Lowest Income Families
    Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice releases report entitled “Tax Policies That Will Help End Poverty for Hawaii’s Lowest- Income Families.” Click here to read more.
  • Wed, October 31, 2012. Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director blames lawyers for problems at Mayor Wright Homes.
    Honolulu: After a more than a decade of failing to provide the most basic of services to the residents at Mayor Wright Homes, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority Executive Director, Hakim Ouansafi, has sent a letter to all tenants living in the project attacking the law suit filed aimed at requiring the state make all necessary repairs and provide minimum services that are mandated by federal and state law. Click here to read more.
  • Friday, August 10, 2012. Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice hosting three events in commemoration of 8 years service in Hawaii and its first year affiliation with the national Appleseed Network
    Honolulu: The Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice is pleased to announce three events in August including a Symposium on Public Policy Implications of Poverty Trends featuring Marian Wright Edelman and Peter Edelman; a Breakfast with Peter Edelman, and Artists for Appleseed. Click here to read more.
  • September 26, 2011. LEJ Joins the Appleseed Network as the Hawai`i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice.
    Honolulu: The Board of Directors of Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ) is proud to announce that LEJ is joining with 16 other public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico affiliated with the Appleseed organization. LEJ’s new name is the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. Click here to read more.
  • April 21, 2011. HONOLULU. Federal and State Class Action Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Tenants at Mayor Wright Homes Citing Unsafe Conditions and Lack of Access for Disabled Tenants.
    Seeking to end notoriously unsafe conditions and inaccessible apartments at the Mayor Wright Homes (MWH), the state’s second largest public housing project, attorneys for a group of low-income residents with disabilities filed class action lawsuits in federal and state court today against the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. Click here to read more.
  • January 20, 2011. HONOLULU. LEJ expands disability practice with new Disabilty Law Section
    Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ) is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation made up of lawyers who are committed to helping individuals gain access to the resources, services and fair treatment they need to accomplish self-sufficiency and economic security. Click here to read more.
  • December 14, 2010. HONOLULU.
    Today Federal District Judge Seabright issued a Preliminary Injunction against the Hawai`i Department of Human Services (DHS) requiring DHS to reinstate the medical benefits for legal residents living in Hawaii under Compact of Free Association (COFA). Click here to read more.
  • Friday, November 12, 2010. HONOLULU. Landmark Victory in Protecting Rights of Legal Residents
    On November 10, the Judge J. Michael Seabright of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii ruled that COFA residents claims against the State of Hawaii, seeking equal access to medical benefits, may proceed. Click hrere to read more.
  • August 23, 2010. HONOLULU. State of Hawaii Sued to Restore Critical Medical Services. 
    Today a class of low-income Hawaii residents filed a federal lawsuit against the Hawaii Department of Human Services in an attempt to force the state to reinstate necessary medical services. The suit claims DHS has illegally discriminated against the residents by drastically cutting their medical benefits based on the plaintiffs’ status as legal residents from other countries. Click here to read more.
  • November 17, 2010. HONOLULU. State of Hawai`i sued for food stamp delays
    Today a class of low-income Hawaii residents filed a federal lawsuit against the Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) to correct the Department’s ongoing and persistent failure to process in timely manner applications for Hawaii’s poorest families who seek Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Click here to read more.
  • February 16, 2010. HONOLULU. Class Action Lawsuit Resolved: City agrees to provide appropriate utility subsidy to low income tenants.
    A class action lawsuit filed against the City and County of Honolulu by attorneys for a group of low-income residents at the federally subsidized Westlake Apartments housing project has been provisionally resolved. Click here to read more.
  • December 23, 2009. HONOLULU. Judge Rules State Law Violated by Cutting Pacific Islanders' Medical Benefits.
    Medically needy immigrants from the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia living in Hawai`i scored an important victory yesterday when Circuit Court Judge Gary W.B. Chang ruled that the Department of Human Services (DHS) illegally cut the immigrants' access to state-funded medical benefits. The ruling yesterday followed on the heels of a temporary restraining order issued by the federal court in September that temporarily halted the implementation of those rules. Yesterday’s ruling confirms the immigrants contention that the state violated their rights. Click here to read more.
