The Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans (HARA) is our state affiliate of the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), which serves as a national umbrella organization for advocacy organizations interested in working together on aging, retirees and community issues.
Founded in 2001, HARA is comprised of eight affiliate organizations in Hawai‘i totaling more than 21,000 members, including AFT Retirees, HGEA Retirees, HSTA-Retired, Hawaii Family Caregiver Coalition, ILWU Retirees, Kokua Council, Machinist Union Retirees and UPW Retirees.
HARA works with the Legislative Kupuna Caucus and other senior/aging advocacy organizations to support legislative measures and to provide public input on issues that affect seniors. Some important examples are the Kupuna Care Program (state funds to enable the elderly and people with disabilities to remain at home) and a state-administered long-term care program. We also endorse measures to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, create permanent absentee registration and voting, and develop one-stop Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC). HARA urges support for family caregivers, affordable housing and assistance for the homeless. Besides our biennial conventions, HARA members get together with the Kokua Council to meet with members of the Hawai‘i State Legislature every May. The recent legislative session was very productive because we are in an election cycle.
HARA is part of ARA, a national grassroots movement for seniors/retirees, in which we join with 49 other independent state organizations. Our four million members work together to make our voices heard in shaping federal laws, policies, politics and institutions that affect our lives. The national ARA mission is to ensure social and economic justice and full civil rights for all citizens, so they may enjoy lives of dignity, personal and family fulfillment and security. The 2016 Legislative Session was evaluated in late May at a Legislative Review sponsored by HARA and Kokua Council.
For more information or to get involved helping other retirees, visit www.retiredamericans.org. Those who join ARA online automatically become members of HARA. Annual dues are $10. If you belong to a group of retirees who would like to align with HARA, contact President Justin Wong.
HARA officers serving Hawai‘i retirees include President Wong, Vice President Elmer Yuen, Secretary Carol Noland, Treasurer Phyllis Hiramatsu and Past President Al Hamai.