  • June 8, 2009. HONOLULU. Court denies state's motion to dismiss Federal class action lawsuit filed on behalf of tenants at Kuhio Park Terrace and Kuhio Homes
    The State of Hawaii’s motion to dismiss a federal class action lawsuit filed on behalf of tenants at Kuhio Park Terrace (KPT) and Kuhio Homes was denied today by U.S. District Judge Michael Seabright. The federal suit charges that the projects’ inaccessibility to residents with disabilities and their unsafe and unsanitary conditions violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Click here to read more.
  • August 12, 2008. HONOLULU. Resolution in Landmark Lawsuit Will Benefit Thousands of Hawai`i Children.
    U.S. District Court Chief Judge Helen Gillmor today approved a settlement agreement in a case brought by a statewide class children and their parents for all families who are homeless, against the Hawai`i Department of Education and Board of Education. The settlement requires the State to provide children who are homeless with equal access to public education and remove barriers to their educational success. Click Here to read more.
  • June 12, 2008 HONOLULU. City
    Sued for Dodging Federal Regulations While Overcharging Low-Income Housing Tenants: Federal Class Action Suit Filed on Behalf of Tenants at Westlake Apartments Claims City Falsified Reports for More than a Decade

    Seeking to end over a decade of rent overcharges, attorneys for a group of low-income residents at the federally subsidized Westlake Apartments housing project filed a class action lawsuit today against the City and County of Honolulu. The lawsuit charges City officials with failing for over a decade to adjust federally mandated “utility allowances” while deceptively certifying to the federal government each year that the utility allowances had been properly calculated.
    Click here to read more.
  • December 18, 2008. Hawai`i Public Housing Authority sued for ADA, other violations
    Honolulu: Seeking to end notoriously unsafe and inaccessible conditions at Kuhio Park Terrace, the largest public housing project in Hawaii, and the surrounding low-rise project Kuhio Homes, attorneys for a group of low-income residents with disabilities filed class action lawsuits in federal and state court today against the State of Hawaii, the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, and the projects’ management company Realty Laua LLC. Click here to read more.
  • February 14, 2008. HONOLULU. Federal Judge Rules That the State of Hawai`i Department of Education Must
    Fulfill Its Obligation to Homeless Children.

    U.S. District Court Chief Judge Helen Gillmor has ordered the Hawai`i Department of Education(DOE) to change its enrollment procedures to ensure equal access for homeless children. Click Here to read more.
  • February 11, 2008. HONOLULU. Media Advisory.
    Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ), the law firm of Alston Hunt Floyd and Ing (AHFI) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will ask the court to require the Department of Education (DOE) to comply with its federal obligations to enroll homeless children in school and provide them with transportation to and from school. Click here to read more.
  • November 6, 2007. HONOLULU. Court Asked to Halt Enforcement of Laws and Policies That Illegally Deny Homeless Children Equal Access to Education.
    In advancing their class action lawsuit, Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ) and the ACLU of Hawaii (ACLU) today are filing a motion for preliminary injunction in federal court seeking an order that would immediately halt State officials (State) from enforcing laws and policies that block access by homeless children to public education in violation of federal law. Click here to read more.
  • October 2,2007 HONOLULU. Homeless Children Denied Equal Access to Education - Civil Rights Groups Charge State With Failure in Federal Class Action Lawsuit.
    Calling the State of Hawaii's treatment of homeless children a travesty, civil rights groups and attorneys filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the State's failure to provide homeless children with equal access to public education. The lawsuit – which names three homeless parents and their children – charges State officials ("State") with ignoring their legal obligations to provide homeless children with equal access to a free and appropriate public education in violation of the McKinney-Vento Act ("Act"). The lawsuit also charges State officials with violating constitutional requirements to provide equal access to public education without regard to the status of homelessness. Click here to read more.